A graduate of the Paris school of Applied Arts and winner of the “Novembre à Vitry” prize in 2003, Karine Roche, 29, leads a dual career as cinema set designer and painter. she recently held an exhibition at the Catherine and André Hug gallery of contemporary art in Paris, and at the Moscow national museum of decorative and folk arts.
Are representations of the town and urban landscapes a constant in your work?
I combine the urban and floral in my compositions and make the town into a natural element. But I’m not so much interested in a figurative representation of the city, what interests me is the density, that accumulation of lines which, once they are arranged, designate a town.
Where does your inspiration come from?
From urban reality; this is where I live and where I travel. When I returned from Corsica, I had painted more entirely natural landscapes, based on plants and flowers, not so much urban. But in every country all the towns I visit are sources of inspiration. Recently, I have tried to set down the landscapes of Cairo, Shanghai and La Paz, but always using a realistic basis – photographs included as part of my canvas are my point of departure for my pictorial universe.
You worked on the theme of the road for the Colas Foundation - is it one with which you are familiar?
It’s the first time I’ve expressed it in such a clear manner. But far from being a limitation it made it possible for me to explore new directions that I would not necessarily have found on my own. I have painted what I imagined, a pattern of geometrical lines – my interest in urban architecture, as usual – in which nature has inserted itself cutting off the right angles and the cross roads. To have been selected by the Colas Foundation is wonderful recognition. And I love the idea that the painting will have its own life, that it will hang in places where it would not necessarily ever have gone to.