• Biography
    Born in Rennes, France, 1991
    Lives & Works in Rennes, France
  • Alexis Ralaivao’s (b. 1991, France) sensual and diaristic oil paintings find affective charge in carefully selected quotidian scenes. Reimagining the...
    Portrait by Rose Lacavalla.
    Alexis Ralaivao’s (b. 1991, France) sensual and diaristic oil paintings find affective charge in carefully selected quotidian scenes. Reimagining the Northern European tradition of genre painting, Ralaivao seamlessly synthesizes the techniques and attentive gaze of Dutch Golden Age painters—Johannes Vermeer and Gerard Ter Borch among them—while remaining rooted in our contemporary society. “I start with a scene from everyday life, ordinary intimate moments,” the artist has said. “But as I sketch and paint them, they become something more. Layers after layers, what was the ‘truth’ is mixed with my personal feelings, desires and fantasies.” Using classical painterly techniques, Ralaivao’s sensitive encapsulations of his subjects’ daily routines possess a timeless humanity and immediacy. His works deftly synthesize wide-reaching cultural reference points, drawing from his ongoing, intensive autodidactic studies of the history of painting, the language of photography, antiques, and French literature. With a deep understanding and appreciation of the artistic allusions in his work, Ralaivao firmly establishes himself in the lineage of painting’s masters and mavericks.
    Blending an impressionistic soft-focus with strategic photographic framing, Ralaivao’s distinctive crops both invite and refuse. The artist’s early works explore the pleasure of the domestic space, animating a cinematographer’s eye for drama and detail by lingering on the drapery of clothing or bed linens—the soft contours of the fabric alluding to flesh—along with informal portraits and partial nudes in repose. More recently, the artist has probed the language of luxury and its environs, honing in on glimpses of fine-dining, formalwear and other items to mine themes of consumerism and social exclusion. Rich textures such as flesh, hair, and cloth have become hallmarks of his paintings, but Ralaivao’s keen explorations into the formal qualities and aesthetic value of light have also captured the visual thrill of reflective materials such as patent leather, metal, and glassware—subjects with which the artist can demonstrate an instinctive touch for light’s technical representation. By building thinly layered brushstrokes and a respective luminosity, the artist imbues his painterly universe with a dreamlike quality.
  • Ralaivao lives and works in his home city of Rennes, France, after spending several years in Berlin. In 2022, he was profiled in The Artsy Vanguard. His work is held in institutional collections in the United States and abroad, including the Nerman Museum of Contemporary Art, Kansas; the Institute of Contemporary Art, Miami; Musée des Beaux Arts de Rennes, France; Powerlong Museum, Shanghai, China; and the He Art Museum, China.
  • Works
    • Alexis Ralaivao, 20th Century Totem, 2023
      20th Century Totem, 2023
    • Alexis Ralaivao, Déjà-vu, 2023
      Déjà-vu, 2023
    • Alexis Ralaivao, Emeraudes & Améthystes, 2023
      Emeraudes & Améthystes, 2023
    • Alexis Ralaivao, La Serviette, 2023
      La Serviette, 2023
    • Alexis Ralaivao, Le Trigger, 2023
      Le Trigger, 2023
    • Alexis Ralaivao, Sortir le grand jeu, 2023
      Sortir le grand jeu, 2023
    • Alexis Ralaivao, Tight, 2023
      Tight, 2023
    • Alexis Ralaivao, Apfelstrudel, 2022
      Apfelstrudel, 2022
    • Alexis Ralaivao, Before the dance, 2022
      Before the dance, 2022
    • Alexis Ralaivao, Clutching my pearls, 2022
      Clutching my pearls, 2022
    • Alexis Ralaivao, Double date, 2022
      Double date, 2022
    • Alexis Ralaivao, La source lumineuse, 2022
      La source lumineuse, 2022
    • Alexis Ralaivao, Souvenir, 2022
      Souvenir, 2022
  • Exhibitions
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