From Versailles, France
Based in Kwazulu Natal, South Africa
Claire is a self-taught artist whose usual subjects - women in various serene situations and settings - always seem to be caught up in the moment, revealing that the artist is not capturing everything, cloaking the artworks with an aura of mystery
A: Please, tell us a bit more about yourself. What brought you into art?
C: My name is Claire Denarie-Soffietti. I am currently based in South Africa, in Kwazulu Natal, to be precise. Although I am 100% French (married to an Italian), I am also South African.
A: What inspires you the most?
C: Painting is anything but a luxury. It is a need (sometimes excruciating), which goes hand in hand with breathing.
A: Do you have any specific rituals while working (creating)?
C: My ritual begins with classical music exclusively as other genres are for leisure time. Painting is a totally intimate process which I share with no one. I paint behind closed doors for 8 hours a day, sometimes more than 5 days a week.
A: What would you recommend to someone who's new to art (whether artist or just an admirer), what to begin with?
C: My advice would be to avoid the trap of rationalising Art. Yield to a piece and let it absorb you organically. Avoid the psychoanalysis as the maker probably didn't think of it. Allow the emotions to peep through, embrace the gut twisting and the goosebumps. They are all good as they mean that your subconscious is reacting. Do not try to understand a painting. Get rid of it when it fails to give you emotions.
A: What are your three favourite adjectives related to art?
C: Timeless, inimitable, passionate. You do not need a signature to know who has painted the piece!
A: The best angle to look at art is from ...?
C: Positivity and humility.
A: The perfect phrase to start any conversation about art is: ...?
C: "What emotions does this painting evoke in me?"
A: Must-read books to help us talk about art (or do we even need them)?
C: Art literature is great but not necessary as it will be partial to begin with. Would my outlook change on breathing if I read an article on O2?
A: If you could change one thing in the art world - what would it be?
C: If I could change anything in the Art world, it would be the abolition of boundaries and trends. I believe that in order to be relevant, a painter must be prepared to go through phases of irrelevance in fashion. Van Gogh was only appreciated years after his time.
A: Please, share your favorite quote (not necessarily related to art).
C: "Artists are people driven by the tension between the desire to communicate, and the desire to hide..." - D.W. Winnicott