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Paulina Archambault

Paulina Archambault

Poland (1976-)
BIO

Inspired by a pure childhood

In her portraits, Paulina Archambault (1976, Krakow/Poland, lives and works in Virginia/USA) searches for the purest human emotions. To do so, she likes to reach back to her childhood. 'As a child, you experience the world, but also your own emotions much more intensely. The sincerity of those childlike feelings fascinates me. By being as pure and honest as possible in the process myself, I want to revive those emotions through my paintings. This requires a profound intimacy,' Paulina Archambault says.

Each new painting starts with a few distinct contours, which Archambault applies to the canvas purely instinctively. 'I start from an abstract idea or an initial emotion, but I change a lot in the course of the process, so that often not much of this onset is visible in the final work. I keep scraping and tinkering with each work until I feel it is quite right. That layering gives a canvas depth,' Archambault says.

'To create certain textures, I experiment with a wide variety of tools, applying paint or just scraping away. I often work on several canvases at the same time, so that I can stand back each time and let an image emerge quietly. At the same time, a lot depends on the inspiration of the moment: sometimes I get a better result in one hour than otherwise in three days. Or as Picasso said: Inspiration exists, but you have to find it while you work. When I am in such a moment, I also want to be able to finish a work. That is why I am currently working mostly on smaller formats'

Being introduced to Michelangelo Buonarroti when she was 11 left a strong impression on Paulina Archambault. 'Although he is mainly known as a sculptor, I love his frescoes immensely and the way he shapes the human body. I am also inspired by the intensity and dynamism of Vincent van Gogh, or the movements and gestures in Max Beckmann's paintings. In my homeland, Stanislaw Wyspianski's portraits of children in pastel fascinated me, while Oskar Kokoschka's work Girl holding a dolly - which I saw during my studies in Hamburg - is also etched on my retina.'

Deep truth

In a particularly intuitive way, Paulina Archambault models expressive portraits with paint layer by layer. 'I constantly challenge myself to experiment, and to destroy what I have just learnt again and again. Depending on the tools I use for a work, it takes on a rougher or softer texture. I also like acrylic paint because it allows you to work in thicker, or just more transparent layers. I attach enormous importance to the painterly gesture, mixing colours into my own palette that connects with real life,' Archambault says. 'Although people sometimes find my frontal portraits frightening, for me they mainly express a sense of melancholy and childlike innocence. Their dark eyes lend them something mysterious. In each new painting, I search for a deeper truth.'

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Memories by artist Paulina Archambault

Memories, 2024

Paulina Archambault
Secret Temptation by artist Paulina Archambault

Secret Temptation, 2024

Paulina Archambault
TIny Secrets by artist Paulina Archambault

TIny Secrets, 2024

Paulina Archambault
Siblings by artist Paulina Archambault

Siblings, 2023

Paulina Archambault
Hide and seek by artist Paulina Archambault

Hide and seek, 2024

Paulina Archambault
Tiny secret by artist Paulina Archambault

Tiny secret, 2024

Paulina Archambault
Francesca by artist Paulina Archambault

Francesca, 2024

Paulina Archambault
Little gerald by artist Paulina Archambault

Little gerald, 2024

Paulina Archambault
A child's game by artist Paulina Archambault

A child's game, 2024

Paulina Archambault
Olivia's world by artist Paulina Archambault

Olivia's world, 2024

Paulina Archambault
Time passing by artist Paulina Archambault

Time passing, 2024

Paulina Archambault
Acrobat by artist Paulina Archambault

Acrobat, 2024

Paulina Archambault
Resisting temptation by artist Paulina Archambault

Resisting temptation, 2024

Paulina Archambault
Circus boy by artist Paulina Archambault

Circus boy, 2024

Paulina Archambault
Rosa Linda by artist Paulina Archambault

Rosa Linda, 2024

Paulina Archambault
Witness by artist Paulina Archambault

Witness, 2024

Paulina Archambault
Monsieur Rie by artist Paulina Archambault

Monsieur Rie, 2023

Paulina Archambault
SIblings by artist Paulina Archambault

SIblings, 2024

Paulina Archambault
Looking Back by artist Paulina Archambault

Looking Back, 2023

Paulina Archambault
Ray of hope by artist Paulina Archambault

Ray of hope, 2023

Paulina Archambault
Scarlet by artist Paulina Archambault

Scarlet, 2023

Paulina Archambault
Altitude of dreams by artist Paulina Archambault

Altitude of dreams, 2023

Paulina Archambault
Whispering by artist Paulina Archambault

Whispering, 2023

Paulina Archambault
Blush of innocence by artist Paulina Archambault

Blush of innocence, 2023

Paulina Archambault
Stone Face by artist Paulina Archambault

Stone Face, 2023

Paulina Archambault
Disbelief by artist Paulina Archambault

Disbelief, 2023

Paulina Archambault
Barbara by artist Paulina Archambault

Barbara, 2023

Paulina Archambault
Castrato by artist Paulina Archambault

Castrato, 2023

Paulina Archambault
What are you looking at? by artist Paulina Archambault

What are you looking at?, 2023

Paulina Archambault
Ballerina by artist Paulina Archambault

Ballerina, 2023

Paulina Archambault
Before the Show by artist Paulina Archambault

Before the Show, 2023

Paulina Archambault
Midnight circus by artist Paulina Archambault

Midnight circus, 2023

Paulina Archambault
Portrait with red nose by artist Paulina Archambault

Portrait with red nose, 2023

Paulina Archambault
Little Queen by artist Paulina Archambault

Little Queen, 2023

Paulina Archambault
Vulnerability by artist Paulina Archambault

Vulnerability, 2023

Paulina Archambault
The Silence by artist Paulina Archambault

The Silence, 2023

Paulina Archambault
About to Speak by artist Paulina Archambault

About to Speak, 2023

Paulina Archambault
Little Coquette by artist Paulina Archambault

Little Coquette, 2023

Paulina Archambault
Green Hair by artist Paulina Archambault

Green Hair, 2023

Paulina Archambault
Movement by artist Paulina Archambault

Movement, 2023

Paulina Archambault
Naughty Child by artist Paulina Archambault

Naughty Child, 2023

Paulina Archambault