Inside the Studio

Fabienne Jenny Jacquet

What are the major themes you pursue in your work?
I like distorting figures and faces to create weird, wonky outsider characters. Usually the works are a mixture of personal experiences juxtaposed with popular cultural references to music, sci-fi and horror films and comics. There isn’t a big game plan though; most of my works are ‘happy accidents’ that take a life of their own.

I was never keen on the pretension of art school where you have to justify everything you did with some deep philosophical concept. I think that you should use your guts, heart and instincts as well as your head when creating work. I think Francis Bacon put it rather eloquently by saying,  ‘I feel ever so strongly that an artist must be nourished by his passions and his despairs.’ I love sketching, but in the end I always go back to paint. It’s the textures, strong colours, layers, and quickly executed lines that are essential to what I do.

What was the best advice given to you as an artist?
One of my art tutors once said that the worst thing you can do as an artist is to stop producing work. I realise now that it’s such an integral part of who I am that I literally get withdrawal symptoms if I don’t create something.

Prefer to work with music or in silence?
Music is a big inspiration for me. Art was always my first love, but in my early 20s I briefly put it aside to play and sing with (not very good) indie bands in the US and in London. I think the two disciplines share a similar fondness for irreverence and a creative spirit. There is also a rhythm to painting/drawing that fits in well with having music in the background for inspiration and mood-setting.

If you could only have one piece of art in your life, what would it be?
Probably Van Gogh’s Wheatfield with Crows or Francis Bacon’s Crucifixion triptych.

Who are your favorite writers?
I don’t have favourite writers as much as favorite books. The last interesting book that I read was the Slits Viv Albertine’s punk memoirs. In term of classics, Charlotte Brontë’s Jane Eyre, Charles Bukowski’s Post Office and Raymond Chandler’s The Big Sleep. Weirdly I’ve probably read every book ever written by Agatha Christie in my teens. I am always very good at guessing who the killer is.