For this ‘In The Studio With’ feature, we are so thrilled to introduce Nathalie Jolivertand chat to her about her journey to becoming an artist, the influences that have formed her style, and the inspiration behind her first PE collection,The Beach Goers, ahead of the launch on 28th of April.
How did you become an artist, what's your training and background?
I grew up in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, and was fortunate to have parents who supported my artistic interests. In Haiti, parents rarely encourage their kids to pursue a career in the visual arts… unless they are artists themselves.
My mother is a doctor, and my father was a structural engineer, yet they made sure I could have access to art classes while growing up. I later attended college at the Rhode Island School of Design where I’ve obtained my architecture and fine arts degree. Nowadays, I practice as a full-time architect and work on my art on the side.
What are your influences?
For this collection, I am indulging in the idea of rest and relaxation. I feel most rested when I’m at the beach. Growing up on an island, and particularly in the dense city of Port-au-Prince, I always wished I had easier access to the sea. That was not the case due to poor public transportation systems and relying on skilled drivers to brave some of the hectic traffic and unsafe zones to leave the city. I’ve been living in New York City for the past five years and have enjoyed finding myself at the beach with just a train ride. The beaches at the Rockaways and at Coney Island are not nearly as beautiful as those in the Caribbean, however, they exhibit such a diverse tapestry of city dwellers craving for some sun and good times.
In my artistic practice, I am influenced by the Saint Soleil movement in Haiti, and the works of Mexican muralists. The arches that often frame my work are inspired by the late Haitian artist Ismael Saincilus. Saincilus was from a small rural town in Artibonite where I have lived for a couple of years with my family since my mother worked at a hospital in the area. The American founders of this hospital had a special connection with this artist, therefore his art often showed up during fundraisers. I have always loved how intricate Saincilus’ work is. This level of detail with the paintbrush is something I thrive for.
What does your process look like? Why do you choose to work in the materials that you work with?
For my small-scale works on paper, I like to use fine point pens. For large-scale pieces I use acrylic paint. I have also worked with textiles and plan to explore more of it in the future.
Tell us about a show or exhibition that you enjoyed taking part in.
A notable exhibition to mention is one that I organized at Barnard College in 2020 (A couple of weeks before the world shut down). It is called “In All My Dreams” and more information can be found about it via the website www.inallmydreams.net.
What advice would you give to someone starting in art?
Remain curious, grounded, and empathetic.
Browse the full preview of Nathalie's debut collection, The Beach Goers, and register your interest in an artwork to be the first to know when it goes live.