(Born in 1969)
Painter, mixed media
Growing up in Cannes, where her parents settled in 1969, Sandra Chérèz became fascinated very early by the cinematic universe and the stars bringing disorder and life to town. Raised in an artistic family, she is first introduced to the magic of films through the many artists friends coming to her parents’ home, and through her uncle, a famous choreographer and a musicals’ aficionado. However, to the glitter of the Croisette, the teenage Chérèz prefers the glamour of vintage icons, and to the mounting of the festival’s famous stairs by the stars, she prefers the anonymous projection in movie theaters; for this she relishes the time of the festival, spending her days in the dark discovering new treasures.
A child of the French Riviera
Cannes is not only the glamorous film festival city, it is the center of a region rich in artists such as César, Ben, or Picasso, and artisanal fabrics such as the Biot pottery, or the parfume’s essence of Grace. Her art amateur father often took Chérèz to visit the Fondation Maeght in Saint Paul de Vence, the vibrant art institution where modern and contemporary art has unfolded for the last fifty years; Chérèz is particularly fond of the beautiful hillside gardens filled with sculptures. Already as a teenager she creates collages, she is impatient to be a full-grown independent artist; at fifteen she moves to Paris alone. She soon leaves the Lycée for a school of publicity and art history, and tries out several paths in the cinema and visual arts. This rich experimenting will nourish her work as a painter.
From a workshop in advertisement films production, she learns film editing; she translates the principles of cutting and pasting sequences to her paintings designed as rough cuts stories. Being employed as an assistant casting director, and then as a set photographer, teaches her to zoom on faces and frame them to best capture their moods. She spends several years at the TV channel Canal Plus as a journalist for a movie program, and develops her strength as a story-teller. In her painting and collages, likewise, she narrates the stories of her life. As raw materials she uses photographs from old magazines and newspapers, Libération, old Cinémonde (past French movie magazine), and Paris Match of the sixties and seventies.
Azure, black and white
Chérèz uses the black and white shots, to reveal an unknown aspect of today’s show business; they speak of a long-gone era that the artist wished she had known. Chérèz tears the pictures apart, shreds them to unravel their past, and to bring their magic in the present. The iconic stars themselves or sometimes only a curve, a hip, a lip, or a languorous eye are inserted into a new story. Chérèz surrounds them with carefully chosen words; the condensed messages are like titles, reminiscent of newspaper front page, or street posters. The black and white atmosphere of the past is brought racing forward to the present by adding a bold single color, as if to set the tone of the new script.
Like a film, Chérèz’s paintings always tell a story. She narrates in square compositions, whether on canvass, metal sheets, or wooden supports. Her motto is to give objects, people, feelings, and memories a second life. Chérèz screams against the throwaway society, where human beings have become disposable. The artist also sends the signal that art is accessible to everyone, raw material, lying in the street, can be used to express new rebellions and new dreams.
Recent Exhibitions :
2014 : exposition personnelle, Little Big Galerie, Paris
2013 : vente aux enchères “Objectif cinéma”, Hôtel Drouot
2013 Opening#1, Paris
2012 Exposition collective, Hôtel de l'industrie, Paris
2012 Exposition personnelle, Little big galerie, Paris
2008 Exposition personnelle, Canal Pictures & Art, Paris
“Art dans la cité”, Cloître du port royal, Paris
“Une Assiette contre la faim”, Artcurial, Paris
2007 Exposition personnelle, Little Big Galerie, Paris
2006 Exposition personnelle, Libreria del cinema, Rome
2005 vente aux enchères pour le Comité de soutien Francilien à Ingrid Betancourt, Cala Rojas et aux otages en Colombie, Paris
2000 Salon d'Art Contemporain de Montrouge