For Coline Marotta, a French artist currently residing in Copenhagen, there is no typical day in the studio. “I can be a little unorganised,” she admits, but always makes time to balance her research with painting. “I like to spend some time reading and looking at artists books, especially at the beginning of the working day – making sure to apply myself and get some more input and knowledge, or even go and see a show or visit a museum.”
Having grown up in the south of France, she later moved to Denmark after her bachelor degree in Fine Arts from the Marseille-Mediterranean College of Art and Design. During this time, it became apparent that painting was an important part of her application as an artist, which was then refined during her master degree at the Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts. “My professor Anette Abrahamsson taught me a lot about painting and being a painter,” she tells It’s Nice That, “and it really helped me develop my own thoughts and practice.”
Pulling inspiration from various sources, Coline explains how she’s intensively impacted by that which surrounds her – whether it’s a visit to the art library, or being surrounded by books, documents, or other artists, text and periods. “It’s shaped the way I work,” she says. At present, Coline has work exhibiting in a solo show until October 26, titled Live a Little at Public Gallery, based in East London. “To prepare, I surrounded myself with Joan Brown, the Période Vache of René Magritte, the flatness of Ancient Egypt paintings and Giotto,” she says. “I also work a lot with feelings, so personal experiences are also a part of my influences – they can be my own or stories I’ve heard from friends or strangers.”
Most interestingly, however, is that the work exhibited in Live a Littlecomes fuelled with a new colour palette – a tonal comparison to her previous pieces. “I spent a whole month in London to paint the last series of works and this new environment definitely influenced my palette. Colours come from different places for me, it can be an unconscious decision, a crush at the store or in the street, or on someone’s pullover – it’s an intuition, a feeling,” she says. “I would have never produced the same paintings in Copenhagen, where I am based.”
Curious about the use of colour and how she can apply it within her paintings, Coline tends to experiment and aims to expand her hues wherever possible. “Painting through colours is a big part of my process,” she says, “and it’s an organic movement.” With this in mind, her luminously lit pastel paintings have been filled with deep reds, block colours and details themed on our relationship with technology. Through these new works, Coline is asking whether “hyper-connectivity means more and better communication.” She adds: “I am interested in the way we interact with each other, and how difficult it can be to formulate our own desires and needs.”
Achieved through soft and bubbly characters placed in certain situations, Coline strives to open up a dialogue on the ways in which we use technology today. “For a while I have been interested in anthropology and the work of translation, and it has nourished my process in a way that I see it to be all about creating connections, building bridges, trying to make different worlds and entities communicate and reaching some understanding.” As a mix of her “desires and fantasy” with subtle notes of a lack of intimacy within the hyper-digital world, we can all learn a little something from these works.