“I guess that I’ve been painting since I was old enough to hold a brush,” says artist Diane Dal-Pra. Growing up in south-west France, Diane is now based in Paris and her love of the medium remains unwavering. “I have always been attracted by the huge creative freedom that this tool can offer. I mean that the only constraints which exist in painting are mental, otherwise, technically, everything is possible in terms of dimension, shape, colour and universe.”
Diane’s work largely depicts the female form with women, often several women, rendered in her distinctive style. Shadows and light become planes of colour in her work, creating flat images which simultaneously have depth and movement. “I don’t know if I can describe a signature visual language,” Diane explains, “but most of the time, I’m trying to find the balance between realism and abstraction.”
It’s a style that has, so far, gained Diane a client list including the likes of Gucci and Nicotine magazine – projects in which she relishes a challenge. “I love to give life to my painting, that’s why each collaboration is for me the opportunity to make it live differently, on different surfaces for different projects,” she continues. “I love to confront and bring together my aesthetics with the aesthetics of other entities, that’s partly why I love working with brands with a strong identity.”
When it comes to her inspirations, Diane’s references behind her work help unpack her aesthetic mix of contemporary and traditional techniques. While stating that she loves Picasso, Matisse and Hockey (“of course”), she also cites the work of Renaissance painters, for their breathtaking technique and compositions.
While these inspirations are largely aesthetic ones, Diane’s understanding of what has come before her, also fuels her practice. “I find it very beautiful that this medium crosses times and manages to remain contemporary and attractive. Sometimes when I’m painting, I realise that my way of working and my needs for that (an easel, paint and a canvas) are almost the same as that for a man like Ingres hundreds of years ago,” she concludes. “It’s dizzying!”
About the Author
Ruby joined the It’s Nice That team as an editorial assistant in September 2017 after graduating from the Graphic Communication Design course at Central Saint Martins. In April 2018, she became a staff writer and in August 2019, she was made associate editor. Get in contact with Ruby about ideas you may have for long-form stories on the site.