Léa Augereau’s figurative portraiture features commanding women, “who drive their own lives,” says the artist. Her bold and vibrant paintings use block colours to depict a diverse range of females, often placed in positions of leisure, drinking and smoking. “I want to highlight the modern woman” Léa explains, “for lots of people, a ‘good girl’ can’t smoke or drink, the rules are much more flexible for men, and this makes me feel frustrated”.
Léa is a designer as well as a painter; she began her career in fashion and now owns her own label. The artist tells It’s Nice That, “the first paintings I made were directly inspired by a photo shoot of my first collection, JAMIE; I made paintings of the models wearing my clothes.” The clothes she paints are continuously the most defining and stylish feature of the artwork; the angles are minimal and elegant, set in front of interiors inspired by “art deco design”. “I paint the clothes that I make, or want to make”, she explains, “I can express most of my feelings with paintings, but clothes are also a kind of expression, and I like to mix the two things”. Léa has recently started to relay her paintings onto blankets, exploring an alternative way of mixing art and fabric. The “challenge is”, she says, “effectively conveying the work into a much larger size”.
Originally from La Rochelle, Léa did not have access to art until she arrived in London at 18-years-old. Museums were “one of the only free attractions”, she explains, and this lead to her initial interest in art. A variety of cultures and nature inspires her work; her hometown is close to the sea, where time operates at a different speed to the city. The artist describes how it is “life more than other artists that truly influences my work”; these everyday scenes and captured moments are what her paintings are about.