Medium: Oil on canvas and plexiglass
Size: 48 x 36”
Throughout her career spanning over three decades, Caroline Dechamby has utilized art and art history to develop her own niche, and to create a place of resonance for her audience within the largely male-dominated canon of painting.
Dechamby’s paintings re-assess masterpieces by household names – Pablo Picasso, Jean-Michel Basquiat, Piet Mondrian – as her own, painting herself (either full-bodied or as a silhouette) into the pieces in the act of creation. In doing so, Dechamby symbolically and visually takes back the field from “the boys,” reimagining art history in her own vision, and allowing viewers, especially female viewers, to also envision themselves in the empowered position of “creative genius” in place of the painted avatar. Repeatedly depicting her own figure from behind, Dechamby creates both a recognizable autobiographical character, as well as an anonymous silhouette that allows for an immediate recognition and connection by viewers.
By appropriating these works, Dechamby echoes the trends of art history – her work, in a populist spirit, follows directly in the footsteps of artists like Marcel Duchamp and (more recently) Elaine Sturtevant. As a woman, her outright placement of herself as an artist in the same league of the famous predecessors she appropriates offers a powerful feminist statement, one that is intended outside the hallowed halls of museums and the institutionalized art world.
In June 2017, Dechamby launched a solo exhibition in the town of Crans-Montana in Switzerland. Inspired by Donald Judd’s “Marfa”, the world-renowned art retreat in Texas, Dechamby built a secluded art oasis, exhibiting first her own work, and later allowing the beauty and seclusion of the selected location in the Swiss Alps to provide inspiration to generations of working artists to come.
Caroline Dechamby was born and raised in Utrecht (Netherlands), and grew interested in art at a young age. After pursuing a modeling career in Paris and in the aftermath of personal setbacks, Dechamby relocated to the resort town of Crans-Montana where she began to pursue painting full-time as a means to bring joy to her life and to the lives of those around her. Finding that her work resonated with the wider public, Dechamby formally opened a gallery to display her work in 1997. Her paintings have been exhibited widely throughout Europe and the United States.
* Long-Sharp Gallery is honored to represent the works of Caroline Dechamby in the United States.