Annabel Perrigueur, a dynamic mixed-media artist from France, has brought her passion and flair for art across the Atlantic to the United States. Infusing her pieces with messages of Love and Joy, she's turned her inspiration from her move to Philadelphia into vibrant, expressive artworks. With a deep respect for the environment and a genuine love for people, Annabel seamlessly weaves these themes into her art, ensuring love radiates from each piece she creates.
In our conversation, we journey with Annabel from her early days sketching fashion designs in France to crafting eco-friendly masterpieces in the USA. Along the way, we discuss the evolution of her art, her perspective on the art scene today, and the impactful message behind her sustainable approach. Read on to learn more in this exclusive interview with Annabel Perrigueur.
Annabel Perrigueur in her studio
Where did your journey with art first begin?
I have a long LOVE history with art! My passion for art started when I was very young in Normandy, France where I grew up! I was drawing all the time so much that my family used to say “She must have been born with a pencil because we always see her drawing!” Later, my parents enrolled me at l’Ecole des Beaux Arts (the school of fine arts) in my birthplace to satisfy my own thirst for learning. At that time I was in middle school, and my field of predilection was the Fashion world, as I was sketching elegant women dressed in cocktail dresses along with high heels. I wanted to become a fashion designer but it remained a childhood dream because thereafter, I attended a business school to work in the financial industry. But this passion for the fashion world had never let me go, particularly after living almost 20 years in Paris, the place of fashion and refinement. Living in Paris, in conjunction with my job, I continued to develop and strengthen my skills and techniques for Art in l’Ecole des Beaux Art de Paris (the school of fine arts in Paris).
Who are some influential figures that have shaped your understanding of art, both past and present?
I’ve always been attracted by art in all its forms like music, dance, and architecture, which helped me to shape a visual universe rich in shape and color. I must say that I always liked figures or performers, ahead of their time who were able to develop trends, ideas, and new concepts to revolutionize the world for generations to come. So, I will name these people in different disciplines, such as Leonardo de Vinci, and Auguste Rodin, Impressionist painters like Claude Monet, Edgar Degas, Toulouse Lautrec, the architect Le Corbusier, Bert Stern the American photographer, Coco Chanel, the dancer and choreographer Rudolf Nureyev, Michael Jackson, the Pop artist Andy Warhol, and more recently the Japanese painter Yayoi Kusuma, the muralist Eduardo Kobra or the French contemporary artist JR. At that time, I must admit that the French shoe designer Christian Louboutin is one of my favorite sources of inspiration for my feminine and chic creations! In my opinion, this genius man succeeded in revolutionizing the world of shoes/accessories along with his famous red soles!
“La Parisienne” - Mixed media painting designed in collaboration with illustrator Pauline LEVEQUE
What is your overall goal as an artist, and what does being an artist mean to You?
Many decades had passed before I decided to launch my creative business. Moving to the USA has been a turning point and gave me the opportunity to radically change my professional life and vision. After working in a “non-creative” industry for a number of years, I really needed to bring fresh perspectives and wanted to do what would make me happy these coming years. Thanks to the support of my family, I achieved my childhood dream. So, being an artist is overall a synonym of Freedom and Revival! Today, I used to customize some pieces of art for my clients and I admit that my greatest reward is providing Joy and happiness to them with my art! So, at this point, I can say I reached my overall goal/philosophy which is “the noblest art is making others Happy!”
Annabel Perrigueur in front of her ‘Love’ wall at Clio Art Fair
What experiences or aspects of your background have had the most significant impact on shaping your artistic style and vision?
As I have said previously, I followed intensive courses at L’Ecole des Beaux-Arts (School of Fine Arts) in my birthplace and then in Paris for many years where I studied and sketched a lot of live models with charcoal. I have always been fascinated by rounded shapes and shadows. So, I had the opportunity to change the discipline and experiment sculpture workshop (modelage) alongside a very interesting instructor. Feeling the texture of clay, modeling, and shaping portraits or various objects in 3D was a revelation for me because I was able to bring my inspiration to life. So, I think technical drawing skills combined with sculpture practices have clearly had a significant and positive impact on how I work today. I would not be able to create paintings now without this subtle trick of materials and textures!
Red LOVE - Collaborative artwork designed with Carole Jury.
Are there any specific artworks of yours that hold a particularly significant meaning to you, and can you share the story behind one of them?
There are 2 pieces of art that hold special significance for me: the first one is “Intensity, Vibrancy” I created in 2019 for a Lighting Art Show in Beverly Hills. It allowed me to go back to fundamentals. It was like a small voice which said: “It’s time to reconnect with your passion!”
The second one is “Bowie Forever” (see pictures), a mixed media painting designed with recycled Nespresso capsules and enhancing Bowie’s eyes behind the LOVE symbol, an emblematic sculpture of/in Philadelphia. This artwork was displayed at the National Liberty Museum in Philadelphia in 2020 and was acclaimed by the local press many times. This masterpiece is special for me because it represents the beginning of a close collaboration with the National Liberty Museum. And I have since had the chance to attend this annual event dedicated to the Iconic British David Bowie and organized to support the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia for children diagnosed with cancer.
BOWIE Forever - Mixed media painting designed with recycled Nespresso capsules.
What inspires you to continue creating and experimenting with your art form?
First of all, we live in a society where human rights are diminishing and where freedom of expression declines. ART as a means of expression is sometimes even censored in some countries. So, I think I have a great opportunity to do what I really want as well as to be able to deliver a message of LOVE & JOY and connect with people through my vibrant art.
In addition, I am willing to continue my commitment to the environment with my Upcycling practices. The concept of upcycling consists of collecting, reusing and transforming recycled materials, turning useless or unwanted products into something new and beautiful. For my part, I play with pieces of glass but the material I integrate the most in my paintings is recycled aluminum from coffee capsules of Nespresso. Thanks to them, I successfully created vibrant textured effects in my paintings. I am grateful to work with this type of material because Nespresso is a certified B Corp. that meets rigorous social and environmental standards.
Pacific LOVE, 2022 - Mixed media designed with recycled Nespresso capsules.
Can you walk me through the process of creating a piece from start to finish?
There are several steps in my process of creating a mixed-media painting. Firstly, I nurture my inspiration from my stunning travels and from my everyday environment to turn ideas, colors and the richness of cultures on canvas. Once the theme or project is in mind, I define which material will come texture and illuminate my painting at the end. Starting the first sketch phase is probably the most exciting one because it engages a new creative project. I pursue painting and varnishing phases that I would qualify as basic and instinctive. At last, comes the exciting 3D laying phase with its various materials. I used to play with Feather, Swarovski Crystal, recycled pieces of glass, and aluminum from Nespresso caps. This step requires a lot of time and precision because I cut, shape, and glue them and some of them also need to be cleaned before use like the recycled coffee caps.
To conclude, I will say that my work with materials requires precision along with great care for details like an artisan guild. Very often I feel like being a stone-setter or ‘les petites mains’ literally translated from the French as ‘the little hands’ in Haute-couture designs, and this is a really exciting job!
Indiana LOVE - Mixed media painting designed with recycled Nespresso capsules.
How do you think you have evolved as an artist over the years compared to when you first started creating?
Thanks to curators, gallerists, professionals, collectors I met, collaborations with other artists, and exhibitions I experimented with over the years, I think I have really evolved as an artist. My work itself has also evolved because I was able to identify new needs
and new trends. I continued to improve my skills and explore new techniques using new materials to create new effects and textures. Like many areas, we need to be able to question and reinvent ourselves all the time. I am grateful to have gained confidence and creativity in my art thanks to the caring and supportive people I met since I started this incredible artistic journey!
What has been the most challenging part of being an independent artist?
As an independent artist, you need to constantly reinvent, remain creative, observe evolving trends and search for opportunities to display your work and demonstrate your skills. Faced with an art market quite closed off, codified and conformist, you shall not be afraid to push the professional art dealer’s doors, take risks sometimes and consolidate your network to move forward!
My Sun, My Motherland - Mixed media painting designed with recycled Nespresso capsules.
What is the overall message you hope to convey through your works?
I believe my artistic universe is quite explicit to understand what kind of message I am trying to convey through my work: The LOVE message is prominent in my work and I can say this is a KEY! While we live in a world in which tensions are noticeable in the context of our lives, where freedom in all ways declines almost worldwide, I think it is important to offer Joy, Hope and Positive vibes to people by creating positive and colorful art. Moreover, the LOVE artwork is my greatest request in terms of custom pieces, so that really means that “All people need is LOVE!”
Tell me about your studio space, its importance to you, and what's your favorite thing in that space?
I am lucky to have a beautiful bright studio space that opens up to nature: I observe nature and see its evolution and fragility over each season! I draw my inspiration from my immersive travels from bustling cities like Paris and New York City, but I transpose my creative ideas on paper or canvas in my studio. Overall, I like starting the early morning with a cup of coffee, setting up in my studio infused with various recycled objects I collected for my work and pictures from my previous shows or travels that inspired me, capturing the atmosphere and colors of the daylight, and diving into a new art project! My studio is an attractive place to dream and create, this is my heaven of peace!
Annabel Perrigueur in her studio
Can you tell us about any shows or things you have coming up? -Since my recent Art Fair in NYC, I am working on new great projects for early 2024 but as I am a bit superstitious, I prefer not to disclose information before confirming everything!
Recycled Nespresso capsules for Annabel’s work
You can learn more about Annabel Perrigueur and her work via these links: