Inside the Studio: Carole Jury
photo credit: @christophepouget
French artist Carole Jury was born in Lyon. Jury now lives and works out of Bangkok and New York. As a photographer and abstract painter, Jury finds her personal refuge in her large expressive abstract paintings. She initially studied interior design at the New York Design institute. Jury marries this love of interior design with the creation of her paintings. She is also the founder of Women Artist from France.
Jury creates abstract paintings with large defined brushstrokes. Through the creation of various textures and the mixing of colors, Jury highlights the distinction between light and shadow. Jury starts with photographs that she has taken and transposes them to painting. Each ongoing series of paintings is titled with a poetic name such as Dark Sea, La vie en Rose, Time Goes by or Metal Song.
A good example of her dynamic work is this mixed media and resin on a metal sheet from the Not Me series.
Over the past few years, Jury has begun to exhibit her works at galleries and fairs across the world. Jury’s work can be found in private collections in Europe, Dubai, Germany and the US. She takes great pride in exhibiting her works at major fairs across the world. Last year, from November 30th to December 4th, 2022, Jury’s work was featured at Art Aqua Miami in Alessandro Berni Gallery’s booths. Her upcoming exhibitions include fairs in New York, Bangkok, Atlanta, Georgia and London.
Read on to find out more about her journey as an artist.
Did you always know you wanted to be a painter?
I was already married and had my three children, when my husband, who works in the chemical industry, had an opportunity to be expatriated eight years ago. We chose to start a new life in the United States. Before leaving Europe, I worked in the chemical industry too as a communications manager.
Photography and painting were only a hobby that I reserved for my private circle. I had explored many aspects of art, tried many techniques, from my childhood and up to university. I liked having this secret garden for my first forty years. When I arrived in America, a new lifestyle was opened to me, and I knew deep inside myself that things would completely change.
Definitely, my new lifestyle impacted the vision of my life and I no longer wanted to project my professional career in the same way. Step by step, I took this opportunity to manage my art and spend more time on it. I admit that that period of my life was not easy, and I wanted to give up many times. Each time I got some good news or made any achievements, it gave me the strength I needed to continue my journey. The world of art is very complicated and strewn with pitfalls. Many questions about galleries, exhibitions, business, and supplies came to me. I realized that being a professional artist means managing different subjects. It was an aspect of this work I had never imagined before.
People around me who spoke about art as a dream or quiet life more than a real work, in French “artist fleur blue,” thought wrong! Becoming an artist is a huge journey. Beyond studies, being an artist is a fact and it’s a part of your ‘interior.’
Eight months after my arrival, my first exhibition in Princeton, New Jersey convinced me to continue in this direction. It’s how it all started. I met people who encouraged me and led me on my artistic path. When I think about my first years as an artist, I remember how some people had been so kind and benevolent. They helped me overcome my difficulties, one after the other. My husband and my kids were my favorite allies during this time, and they still are always here for me to this day.
As much as any other business, certain encounters are decisive and strategic. I was lucky because I met the right people to work by my side. Their generosity and dynamic have made who and what I am today in my art, and I cannot thank them enough.
America is also the land where everything is possible. This country gives you this incredible gift: the idea and opportunity for you to become anyone and anything you wish to be, no matter where you come from. I knew that I took it completely. I can say that I am proud of myself. I am proud of all the challenges I overcame. I have a lot of work left to do, a lot of growth, but I have overcome a big step in my life and in my mind.
"Becoming is never giving up on the idea that there's more growing to be done."
I am a born artist and a professional artist.
What have you taken from French and American culture that has influenced your work and paintings?
I don’t know if it’s the culture of these two countries that directly influenced my painting. It’s more my life experiences in these two countries that influenced my work. Many factors such as family, travels around the world, and meeting with people interfered and brought something different all along my journey. It’s a bit like the construction of a building where the stones that we put one by one are what gives us the final result.
How do your paintings get used for interior design?
I have always been interested in interior design. It’s one of my passions after photography and I like working on design for myself. When I started to commercialize my art, I also met interior designers who looked for art for their clients. They brought me another view of my job and I began to work with them on art commissions. Designing art for a private interior is very interesting and, in another way, complicated because it can be interpretated as incompatible. I took this challenge and worked hard on these projects even if I stayed very close to my series and my style. I took a lot of pleasure working on it and learned a lot especially how to work with constraints. With my galleries, we continue to propose art commissions to collectors. Working on an art commission is like writing a story together with people. The result is the fruit of the story between my art, the interior designer and a collector. Art and design respond to each other in the same place. Moreover, it’s also this reason I added “Art & Design” to my artist’s name.
How do you come up with the titles for your paintings?
The name of my series translates the energy I had when I painted it. I want to transcribe an emotion or an action more than a simple description of the photo I was inspired by. All my series are timeless, that is to say that I decided to never end any of them.
Can you discuss your process a little bit; you begin by taking photographs and then painting…?
Photography is the main source of my artistic inspiration. It is the visuals that I create that are at the heart of each of my series of work. These photographs may or may not be recent. Sometimes I like to roam my albums looking for a shot that I might have lost from my memory. They are, most frequently, part of those already destined to become a painting at their birth. I have been building these albums for twenty years, according to the paths taken, trips, situations or emotions.
They are always there in memory and flourish when they are brought to light.
Photography was my first passion, and I started many years ago. In my childhood, my father was passionate about photography. He took his camera everywhere and the best family memories are in the photos from it. Each shooting angle can reveal the personality and the mood of the photographer. For me, it's the main point of the interest in photography. There is one photo for one person, there is one photo for one instant. Beyond memories, photos blocked images on time, one unique time. It's for these reasons that photography is a kind of magical technology.
From the film camera to the digitization of the images, I never stopped playing with lights, fades and depths. It’s a self-taught game, of course, which has been refined over the years. I love this instrument which manages to reproduce, transcribe, memorize what I want to continue to love.
Sometimes my series are based on unreal photography because it doesn't exist, because I don't have it in my albums. It exists only in my imagination, and I must reveal it, create it from scratch so that it can join a series. This reversed process remains rare and more complex from the creative perspective.
Photos bring a story, a unique moment, an atmosphere or mood and a message to life. Through my photography and the choices I make, there is a message that I want to transcribe with my painting. It can be as serious as “Never Forget” for example or lighter like “Lagoon.” For both of them, my choice is “dictated” by what I want to highlight in my artwork, the beauty of nature or the seriousness of the human being.
Taking inspiration from a photograph does not mean “reproducing it” or even “painting it.” It is an inspiring medium for which I will attach my interpretation through painting. Interpretation then grants itself great freedom, as if it were facing the image without ever developing a tangible and exact reproduction.
"La peinture est la face visible de l'iceberg" - Salvador Dali
The imagination operates with an almost natural detachment and is attached to the exploitation of one or two aspects of inspiring photography. This can be reflected in the work of movement, the field of colors or reliefs. It is through this work of transcription that my series will be born. Therefore, within a series itself, several very different canvases emerge.So, the works will stand out and give themselves fragility to obtain singularity.
Put side by side, these singularities form a series.
How and why do you use materials outside of the paint and a traditional linen canvas?
Working with other materials means getting out of your comfort zone and discovering other means of expression. It also serves to experiment and can be very inspiring to return to oil or canvas afterwards.
That's exactly what I do when I'm working on my “Metal Song” series or “Not Me” Series. I paint on aluminum sheet with acrylic that I encapsulate with resin.
These are three materials that I discovered, and I tamed which taught me a lot about my transcription process: the passage of transcription between what I imagine and what I wish as a result in terms of work.
What one object, or objects, can you not live without in your studio?
I cannot leave without my tubes of oil. When I paint, I use similar processes to that of a sculptor. I create in a 3D modeling program, the texture I imagine. Before building, I need to intellectualize my painting. My artwork is born in my head even before it is born in person. I imagine the reliefs, the textures, the format. This intellectual process is a big part of my work. At some point in this work, my body goes into an uncontrollable frenzy that tells me it's time to start creating. So, I start to build by giving substance to my ideas. I give life to my work.
I like to refine and invent these textures, these reliefs, these mixtures of colors. This amounts to making them coexist to achieve aesthetics and harmony. It sometimes happens that this encounter becomes enigmatic and gives life to some unexpected things. It's the magic of painting! Oil is extraordinary for that because it's possible to play with textures, reliefs, colors you can dig, superimpose or mix.
What kind of reception have your paintings gotten in art fairs recently?
The last three years have been incredible. I have received amazing support from the galleries who have exhibited my works all over the world. They brought my art, spoke about it and developed new connections with art collectors. In other words, they made me pass a stage in my career and I feel as if I have consolidated my art.
What’s one thing people might not know about you?
I am an art collector myself and I take so much pleasure to welcome a new piece of art in my house.