Laure Cuvillier is a multi-disciplinary artist expanding two bodies of current work. Her abstract series tells time/space-transcending stories through shapes and symbols. Her other body of work explores feeling-based idioms of the social media and street vernacular, and the freedom they allow to express oneself openly.
Originally from Paris, Cuvillier has been drawing and painting since she was a young child with an active imagination. At 14, her mother enrolled her in a still-life drawing class at the “Carousel du Louvre” where the world-famous museum held art classes for adolescents, where she honed her drawing skills for two years. By the time she was 15 she knew her path, and decided to follow her passion to the US, moving to New York when she was 19, with a drive and desire to become a successful artist.
She began figurative drawing and painting classes at the Arts Students League of New York for a couple of years, and started her BFA studies at Hunter College on the Upper East side of Manhattan, but soon decided that the East Coast was not where she needed to be. Moving to California changed her perspective, and she enrolled in the printmaking BFA program at California College of Arts and Crafts in San Francisco/Oakland, graduating with a BFA in printmaking and a minor in painting. Following graduation, she became bored with San Francisco, and upon hearing that Los Angeles LA hires more artists than any city in the US, she made her way to the city of Angels, and has never looked back.
Although Cuvillier is adept at illustration, etching, lithography, silkscreen, woodcutting, figure drawing, painting, ceramics, and mixed media, her current focus is on painting, specifically, a series of graphic bears expressing various emotions. Her signature pop characters appear like emojis with bear ears, accompanied by with a meme that expresses how the bear feels. Some of the paintings just have the words that address the emotion, with a freedom of expression that was not considered “polite or proper” in France. The mixed media works are created in acrylic accented by paint markets and loose glitter, giving them a whimsical pop art appeal.
“My bears convey a message. I grew up in Paris and as a French kid, I was brought up to see life through a Cartesian lens and to think rationally. The French are very big on analytical thinking, often at the detriment of emotions. As a child, I was often reprimanded or punished for being angry, sad, or even overly excited….it was all considered improper, impolite behavior.”
“Moving to the States in my late teens, I felt like a heavy weight had been lifted. I felt very free here, free to express my out-of-the-box artistic self, and also free to feel and express my emotions. Later on, the social media emojis quickly became ubiquitous, and expressing emotion on social media has become a prevailing norm. The bears celebrate how I feel and emote as a person; they also represent the collective feelings of humanity.”