French artist Alexis Ralaivao began creating a series of artworks in 2020 during the Covid-19 pandemic and the Black Lives Matter protests. A prisoner of the quarantine, he began to paint ‘snapshots’ of his girlfriend with whom he was confined. The results are a series of personal Alexis Ralaivao paintings that peek at intimacy.
Alexis Ralaivao Paintings
Born in Rennes, France, Alexis is the son of a Madagascan father and a French mother whose mixed ethnicity is central to his practice as a painter. The 30 year old self-taught artist focuses exclusively on representations of African, mixed-race, and other nonwhite residents of France in his oil paintings.
Although he also paints faces and full portraits, it’s Alex Ralaivao’s paintings of close-up depictions of the human body which caught our eye on Instagram.
In France, during the quarantine, Ralaivao was confined to a small apartment with his girlfriend. Left to be inspired by that which was around him, he began to capture intimate moments with her in paint, like a visual diary of his life under quarantine.
Imbued with subtle sexuality, Alexis Ralaivao’s paintings are rendered so softly in oils they almost appear diffused. Ralaivao uses a muted palette to depict the glimpse of a navel, the curve of a buttock, or beckoning decolletage. Spare pieces of adornment, such as a necklace or an earring embellish the flesh and hint at the woman behind them.
Ralaivao recently had his first US solo show at New York’s ATM gallery. You can follow him on Instagram @oavialar
all images courtesy of Alexis Ralaivao