An artist and painter with an unusual career, Jérôme Arbonville was born in France in 1969 at Charleville-Mézières in the Ardennes. Amongst his sources of inspiration are painters such as Gustave Courbet, Francis Bacon, Brueghel and Max Ernst.
A decisive exhibition
After studying business, followed by a short career as a consultant, Jérôme Arbonville realised that his destiny lay elsewhere. He was a bass player in several rock bands but his solitary temperament also distanced him from any musical career and it was eventually thanks to a retrospective of Francis Bacon’s work at the Pompidou Centre in 1996, which impressed him deeply, that he realised he wanted to become an artist. He has painted every day since then and exhibited his first works in 2001.
From the forest to crowds
It was in 2010 at the Elan Art Fair in Montpellier that Jérôme Arbonville’s work took a significant change of direction. Until that time, he had been using the forests as his main theme but there was a small canvas showing a crowd on the beach which caught the public’s attention. Encouraged by already established artists such as Régis Mucheron to explore this style of composition and René Girard’s book « Violence and the Sacred» which he read that year, his life changed and he discovered the path of his artistic journey around the theme of crowds.
A satirical work
Repetition is at the heart of Jérôme Arbonville’s work which seems to impose no limit except with regard to the space available on canvas. This obstinate repetition of both gesture and motif brings within it a powerful message and aims to demonstrate how humanity has been transformed into an anonymous multitude. The artist captures this anonymity in which we are immersed by the immensity of our cities, where we search desperately to express our individuality, whilst imitating one another. Despite his provocative nature, his strong message is well received by a public that is both national and international and has earned him numerous exhibitions, notably in the 2017 edition of Paris Artists.