Some might not consider it high art, but for those who are into contemporary and urban artworks, Singapore-based French artist Agathe De Bailliencourt’s frantic and fantastic scribbling and acrylic on canvas works are top notch. The Ecole des Beaux Arts de Cergy Pontoise (one of France’s most prestigious art schools) graduate, who has been based here for the past two years, is holding her first solo art exhibition J’aime-J’aime Pas at Taksu Gallery through Mar 18. Her massive 156 x 126.5 cm works are mostly priced above $4,000, but serious art investors should find these a steal.
After all, some of De Bailliencourt’s best pieces are also exhibited at the established Galerie Catherine et Andre Hug—Jacob1 in Paris, and her works are collected by many private collectors and museums worldwide. The artist has also collaborated with cult fashion label Comme des Garçons on a few projects, including a wall mural for its guerilla store here in 2004, and some drawings for the upcoming Singapore Biennale poster design.
“My works are about repetition, and it’s a technique that I’ve been using for nearly a decade,” says the affable artist. “I’m quite an extreme and spontaneous person … I repeat because I feel the need to repeat, and it’s a theme that is constantly running through my head. It is how I express myself.” Growing up listening to underground rock bands such as Sonic Youth, De Bailliencourt started this heady style when she first incorporated the words “I Take the Expressway to Your Skull,” a line taken from Sonic Youth’s 1986 rock number “Madonna, Sean and Me” from the album Evol, over and over again in her first few art pieces.
And she hasn’t looked back since. Today, with the same style intact, her later works from 2004 onwards incorporate energetic smatterings of the phrase “J’aime-J’aime Pas” (“I Love, I Don’t Love”). While old school art aficionados may find De Bailliencourt’s works unsophisticated, younger art lovers are more appreciative of the artist’s colorful and erratic scribblings and paintings, done in mostly acrylic and pencil, and reminiscent of the late and brilliant American artist Jean Michel Basquiat’s works. “Basquiat’s works have had a huge influence on me,” admits De Bailliencourt. “I love everything he does, as they are so strong. There’s a sense of strength and sincerity to them, and that’s very important to me because art is all about that. When I do my works, I want to be free, and to just let go. As long as there’s sincerity in one’s works … that is art.”