Eponine Saint Hillier is a relentlessly innovative artist whose work stretches the boundaries of painting. Saint Hillier depicts the traditional human body, but with a clash of painting practices – splashes appear over carefully-wrought surfaces, with realistic forms sharing the same space as abstract – or with atypical media. Even her technically straightforward oil paintings are arresting for their subjects’ direct gaze and surreal, beautiful use of color. Saint Hillier’s latest series is a combination of old and new techniques she calls “living painting.” She applies paint directly to a model’s body in swirling, charged colors that heighten and embroider the planes of the human shape. Then those models are photographed against a painted background to create a trompe-l’oeil effect that plays with depth, form, and above all, reality. The images combine the artifice of aggressive, visible brushstrokes with photographic concreteness – a true mix of media.
Eponine Saint Hillier was born in France, where she lives today. She has also lived in Polynesia and exhibits her work extensively in France, Belgium, Portugal and the United States.