“See a red stain in the shape of an armchair, and not a red armchair.”
––Isabelle De Joantho
French-born artist Isabelle De Joantho works in figurative multi-media collage, using gesso, acrylic, markers, and found objects. Her playful signature imagery of people, bicycles, and haute couture dresses emphasizes freedom of gesture over technique. The artist cleverly etches words and diagrams into the background of her paintings to tell a story within a story. Residing in the French countryside, De Joantho connects with her materials authentically, filling her works with narratives and time-stamped recycled objects (wire, old hangers, scraps of paper). What may look imperfect–– a childlike drawing, a splotch of paint–– is an essential detail in her artistic story.
De Joantho is a naturally expressive person, always drawn to painting and sculpture. She attended ten years of classes at the Bayonne-Anglet-Biarritz School of Arts where she fondly recalls one of her teachers telling her to "dirty" the canvas. This instruction stuck with her - she came to embrace the idea that creation and true authenticity can be messy. De Joantho seeks the emotional shadow of the thing rather than the thing itself––combining the figurative and abstract to tell a curious, whimsical story. De Joantho’s prize-winning works are regularly exhibited in France.