Behind the Portraits of Agnes Robin

Born in the suburbs of Paris and now living in Quebec, the portraitist Agnes Robin shares what inspires her as a painter. From family to feminism and a universal feeling of love, Robin’s vibrant artworks reflect what matters to her most.

Artogone: Tell us about your process, from your research to the completion of an artwork.

Agnes Robin: I like to have fun with Photoshop to create my montages. Once I’m satisfied, I start by creating the background for the piece on a wooden panel. I then add in the portrait, as well as the elements which accompany it. These can include decorative details such as hearts, flowers, patterns and collages or an animal, as needed. I allow myself to have a lot of creative freedom. My draft is there solely to help me stay focused, because I tend to drift in many different directions. Too much imagination!

Your works mesh together portraits of women, animals, text and collages, thus creating a dialogue between these elements. What is the inspiration behind this approach?

I have always been very sensitive to the fate of animals, which is why I became a vegetarian. My portraits with animals allow me to underline the interdependence of all living beings. I also like to place my portraits in a pop art environment, in order to play with color and to allow me to integrate messages in a playful way.

You’ve had the chance to travel to many countries around the world. Can you share with us an experience that has particularly inspired you as an artist?

I grew up in Paris, which is the city that inspires me the most and with which I have a strong emotional connection. It is the city I have visited the most often and it still fascinates me just as much! Fashion, beautiful women and feminism are all subjects that are deeply connected to it.

Ensemble by Agnes Robin
Frida, Tu Mérites Un Amour by Agnes Robin

Your works sometimes contain an environmentalist or political message, but are nonetheless filled with joy and lightness. What are the causes that are close to your heart and how do they influence your artistic practice? 

The causes that motivate me, that are dear to my heart and that are recurrent in my paintings are feminism, the protection and respect of animals, world peace and Love in a universal way. Therefore, I will very often choose to represent strong but emotional women, domesticated animals or those in danger of extinction. The messages that I want to pass on in my paintings, are all messages that I want to tell myself first. For example, ”Think out of the box”, ”Love me”, or ”Et voguent mes souvenirs…”, etc.

You were drawn to art from a very early age. Can you tell us about your relationship to art and its impact on your life?

At a very young age, I was fascinated by the portraits of nurses my father had made during his long stay at the hospital, following an injury in the Algerian war. I always kept these portraits in mind, and subconciously, they led me to my favorite subject: portraits!

Art has since become my oxygen, my way of meditating and living. I can’t imagine myself without the possibility of creating.

Discover the artworks currently available in the artist’s studio:

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