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Age :
52 y.o.
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750 € to 5 200 €
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The idea of clouds dawned on me at a time when I was yearning for freedom, wanting to open wide all windows…a sort of call of the wild. It allowed me to go more into substance when toying with lights and shadows and what I like to bring forth by virtue of my paintings : endless interpretations that enable one’s imagination and emotions to roam free.


Introducing Yuki

Many a time, we only see just a portion of an artist’s works and creations. Some artists feel the need, the desire to try their hand at other styles, subjects and techniques we are often unaware of as they keep the fruit of their “infidelities” hidden in their atelier.

Most often unexposed, this exploratory work, this breaking the handhold of an artist’s traditional work helps nourish the artist’s creativity. These sidesteps generate and account for the evolution of an artist’s primal creative fiber of works you do see.

Yet sometimes, as in Yuki’s case, completely new, coherent and wholesome works see the light of day in an established artist’s atelier; artworks the artist cultivates as “stand alone” pieces, with their unique style and identity.

Works by Yuki whose main theme are cumulus, bordering abstraction and realism, are in fact signed by the hand of Virginie Mezan de Malartic…

You are accustomed to Virginie Mezan de Malartic’s paintings of indoor scenes or urban exteriors, stories inspired by the contrasting light and shadow ambiance whose tales are to be narrated by your heart, your emotions and life experiences.

You can appreciate each ones narrative strength, letting your imagination have the freedom to do as it will. An evolving style and an identity Virginie has developed and refined over the past 20 years.

A little over 2 years ago, Virginie set a canvas on her easel, determined to foster a new field of freedom, of nature, and with the challenge of being able to paint clouds, from the depths of her soul. This called upon her acquired techniques but entailed laying down her paint knife in order to rediscover her paintbrush.

When asked “why?”, Virginie explains that it was for various reasons… “Above anything else, I needed freedom, I yearned for nature. I needed to break free from the 20 years spent painting interiors and urban scenes, from this style I’ve been enhancing since the beginning of my career as an artist. And a hungering for nature after having lived so many years in Paris, where on must look very high a glimpse of the sky. I felt locked up, in both my style and in the city.” Caught in the crossfire of her frustrations and her desires that were dwelling in her, two factors triggered her awareness and need for change : her uprooting from Paris to the countryside of the Basque region, in addition to being told by an umpteenth person that there was more to her paintings, something “latent”, and asked time and time again “why don’t you step out of interiors and of the city to paint nature?” It was in the privacy of her atelier, sheltered from prying eyes except those of her husband and children, that Virginie Mezan de Malartic created her first “Yuki”, even if back then she hadn’t chosen a name yet nor was she conscious that from this first painting would stem a new artistic realm and signature.


So why clouds ? « This theme clearly imposed itself on me, because it represents freedom, a source of inspiration for the imagination, and it offers infinite possibilities in terms of shapes, colors, and the interplay of light, shadows and emotions. But, also because clouds are quite representative of Renaissance paintings and because of my unconditional love for Vermeer, both are very important to me. Because it incorporates everything I love about nature, in addition to being technically challenging !” Both technically and personally challenging, for clouds require a certain gestural dexterity and letting go emotionally to succumb to the flow of the strokes. Virginie’s intention is not to simply paint clouds; she wishes to capture the strength yet gentleness clouds have to offer, via beauty, freedom and the imaginary.


“Since then I contemplate the sky all the time; I take pictures of clouds all the time, in order to feel and analyze the play of their texture, transparency and light, all of which help enrich how I paint. Improving technically what I wish and intend to reproduce, and refining emotionally in regards to the feelings they trigger.”


Nonetheless, even if she finds inspiration at times in one of her photographs, she creates most of her artworks without any visual aid, guided only by her gestures and emotions kindled by the reminiscence of skies, or the heavens, if you will, in the universal and undivided sense of the celestial sphere. It is that aspiration that makes Virginie’s clouds so unique, compared to how they’ve been portrayed by other artists. The true subject matter is not the clouds in themselves but rather how they affect us emotionally which is what Virginie looks to sublimate and share with us on canvas.

There remains one last question : why sign these paintings with a different name ? and why the name Yuki ? Virginie’s first reaction to these questions is to remind us, jokingly, that she is a Gemini and fully owns up, playfully, to what could be considered a form of artistic schizophrenia.

On a more serious note, she goes on to explain the genesis of clouds…her yearning for freedom. Freedom in regards to Virginie Mezan de Malartic’s artistic identity in the art market and amongst collectors, but also a creative, hence mental and emotional freedom. “In order for this creativity to arise, I have to disconnect myself from my surroundings and from my gestural habitsThis is an extremely introspective work. I can and “know” how to paint in the style of Virginie Mezan de Malartic, everyday. But to create these clouds, I really need to feel differently.” This is why Virginie felt the need to take on the pseudonym of Yuki. It is a Japanese female name which means “snow”. “I’ve always been attracted to Japanese culture and its semantics, for each word is also a symbol that can be interpreted differently depending on how it is used. Infinite evocations stem from just one word, in the image of clouds. And I liked the image of snow because snow makes everything look beautiful, altering and creating new landscapes once it’s fallen. And snow has that original purity that tugs at my heart, that childlike wonderment it triggers in us all. It is an element, a name that is full of interesting beliefs.”


When Virginie introduced Yuki to me, I had to have Yuki join the Art Traffik selection, without any hesitation whatsoever. Now that that’s accomplished, I leave you to discover her creations yourselves, and hope you’ll enjoy the many variations in colors, shapes and textures, and the many emotions that will ensue. Her paintings will make you linger,  ambling about with your “cloud” and senses. And this is just the beginning…Virginie, or rather Yuki, plans on taking things even further…the sky’s the limit ! To use her words whose sentiments I fully share “There are artworks that contribute to an artist’s betterment, while others will help the artist reach a new milestone”. Yuki is undoubtedly a new milestone for Virginie, in her paintings in general, for even her works signed VMDM have progressed towards more intensity and strength.



Zao Wou Ki Hokusai Mark Rothko