Le sourire aux yeux

Celia Rakotondrainy

2019 (reworked 2020), 50 x 40cm, Oil on canvas

Original piece of art

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Artwork description

The artist's Malagasy origins are the|central theme of her work, a starting point to delve into the construction of cultural identity as a result of a series of collective and not individual experiences. Through her trips to Madagascar to her parents' home, the artist completely identifies with the environment and the problems of her fellow citizens. The search for answer to identity is joined by the desire to show a Madagascar full of colors, rich in natural resources and also in poverty. Away from the stereotypes of a dangerous country characterized in the French press, Celia shows the humanity of its people in everyday scenes.The impact of globalization makes established dogmas questioned, as well as old beliefs and traditions.

"Le sourire aux yeux" presents a clear contrast with the previous one, where a young woman smiles. The angle of this uncommon portrait is surprising where it is the smile that is drawn in the gaze that is guessed in the part that has not been portrayed. It is the hope of the liberation of the future of women in Madagascar with modern times and new customs. Again, as a parallel and signature of the artist, we observe the enhancement of the portrayed figure in contrast to a flat background in color and lacking in motif. Celia thus gives us to understand that the theme is not the main thing in her work, but the emotion on the faces of her fellow citizens, in the warmth of the moment of the portrait.

Celia Rakotondrainy

Celia is a self-taught international artist with Malagasy origins. She studied Art History in Oxford and Business Management in Paris and Germany. It was at the end of her MSc studies that she decided to devote myself full-time to painting. She is currently developing her career been Berlin, Paris and Nosy Be. The cultural diversity that is ubiquitous in the artist’s education has developed her desire to discover, question and understand the principle of identity and social belonging. 

Exhibition history:

Solo Exhibitions

2020 Fenêtre entre deux monde, (canceled due to COVID-19) Nosy Be, Madagascar

2020 Déconstruis moi, (postponed due to COVID-19) Paris, France

2020 Your face, Your story, (October) Gaswerk Siedlung, Berlin, Germany

Selected group exhibition 

2019 Exposition Collective, Le 153, Paris, France

2019 Night Garden, Young Space, co-curated by Kate Mothes and Angeliki Jonsson, Online Exhibition

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