In Episode 18 of The Great Women Artists Podcast, Katy Hessel interviews the world-renowned Irish artist, GENIEVE FIGGIS!! And WOW was it amazing to interview Genieve, whose vibrant, loosely rendered, liquid-like works that reimagine classical scenes I have been SUCH a fan of since her inaugural London exhibition at Almine Rech back in 2015!
Working in oil and acrylic and at small- to mid-scale, Genieve Figgis produces paintings rich in color, texture, and humor. Striking the balance between figuration, her marble-style and liquid-like paintings are reminiscent of the 18th century Rococo style.
Born in Dublin and now based in County Wicklow, Figgis was always interested in art, however it wasn’t until she was in her thirties with two small children, that she completed her art education in 2012. Exhibiting across Dublin galleries, it wasn’t until Figgis used Twitter to display her artwork in 2014, which caught the attention of one artist in particular – Richard Prince – who introduced Figgis to the New York art scene.
Often reimagining and re-staging historical works – from Boucher, Fragonard, and Watteau – Figgis is particularly interested in scenes that feature sumptuous domestic interiors and stately country homes.
It was such an honour to get to know and interview Genieve. We chat about everything from her strict Irish Catholic upbringing, what it was like entering a museum for the first time aged 19, going to art school later on in life, her ideas and interests behind her incredible painterly scenes, to her process and being an artist today.
Photo: Portrait of Genieve Figgis by Doreen kilfeather, April 2017