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Meet the artists Jean-Samuel Halifi and Salomé Partouche

Artists and founders of Atelier de Paname

Meet the artists Jean-Samuel Halifi and Salomé Partouche - illustration 1

In 2017, Jean-Samuel Halifi and Salomé Partouche set themselves the challenge to make the art world accessible to all by reaching out, not only to art lovers, but also to young artists who were struggling to make their way into the contemporary art market. Through 'L'Atelier de Paname' and 'La Biennale de Paname', they now embrace an approach that prioritises art being free, accessible and inspiring. Let Artsper introduce you to this young and ambitious couple. Discover our collaboration with 'L'Atelier de Paname', as we work together to reinvent the art world!

Hello Salomé and Jean-Samuel! Both of you are visual artists, but also the founders of 'L'Atelier de Paname' and 'La Biennale de Paname'. What drew you to this project, especially as a duo?

The initial idea for these two projects was to promote young artists and to put forward a new vision of contemporary art, one that would be non-elitist and a lot more open to a world that is typically not of interest to art institutions. With 'La Biennale de Paname' and 'L'Atelier de Paname', we managed to attract young people who were not necessarily interested in contemporary art and involve them in the cultural world. We work together, we live together, we often have different visions of our jobs which adds a particular strength to our project.

'L'Atelier de Paname' seems to be a very cosmopolitan talent incubator, how do you choose the artists who will take part in this adventure with you?

'L'Atelier de Paname' is an artistic label that brings together visual artists… Initially, the idea was to gather different creative energies in one place. By centralising all of these talents with different areas of expertise, we maximise the chances of seeing everyone come out of their comfort zone, learn new techniques and therefore create something new. We have many clients who come to us so we try as much as possible to lead them towards a new artistic approach in how they communicate. Through a piece of set design, a sculpture, an installation, or something else, the centralisation of these talents enables us to respond to their requests from A to Z in any domain.

Meet the artists Jean-Samuel Halifi and Salomé Partouche - illustration 1
Meet the artists Jean-Samuel Halifi and Salomé Partouche - illustration 1

How would you describe, in one sentence each, your artistic world?

Salomé: My world revolves around the strange, the ugly, the dreamlike... with a touch of humour.

Jean-Samuel: I work on our contemporary societies, on the homogenisation of human beings, on propaganda and on the mass effect through childish and playful concepts.

You appear to be very in sync as a couple. Does this relationship influence your work, your inspiration, your ideas? At 'L'Atelier' or in your own respective productions?

Of course we gain a lot from each other but we are also each other's first critics, we try to be as constructive as possible without being blinded by our love and admiration towards each other. Our artistic visions and codes are very different, which enables us to maintain a fresh perspective and push each other further in our reflections and practices. 

It's not everyday that you meet a couple of artists as inspired as you! For example Salomé, Jean-Samuel created a series of giant Playmobil sculptures. How would you explain the thought process behind this project?

Salomé: It all began with a drawing that Jean-Samuel showed me at school. Initially, he was focused on working with paint, engraving, and drawing (2D only). At the time, I was doing quite a bit of silicone sculpture, resin, etc. By showing me his drawing and discussing it, he managed to visualise a new form in which to project his message; therefore, he transitioned from 2D to 3D. It is by working in 3D that he managed to bring to life his army and offer the public a physical immersion into the piece. Each statue is 1.83 metres tall and there are 43 of them.

Meet the artists Jean-Samuel Halifi and Salomé Partouche - illustration 1
Meet the artists Jean-Samuel Halifi and Salomé Partouche - illustration 1

Your turn, Jean-Samuel! Could you explain Salomé's slot machine to us?

Jean-Samuel: At the beginning of her career, Salomé needed to introduce herself to the public in a tangible way. Therefore, she created a bridge between her family heritage and the artist she was in the process of becoming. Through her series called SELF PORTRAIT, she managed to introduce herself in a smart and humorous way, by transforming an iconic object into an artwork.

Which artists, contemporary or not, inspire you the most?

Jean-Samuel: Jan Hakon Erichsen, a very eccentric Instagram performer who explores the limits of the human body. Maurizio Cattelan, with whom I maintain an epistolary relationship on Instagram. Joseph Beuys, Gerhard Richter, as well as Jeff Koons are pillars of my creative vision.

Salomé: Cindy Sherman, Kenneth Anger and Paul McCarthy, Willem de Kooning and Jenny Saville are important references for me.

Can you tell us about the next edition of 'La Biennale de Paname'?

We are just recovering from our previous edition which took place in the old 'Maison Rouge'. We brought together 25 artists and 15,000 visitors over 5 days. The next edition of 'La Biennale de Paname' will take place in October 2021. We are aiming bigger, higher, stronger.

And finally, what do you think the future holds for 'L'Atelier' and 'La Biennale'?

We want to develop 'La Biennale de Paname' internationally: in Tokyo, New York, Rio… And for 'L'Atelier de Paname', we would like to keep gathering even more talents and helping young creators to develop their ambition and creativity.

Their favourite artworks

Salomé Partouche, Les Demoiselles d'Avignon, Painting

Salomé Partouche

Les Demoiselles d'Avignon, 2018
98.4 x 78.7 x 2 inch

$ 6,150

Jean-Samuel Halifi, Homogénéisation, Photography

Jean-Samuel Halifi

Homogénéisation, 2020
31.5 x 31.5 x 1.2 inch

$ 861

Jean-Samuel Halifi, Homogénéisation, Print

Jean-Samuel Halifi

Homogénéisation, 2017
19.7 x 19.7 x 0.8 inch

$ 615

Jean-Samuel Halifi, Autoportrait, Print

Jean-Samuel Halifi

Autoportrait, 2020
19.7 x 19.7 x 0 inch

$ 615

Salomé Partouche, Bleue, Painting

Salomé Partouche

Bleue, 2019
78.7 x 63 x 2 inch

$ 2,460

Salomé Partouche, Arbres qui fouettent, Sculpture

Salomé Partouche

Arbres qui fouettent, 2019
7.5 x 3.1 x 0.4 inch

$ 369