French artist Eric Roux-Fontaine‘s whimsical paintings explore the enchanted worlds we tend to encounter only in our dreams. His images are layered with delicate, detailed brushwork and an abundant use of color to create scenes where figures move freely across moonscapes, structures are overtaken by lush wildlife, and tightrope walkers tower above forest grounds. The artist mixes realistic and surreal elements to forge a deep connection between our everyday world and that which is created from our fantasies.
Roux-Fontaine is greatly inspired by his travels through Central America, India and Eastern Europe, where he sketches the flora and fauna that will later fill his canvas. From his Lyon studio, he uses pigments, acrylic and marble powder to create his final piece – incorporating imagery from music, cinema, and literature that remind him of the places he has visited. “The role of the artist is to primarily position himself as a receptor, to be attentive, so as to discern hidden intimacies and secrets,” the artist says. “My work is not simply to transcribe these places, but to reveal what links us to them.”
Roux-Fontaine is from the Savoy region of France and received his art education at the Fine Art School of Saint-Étienne. His work has been exhibited throughout Europe, including the Musée des Beaux-art in Chambéry and Musée Paul Dini in Villefranche-sur-Saône, where his works were acquired as part of their permanent collections.
In 2015, Roux-Fontaine held his Jardins secrets solo exhibition at the Galerie Axelle in New York. In an interview with the gallery, the artist discussed the theme behind his work: “Originally the garden was an enclosed space, just as the artist workshop is, where man tried to force nature to fit the human scale… Today, the scale is reversed; the world has become a garden itself, which can’t be enclosed by a wall (thankfully!). The man who once attempted to shape nature to his will for centuries, taming the plants by putting them in a cage, imposing his rhythm and moods, realizes that trees communicate, forests are moving, and some plants grow tired of their surroundings and disappear here only to reappear thousands of mile away…”