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Painting is silent poetry, and poetry is painting that speaks. Simonides

Erika Meriaux

Erika Meriaux, figurative artist


Erika Meriaux is a self taught french artist who has been living in the bay area for 8 years.
She started painting 19 years ago.
Since then, she has always been passionate about painting, exploring different ways, searching various types of techniques.
In the Bay area she has shown her work in Palo Alto, San Mateo, Burlingame, Carmel , El Cerrito, Redwood City and San Francisco, where her studio is located.

Artist Statement

Portraits and telling stories

Portraits are the main part of my work. My source can be from live models or painted from photographs, but my characters come essentially from my imagination.
They are people who incarnate the most representative archetypes of human conditions; from spirituality to propaganda, from lust to virtue, from loneliness to seduction, they become strong stereotypes and reflect my desire of telling stories. In many paintings I make, composition accentuates the importance of the background, set as if it was a theater stage. It can be ornaments, gold leaf or machine works emphasizing the symbolic aspect of the scene.

During the past years, I have been working on a Tarot series, interpreting the 22 major Arcana (actually, the series is not finished yet, I have still 3 paintings to do to get the Arcana complete). I leave fortune telling to other, what interests me in the Tarot is that it’s a wonderful document , it precisely tells what were the preoccupations of the every day people who used to live in the XVI century. It’s a great compilation of images of popular art. It’s with this motivation I have been inspired to paint it, in a most contemporary way.
In a same state of mind, I am currently working on a series inspired by the most well known paintings of the History of Art... In Mythology as in Religious themes some subjects are recurring, Adam and Eve, Suzanne and the Elders, Diane and Acteon, Leda, Psyche and Cupids etc...
These recurring themes reflect passions of human society about, sex, love, women and men relationship, power, suffering etc... Today, the questions they arouse are still in the center of our cultural, political and social lives.


"My paintings are essentially figurative. My chosen medium is oil on canvas. I also use gold leaf, which reflects light as if it were the light-source itself. Characters may be surrounded by motifs or ornaments which emphasize the symbolic aspects of the scene. I began painting when I was 22, but I have always drawn. Now drawing is for me more like a tool.

In nude or portrait work, my inspiration finds its source in myths, sacred icons and tales… Perhaps we can refer to these as "classic" inspirations, but for me they function exist as archetypes.

I have recently been inspired by the Tarot of Marseille, and encourage you to visit the new page I am creating around this subject."

Erika Meriaux

© Erika Meriaux

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