Local art inspired by the South of France - LES OLIVIERS
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A life more beautiful

At Les Oliviers, we’re captivated by the wealth of art in the area. And no artwork is more enjoyable than the pieces created right on our doorstep. We caught up with English artist Chris Cook recently to find out what it’s like to be an artist in Antibes. Chris has lived here for 20 years and has a studio in the heart of Antibes. Read on to discover his local inspirations and hidden gems – and even a piece of art fit for a Prince.

Local art inspired by the South of France

apartments for sale in the South of France Les Oliviers

At Les Oliviers, we’re captivated by the wealth of art in the area. And no artwork is more enjoyable than the pieces created right on our doorstep. We caught up with English artist Chris Cook recently to find out what it’s like to be an artist in Antibes. Chris has lived here for 20 years and has a studio in the heart of Antibes. Read on to discover his local inspirations and hidden gems – and even a piece of art fit for a Prince.

At Les Oliviers, we’re captivated by the wealth of art in the area. And no artwork is more enjoyable than the pieces created right on our doorstep. We caught up with English artist Chris Cook recently to find out what it’s like to be an artist in Antibes. Chris has lived here for 20 years and has a studio in the heart of Antibes. Read on to discover his local inspirations and hidden gems – and even a piece of art fit for a Prince.

 

Tell us about your artwork.

I’m an organic artist. That is to say, I’m inspired by nature and I use natural materials in my paintings and sculptures. I gather most of the materials myself. For instance, I’ll collect sand, seaweed and driftwood from the local Côte d’Azur beaches. I make my own charcoal and I’ll use local spices as well as pigments from The Ochre of Roussillon. The colours there are spectacular. When I go climbing or walking, I’ll gather seeds and bark along the way. I love pretty much anything that gets washed up on the beach or can be found in a forest. Certainly, most of my work is from recycled materials, which means no waste and no harm done to the planet.

 

How do you work?

Whether I’m creating my own collections or working with individuals on a project, no two days are the same. I work with a variety of international people in the South of France. Interior designers, yacht captains, villa owners and hotel managers. I have my artistic style, but I always like to find out what someone likes and adjust my work accordingly. Several times a year I exhibit my own collections at art salons all over France. I also display work in my gallery in Antibes (10 Avenue Tournelli). I’ve been working fulltime as an artist for 15 years, but I’ve been artistic since I was a kid. This is a calling and a passion – it doesn’t feel like a job to me!

Why did you settle in Antibes?

I know it probably gets said a lot, but there really is no place like the French Riviera. You’re nestled between the mountains and the sea, and there is no other way to describe it but awe-inspiring. I was initially drawn here because of the sea. To clarify, I was a sailor, so I discovered Antibes thanks to the biggest yachting pleasure port in Europe, Port Vauban. After that, I never left. In many ways I think Antibes chose me. It’s such a great place to live in; when you go away, you’re always happy to come back.

 

How does the local Riviera impact on your work?

There is an abundance of inspiration and nature in this region, so for artists it’s just heaven. In particular, painters are attracted by the unique light down here – and have been for centuries. Most importantly, the Azur bleu before nightfall and the golden light in the morning. There is magic in the air when the Côte d’Azur light hits the landscape, revealing colours you’ve never seen before. If you’re artistic and sensitive, you feel this magic and want to be part of it. Even more so; you’re inspired and moved to create something new.

 

And of course, the area is steeped in artistic history, so I’m frequently motivated by the local masters. Pierre Bonnard in Le Cannet, Marc Chagall in Nice, Léger in Biot, Renoir in Cagnes-sur-Mer, Picasso in Antibes. There are so many places you can go to see art, so many museums and cultural events going on. You can’t help but get swept up and submerged! If you’re interested in learning more about how other artists have been inspired by the Côte d’Azur, click here for more information.

 

What local art do you enjoy?

It’s a joy to walk around Antibes and discover hidden art gems for yourself. There are a lot of artists at work here. To get you started, take a look at some of these talented locals:
Patrick Gibelli in Beausoleil – sculptures
Martine Polisset in Biot – ceramics
Julie Dalloz in Nice – wall murals
• Renate Pozzo in Vallauris – ceramic/sculptures
• Lilli Come in Antibes – paintings
Antoine Pierini in Biot – sculptures / paintings

What piece of art are you most proud of?

There is one piece of art I’ll never forget. I created a piece for a charity auction hosted by the Prince of Monaco. The event was to raise money for those affected by the Haitian earthquake. The artwork was called ‘The Man Who Sold The World’ and was a white map of the world with a barcode across it. It’s striking and it completely came from the heart. Subsequently, it was snapped up by the Prince. That was a pretty proud moment – selling the world to the Prince of Monaco to help shelter Haitians.


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