Claudia Mercadier was born to a French father and a German mother in Maisons-Laffitte near Paris. At 12 years old, when she started to make collages, she cut out images in magazines and later she started making her own photographies for her needs. Also with her slides she uses the photocopier to explore copy-art.
Her art works, is reflecting an autobiographical work. Through different phases of her life, she keeps getting rich, nourished by magical and fantastic initiatory love relationship, also she learned how to transform tragic and difficult moments into treasures.
As self-made-woman, she established herself as professional artist and obtained many graphics orders from different known and luxury brands in Paris. At the same time, she produced a lot of mixed media on canvas and exhibited them in so much places during long years. Her development bring her to different medium like : mixed media on canvas, photography, installation, book, jewellery and video.
But definitely, her specialty stay collage or mixed media on canvas or also digital collage since long years. Otherwise she marks her personality with her range of colour as well as using her own photos or copy-art. By recycling her falls thats she associates with her cuts, her figuratives mixed media or collages on paper tend sometimes towards semi-abstract pictures.
After changes in her private life, she moved in Austria where she live since 13 years.
Some key words that accompanied her along her way : archetype, initiation, pattern, rythme, love, metamorphosis, spiritualité, infinity.
From her childhood Claudia will be noticed by her strong personality, most often refusing to enter into the classics molds imposed by the society. She’ll build herself off the beaten path and choose to live her life to feel it, to discern her personal needs to flourish.
At the same time, the creation will be part of a necessity for her balance, interrupted it in her adolescence by sport, she will take it back to her 18 years with the collages. Recycling image of magazines that she pasted on cardboard at the beginning and that she will later evolve on canvas with acrylic. Her works of art reflect an autobiographical work while being ground of freedom and escape.
Some paintings will be premonitory to the point of making her travel to Martinique, where during a sea bath she made a very strongly communion with the 4 elements earth, air, water, fire, as a rebirth session this instinctive and solitary ritual will confirm her initiatory path begun a few years earlier.
After the dissolution of her family, her collages will allow her to act in such a way as to build, to rebuild, most often using vegetation and architecture to play with shapes and structures. Depending on the periods, there will be a need for stability of protection or, on the contrary, for openness, deliverance, right and audacity. (Ref. O’Keeffe)
Very early she made her own photos to produce her work material, obtaining sponsorship from Canon, she explores unique reproduction with the copy-art. With her research on the alchemy transmutation of the colors of her slides using the Canon CLC 500 Photocopier, she will begin to show her interest for the other side of the mirror. (ref. : ManRay - Jean Cocteau)
Then she will begin the daily practice of meditative Tchi-kung which will guide her on a theme of ritual, from the conduct of ceremonial with painting in the manner of still live. Several years in row she’ll exhibit her mix-media on canvas in living places such as Tea room, Show Room, Restaurants. As if to crystallize a period, she will be published at Larousse for her book „Cartes Techniques et création“ in which she shares her know-how concerning small-format collages.
Having shared a fusional relationship for 20 years with her companion and accomplice Richard Bennett, reaching a cancer she will accompany him very closely until his passage to the afterlife. This loss will be compensated by a spiritual enrichment that will allow her to feel their eternal bond but to face this changeover, she decides to leave Paris and search for other places, other spaces of different inspiration. She’ll settle in Austria in Tirol where she’ll then be guided in the climbing by Domink with whom the relationship other than the previous one will nevertheless be an extension, after 3 years of life he will perish in an avalanche.
Henceforth her work developed on the side of autobiographical mythology of which she became the heroine. For the “Espace Vertical“ exhibition, minimalist collages on canvases, jewelry and videos were born. (Ref. : Anselm Kiefer, Christian Boltanski)
The same year she realized a second exhibition with the title „Metamorphose“ to witness to six phases : love, separation, path, emptiness, communication as well as trace with various media such as photo montages, installations and jewelry. (Ref.: William Blake, Jean Cocteau, Karl Jung)
She does not regret having lived those two wonderful relationships but not having managed her sensitivity her body will be deeply hurt. She’ll seek the exact source of her ailments by realizing a long psychoanalyze from which she now reaps extraordinary fruits. Thus is work evolved in the continuity of the two preceding ones, interpreting the role of the heroine.
Fort he occasion she’ll improvise lapidary jeweler, to cut her protuberances like semi-precious stones came out of her flesh. This will emanate their benefits and shine from all their brilliance will be mounted in jewelry or adornments then sewn and incised on a tissue look like the skin. She will also be looking for the unconscious with Body-art as a medium, the body becomes her new space for expression herself.
Claudia Mercadier was born to a French father and a German mother in Maisons-Laffitte near Paris. This double culture brings undeniable enrichment to her life, yet at the same time, it generates permanent tension. Family members met each other only at meal times. For this reason, perfect etiquette and fine dining become a significant part of her upbringing.
At the age of six, she begins to draw, sculpt, and make her own toys to escape reality. At 11, she joins a swimming club. Most of her teenage years are dedicated to swimming competition which teaches her discipline and perseverance.
Her parents split up in 1981. The circumstances are such that Claudia cannot consider pursuing higher education. At the age of 18, she has to leave home and be self-sufficient. She decides to get a job and to settle down in Paris. When she is not working, she feels a growing desire to create as she did in her childhood.
She gives up drawing and teaches herself collage which becomes her main medium. She finds her material in books and magazines. Being constantly in search of images, she develops a strong visual intuition. Her harvests are selected, classified and then cut, cut again and finally stuck on cardboard to interpret surrealistic and dreamlike landscapes.
Ref. : Salvador Dali, Le Douanier Rousseau, Jean-Paul Goude, Guy Bourdin.
Claudia then meets Richard Bennett, who had evolved in the world of music and photography for more than 20 years. They share a taste for "soul music"; she introduces him to African music and Prince, and he introduces her to jazz and Miles Davis. Both of them are on a metaphysical quest. They feed on philosophic exchanges and enrich each other’s lives for 19 years. They support one another through the process of creation: she encourages him in his writing on the sacred geometry and the life of Pythagoras, and he encourages her to go into photography and copy-art.
Ref. : Krisna Murti, Robert Linssen Teilhard de Chardin, Matila Ghyka, Edouard Schuré.
In 1987, they decide to leave Paris for the South of France. Nice and Saint Tropez become their home ports. Claudia exhibits her collages for the first time in Nice. The Gallery "Couleur Papier" gives her the opportunity to show her work. Later, she gets back to her German roots when she goes to the Frankfurt Fair with graphics and patterns for the stationery market. But she gets tired of complying with the narrow, restrictive specifications of the retail publishing. Subsequently, Claudia decides to start her own lines of "Cartes d'Art". She loves papers, collects all kinds of them - hand-made or recycled, matt or shiny - and arrange them with images or with her own photos of vegetation or architecture.
Snecma, Hispano Suizza, White & Case, Simmons &Simmons.
Her small size creations are noticed and in demand. They are distributed in about forty luxury galleries with stationery in France.
In 1993, she goes back to Paris and finds new places to exhibit and distribute her art cards, as in the shop of the Musée de la Poste. She creates new projects of graphics in close collaboration with the publisher Magma Carta for custom orders.
The scope of Claudia‘s possibilities expands more and more, allowing her to meet the demands of events agencies and international law firms as well as well-known restaurants and other companies.
Market Place, l'agence Nicom et Associés, le restaurant le Chêne vert.
In 1996, she is sponsored by Canon to explore unique reproduction in „copy-art“. Her research focuses on the „alchemical transmutation of colors“ based on her own slides utilising the Canon CLC 500 copy machine. These innovations result in several new art shows.
Ref. : Andy Warhol, Man Ray.
In 1997, she switches to graphic design to exhibit silk scarfs in the prestigious catalogue "Le Monde d’Hermès" for the year of "Africa".
In 1998, her „copy-art“ works illustrate a report on perfumes issued in the catalogue "Le Monde d’Hermès" for the year of "The Tree".
All along the years, Claudia exhibits her works and goes on working as a plastic artist. Her small scale collages become big size ones. By now, she pastes on canvas using a very personal technique which combines acrylic, pigments, scan, copy-art, mortar. With her collages, she breaks the established codes of still life to explore a contemporary way of "staging".
Ref. : Willem Kalf, Jean-Batiste Siméon Chardin, Pieter Claesz
As she meets new people and develops new projects, doors open for new places of exhibition in living spaces or public areas (in Paris, NewYork) : trade fair, showrooms, exhibition lounges, restaurants, tea rooms.
Canon Center, la Galerie du Salon du Chocolat.
Her continuing development widens her field of action which gets 3-dimensional : she designs fair booths (Salon Maison & Objets), window displays, including signage, window stickers and POS advertising for Lafayette Gourmet (Galeries Lafayette).
In 2005, Dessain et Tolra (Larousse) publish the book "Cartes" Technique et Creations written by Claudia to give some insight into her art and transmit her know-how.
When her life partner Richard dies that same year, she seeks for inspiration in new places. She discovers the mountains and the perception of space by the body as much as by sight.
Beginning at that time, she learns rock-climbing, guided by Dominik who becomes her companion in 2009. After Domink dies in an avalanche in 2012, Claudia is left again with a need to express her discoveries of new spaces. For this purpose she attends a course of contempory jewelry with Lin Cheung at the Salzburg Summer Academy.
Twice she has lost a beloved partner. To cope with this test and with death, she starts to work on herself and expresses a need for rituals as an attempt to remove the myths around afterlife and to understand the link which remains, through which she receives what she calls her legacies.
As a result, Claudia creates collages on canvas, jewels and videos which are gathered in 2014 for the exhibition „ Vertical Space“. By means of these three mediums, life is depicted as initiatory trip, punctuated by stages and tests to promote growth and overcoming.
Rock climbing and its ascent becomes a metaphor. The guidance she got from the one who is now missing is transformed into a direct and plastic experiment, and becomes a ritual. The vertical space refers to the present void, to the grieving process and to the dialogue with the unknown spaces of afterlife.
Ref. : Anselm Kiefer, Christian Boltanski, Paul Klee, Antoni Tàpiès
That same year, she carries out a second exhibition in line with autobiographical mythology. It reflects what Dominik was and the relationship they had. The personality of the show is reminiscent of that of a legendary hero, youthful, vigourous, at ease in the forefront.
Her installation is called „Metamorphosis“. It is made of six phases in a more direct relationship to the body, to express feelings and emotions.
Ref. : William Blake, Jean Cocteau, Karl Jung, Gaston Bachelard.
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