Born in 1990 from a French-Vietnamese father and a Catalan mother, she is raised by the latter in a suburb of Paris.

In 2010, she joins the Beaux-Arts of Biarritz and develops intensively painting.
In 2015, after graduation, she moves to São Paolo, Brazil, where she studies Philosophy at the PUC university and assists several artists.
After three residencies, at les Ateliers Wonder, Dune Pondicherry and la Villa Belleville, in the end of 2017, she creates and self-publishes with Vincent Chéry Le livre O, a graphic novel that evokes parallel universes and worlds existing on top of each other.
From 2018 to 2020, she lives in Carrara, Italy where she is deeply focused on the practise of oil painting.

She has regularly exhibited her work in Paris and several cities in France, in São Paulo, Brussels, Antwerp, Miami and Carrara. Le livre O was distributed, among others, by le Centre Pompidou and le Palais de Tokyo.

Currently works in Berlin

Hidden place

We go to the hidden place

That we go to the hidden place

We go to the hidden place
We go to a hidden place

Björk – Hidden Place (2001)

Text by Julie Crenn

Chloë Saï Breil-Dupont paints portraits.
On the canvas, she represents in oil her friends, the people she lives with now or in the past. Each work is the result of a personal relationship, of conversations over time. “We do not exist in the same way with another person, and then with another, or yet another.” * These plural relationships are part of what she is. They nourish her ideas about systems of representation, about art and the social structures (real or utopian) within which they would like to exist.

The artist, who has lived in France, in Brazil, in Italy and in Germany, appropriates the codes and techniques of an art history that is at once classical and open. She revisits Flemish art or Renaissance painters and creates temporal shifts between what has been and what is. Her technical and visual exploration can be seen as a counterpoint to the visual flux that we have been accustomed to for some time now. Chloë Saï Breil-Dupont takes the time to paint her friends bodies. The oils and the glaze enable her to “put the preciousness back” in their skin, and “sacredness” in their faces and gaze. Indeed, in her most recent works, the artist replays the gaze of the Mona Lisa – the gaze of painting pursuing our own.

“She or he who looks exists as much as she or he who is painted or paints”

Their hands hold against their chests littles blocks of images that the artist calls cassettes. These are freeze frames of films, of painting, of events. Between ex-votos and Instagram images, they constitute a memory that is partly offered for sharing. The gesture is equivocal. It holds back a form of intimacy as much as it reveals parts of it. This same gesture, of holding one’s hands against oneself, manifests a modesty, a desire to say something about oneself, about the other. The cassettes exteriors what is deep within us – ghosts, invisible things, things that are difficult to say, and perhaps easier to represent. They could do without our commentaries. They make visible all the things that appearance dissimulates. And so the portraits belong in a history as ancestral as it is of the moment – the black paste – and in which the artist searches through memory-bodies with the utmost delicacy.

*Quotations are from a phone conversation with the artist that took place on 12 March 2021.

A PhD in Art history, Julie Crenn is an art critic (AICA) and an independent curator. Since 2018, she has been associated with the programming of Transpalette – Center d’Art Contemporain de Bourges. She conducts intersectional research on living things, bodies, memories and artistic activism.