Imagine what would a graffiti made by Vincent Van Gogh look like? Curious to know? Then you absolutely should learn about Arnaud Rabier Nowart – the artist, who due to his incredible talent, is capable of creating a masterpiece by blending impressionism and street art together in a striking, powerful and unique universe.
We met Arnaud Rabier Nowart at his exposition dedicated to his work on Vincent Van Gogh “From Impressionism to Street Art” at Auvers-sur-Oise, at the opening of the Cultural Season “Sur les pas de Van Gogh”. Being a true street art star he yet leaves an impression of a very humble, down to earth person, kind and generous with a strong desire of staying true to himself and to his art. And that, in our opinion, deserves respect and admiration.
Arnaud Rabier Nowart grew up in an artistic family, and from an early age was surrounded by creative works made by his mother – a talented painter, and his grand-mother – an expert in Fine Arts, who not only painted but also wrote poetry. It was Arnaud’s grandmother who introduced him to the world of various exhibitions, teaching him the secrets of art. Arnaud also learned from his uncles, upholsterers, who had great knowledge of their craft and beautiful technics of its realization.
With a strong desire to learn, the artist starts to create his first graffitis at the age of 14, searching his own unique style and the best tag name. From Beast and Nono One to No Art, Nowart seems to be the most appropriate one. The artistic search begins… Nowart timidly paints his first frescos in the streets, factories, blockhouses. Knowing that it is important to find his one unique style to differ from many others.
Nowart starts experimenting with his artistic abilities. He gets inspired by Futura 2000 and Bando - the first graffiti artist in France who brought street art to Paris straight from New-York – and learns from the famous painters, captivated by their technics and fearless imagination. “I painted letterings, cartoon characters, and then rapidly I started improvising. I always loved improvisation. I created portraits in free-style balancing between abstract and figurative styles, Picasso and Arcimboldo, my first true artistic shock!”
The artist also learns about Keith Haring and becomes an admirer of his style. Arnaud Nowart himself is not afraid to create something new and different: “I was told that what I painted was quite weird, that it was beyond graffiti, but it did not bother me. What I liked is to explore. Every time my style became recognizable, I changed it!”
In 2003 Arnaud stumbles upon a tiny marguerite growing through a piece of dead wood, it fascinates him. He films it, paints it and glues it to the street walls integrating the flower to the urban structure. Shortly it becomes a true symbol of life and hope. The “flower mission” takes the artist on a great humanitarian journey from Paris to Chili and Senegal.
Arnaud develops his style and gets interested in other artistic expressions – videos, theater, poetry…But his biggest artistic influence is yet to come… When in 2010 Arnaud Nowart is invited to paint his flowers at Asnieres – following the steps of impressionists, he realizes that he is working at the exact same place where one of the biggest impressionist geniuses painted his masterpieces…Vincent Van Gogh! This “encounter” with Vincent Van Gogh gives a new direction to his work. Arnaud develops a true passion for the artist and reproduces several of his paintings and auto portraits giving them a whole new dimension.
Great freedom emerges from his work that appears at first as a reproduction, but becomes much more if you look closely. Plurality of lettering and graffiti is carefully enchased in the paintings and frescos of the artist. The more we study Nowart’s works the more we discover: we stumble upon hidden slogans (Peace, Love, Unity, No war), names (Van Gogh, Vince). The words reflect colors, colors reflect pigments… Arnaud takes us on a journey to a place where there is no boundaries for a true artistic expression, the place where Vincent Van Gogh would smile…
If you want to learn more about the creative universe of the talented street artist Nowart you can visit his exhibition “From Impressionism to Street Art” at the castle of Auvers-sur-Oise (30 kms from Paris) from 5 April to 21 September. The town of Auvers-sur-Oise was chosen for a reason: it has been the most productive period of Van Gogh’s career. It is here that Vincent Van Gogh created over 80 paintings in less than 80 days. It is here that the painter spent the last days of his life…
The magic of the castle of Auvers-sur-Oise perfectly reflects the beautiful chemistry of Arnaud’s works. The exhibition shows different portraits of Van Gogh in several mind-blowing styles, Pissarro, the famous sun-flowers of the region and much much more. And after visiting the expo you can take a walk at the town of Auvers-sur-Oise and compare the landscapes of nowadays to the paintings of Van Gogh and Arnaud Nowart. You can also discover many interesting museums, that are hosting exhibitions in light of the Cultural Season “Sur les pas de Van Gogh”, like the curious Museum of Absinthe for example.
You can also check out a wonderful book published by LVE publishing house dedicated to Arnaud’s work and artistic path, “Arnaud Rabier Nowart. Du graffiti a l’art in Space’’. Colorful and informative, it contains various reproductions of the artist’s work along with stories of his life told by Arnaud himself in a very creative way – a great collection piece.