Internationally acclaimed artist Prune Nourry has been pushing the boundaries of the art world for decades. Yet, she affirms, "At the age of 98, maybe I will sit back, take a deep breath, and feel I've accomplished something. Until then, it's work in progress." Her words are a testament to her tireless dedication to her craft.
Reflecting on her first exhibition on a beach in Sète as a ten-year-old, she fondly recollects, "Looking back, the ten-year-old me, the one who put up an art exhibit on a beach... I think she would be proud."
Art vs. Craft
The conversation delves into Nourry's philosophy on the art-craft dichotomy. "The divide between an artist and a craftsman? It's like a string, thin yet fundamental. Every artist is a craftsman, but not every craftsman is an artist." Through this powerful declaration, she emphasizes that while technical skills are important, it's the artist's ability to transcend these skills into meaningful expression that truly counts.
Art and the City
Nourry's affection for big cities, particularly Paris and New York, is evident in her perspective on urban landscapes as sources of inspiration. "A big city like Paris, New York... they're like a gigantic, living canvas. A source of ceaseless inspiration," she describes with undeniable enthusiasm.
Art for Justice
Nourry's works go beyond aesthetic value and encompass powerful political messages, as shown in her Chibok girls' installation. She declares, "The Chibok girls' installation wasn't just a piece of art. It was a call for justice, a demand for humanity." This strong statement affirms art's role as a catalyst for social change.
Nourry leaves us with a profound insight into her identity and global perspective on art. "I see myself not as a French artist, but as an artist in France. There's a whole world out there waiting to see what we have to offer," she concludes.
Prune Nourry's unrelenting drive and her commitment to create and inspire are what make her an influential figure in the contemporary art scene. Her journey extends far beyond the canvas, challenging us to engage with the world around us through art. As she says, "Art is an echo of the world we live in. It’s our mirror. If we’re true to ourselves when we create, we’re true to our society."