Sophie Morisse paints characters seeming to go out of a play or of a tale. Her models put on disguises, play the comedy, revealing outstanding postures which the artist seizes in the oil.
Sophie Morisse shares her vast studio of 80 m² with her companion, the painter of figurative art Marc Lemoine, who met in the Beaux-arts school at the beginning of the 1980’s. "We work in the same studio, it is easy to us because we always worked like this". In this common room, Sophie Morisse accumulates numerous paintings. She placed her easel near to a furniture where she tidies her tubes and gasolines. We notice on a chair a pallet with an impressive thickness of paint. "It is right-hander’s pallet and I am left-handed, I have to put it. It nevertheless has been twenty five years which I use it … and since I do not clean it! ».
The artist makes the shuttle between the pallet and his easel on an armchair on casters which also allows her to set the distance with her canvas. In a cornerof the studio, an impressive cupboard contains a multitude of disguises and accessories of all kinds: derby hat, a top hat , gloves, wigs …
"My models play a role, I paint them in a theatrical way to take out them of their everyday life. I like making them take little usual attitudes. As it is the case for the actors, costumes help them to to get into their role. The false noses for example (with whom Sophie Morisse developed a series of paintings),obliged the models to take a particular posture because this accessory have to can hold without elastic. Their head carriage is thus modified".
This attraction for costumes is logically understandable: her mother was a dresser, Sophie Morisse thus spent a large part of his childhood on film sets.
Among his other childhood memories having led her to become a painter, Sophie Morisse reminds himself visits to the Musée du Louvre. "My father took me there regularly when I was 8-10 years old. This is when I decided on a future in the paint. I had an album of postables cards of my favourite paintings". In this collection of images, we found Le Jeune mendiant of Murillo, "a picture which I always admire", or still David’s paintings "certainly because of shells and bare men", she makes fun.
Almost in the same period, her aunt Nadine offers her first box of oil paint. The rising artist begins by realizing self-portraits, she is 13-year-old. "I was my first model. At least, I always was here", she smiles. "I held the mirror in a hand, and painted with the other one. But it was not easy because I am nearsighted and I wanted to reflect without glasses!"
The tales and Sophie Morisse’s paint got married and lived hapilly ever after … Here is a happier outcome! Tom Thumb, Donkey Skin of Perrault, The lLittle Mermaid of Andersen, Alice in Wonderland of Carroll … So many stories which inspire the rouennaise artist and engender atypical paintings. The imagination of the tale, at the same time magic and disturbing, shows through her character. We do not know if we have to be afraid of the crazy Hatter or laugh; we admire dresses of Donkey Skin as much as we are afraid of the consequences if she wear it … This dichotomy is present in all her work. We also find her in the use of brilliant but terrible animals especially when groups: batrachians, butterflies, dragonflies, birds … The immediate entourage of the artist, friends, family, gladly enter into the spirit of the game of the pose. The model returning most of the time is her 12-year-old daughter, Thaïs. "I do not want to paint her portrait in particular, but rather to represent the childhood generally, and more widely the human face, two essential components of my work".
Sophie Morisse organizes short sessions of pose where she takes photos and realizes various sketches. "It would be impossible to me to pose my daughter for hours!" To paint the details of clothes, the artist gets models of sewing on whom she arranges costumes.
At the moment, she prepares an exhibition putting on the opposite page her paintings with the work of a corset-maker rouennais (Sophie Morisse collects corsets).
Her second intention consists of the realization of a series of paintings with some paper crystal which is usually of use to the florists. "The characters wind the face inside, creating sets of transparency". Two projects already between her brushes.