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PARIS: Olfa Chabchoub is one of the rare artists in the Arab world to benefit from both an exhibition in his country of origin, at the Kalysté gallery, at La Soukra, in Tunisia, and in his second country, at the Menouar gallery , in the IIIe district of Paris. Arab News in French spoke with the Franco-Tunisian painter.

Take the plunge

During her teenage years in Tunisia, Olfa Chabchoub felt the need to create her own inner world. She thus devoted herself to drawing, but she did not want to question the norms of society which pushed her to do “directed studies”.

After obtaining her baccalaureate, Olfa Chabchoub moved to France. It is within the “gifted”, the city of Montpellier, that she exercises the profession of interior designer, and this, for more than ten years. She specifies that this job allowed her to “discover spaces, and to be part of the space”.

She finally finds a way to connect with art. “As an interior designer, I started painting for myself. Painting was nevertheless a means of expression that I did not want to share and that I wanted to keep out of sight.

The paradigm shift took place five years ago. “I was at that time in Tunisia. I wanted to have a professional opinion on my painting. My friends put me in touch with a very famous gallery owner whom I did not know personally. Captivated by the talent and universe of Olfa Chabchoub, the gallery owner offered her to exhibit in the prestigious Kalysté gallery, at La Soukra. Olfa Chabchoub naturally agrees to take the plunge.

Aquamarine, Chrysalis or Pegasusthe titles of the paintings by the Franco-Tunisian artist echo her mysterious and poetic universe, her connection with nature and ultimately, with her “inner self”.

Between dream and contemplation. (Photo provided)

Multiple connections

Aquamarine, Chrysalis or Pegasus, the titles of the paintings by the Franco-Tunisian artist echo her mysterious and poetic universe, her connection with nature and ultimately, with her “inner self”. She likes to highlight the link between painting, nature, and intimacy.

“Painting is in a way a reflection of my “inner self”. I try to be as intimate as possible, because I have an immense need to free myself. His sources of inspiration are found in the contemplation of nature. “I am fascinated by all that nature can offer us. I can’t get enough of a sunset. I cherish contact with the earth. This contact allows me to imagine a world.”

The names of his works bring up the theme of contemplation and dream. Olfa Chabchoub claims this dreamy side that she links to her “quest for freedom, peace and balance”.

The artist’s universe pleases the Parisian as well as the Tunisian public. She also claims another essential connection in her eyes: “I greatly appreciate the connection that takes place between me and the person in front of the canvas. There is even a magical fusion between me, the canvas and the buyer. Painting allows you to create, but also to share.”

This sharing occurs in Paris and Tunis, in galleries which, for Olfa Chabchoub, have the ability to highlight the human and authentic side of art, rather than focusing solely or primarily on the commercial side.

The artist Olfa Chabchoub wishes to further explore her creativity, crossing new creative horizons.

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