French artist David Fonteyne comes to Philly

Owner of Carré d’artistes gallery Debbie Morton says when someone watches French painter David Fonteyne work, they almost always ask, “How long does it take to dry?”

Fonteyne, a land and sea scape artist based the village of Mougins, France, works mostly with oil paint, layering color after dramatic color to create breathtaking scenes of the southern countryside.

Fonteyneis one of Morton’s featured large-format artists showcasing this month at Carré d’artistes. Inside the Center City gallery’s cozy space, Fonteyne will create two to three pieces, answer questions about his work, explain his technique and autograph pieces for buyers.

According to Morton, his work fulfills the contemporary gallery’s landscape needs for the time being. But what drew her to the artist’s work initially was his technique.

“I was drawn to this use of oils,” she admits. “It’s almost sculptural, super vibrant, and super colorful.”

Carré, an international consortium of galleries that originated in Paris in 2001, has been nestled in its new location on 13thStreet since 2015. What called Morton to this chain of galleries was the level of art, paired with its affordability.

She wandered into a Carré in Paris in 2013 with no intentions of buying, and walked out with a tryptic of paintings. No one wakes up wanting to buy a piece of art, Morton says, but her gallery begs for patrons from the sidewalk with open windows that, at the end of this month, will feature Fonteyne busy at work with his brush and palate knife.

“Your typical gallery experience is very hands off, it’s not necessarily very interactive,” she notes. “So we’re all about handling the art — let us show you the art. Everything is very accessible. My experience with galleries was not that way before.”

Inside the space, original works are stacked with a description of each artist—in English and French—ready for buyers to browse (and touch).

Fonteyne will be at Carré on 104 S. 13thSt. on March 25 and 26 from 12 p.m. to 7 p.m.

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