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Sophie-Yen Bretez

Sophie-Yen Bretez is a French-born Vietnamese self-thaught artist currently working in Paris. She finished her Master Grand École at Neoma Business School in Rouen, France in 2018, and after that she worked across different management positions in Paris. Since 2021, Bretez embarked on her artistic journey, expanding her artistic skill and exposure to the arts.


Focusing on discovering a way to channel and mirror the human condition in a state of recovery, Bretez states: “I paint horizons for those who have suffered.” Painting colorful, bold and sensual settings, where the evident nudity of her figurative characters challenge the viewer, the artist explores the questions of pain, duality, identity, femininity, and resilience.


Always gazing at the viewer, Bretez’s figures have vivid emotive facial expressions,  which invite the viewer to a discussion on freedom of speech, freedom of self-expression, and the social conformities regarding the female body in the nude. The checkered floors contrast with the blush-pink flesh, bringing the association of playing a game with oneself and with others. 


Highlighting the ambivalence of existence, the ambiguity of the human being, the weight of the past and other entities that words cannot describe, Bretez incorporates mundane objects in her surrealist canvases such as books, clocks, and coffee cups; a counterbalance to the existential topics in question, making her canvases relevant and relatable. Always portraying her character in a semi-open space with a sunset or sunrise in the background, Bretez blurs the boundaries of the confined ‘safe’ space, which one builds for themselves in a moment of weakness. 

 


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