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Joël Cunin portrait

Joël Cunin, art and faith

Born in 1962, Joël Cunin is a French painter who comes from the Upper Vosges. A choirboy in his youth, he abandoned his faith when he arrived in Paris in 1982.  At the age of 25, he decided to move to Lille to learn drawing and discover the world of the comic strip. But it was after he met Belgian artist Sam Dillemans in 1987 that he found that he had a real vocation for painting, rediscovered his faith and made a new start in life.

A self-taught painter since 1995, Joël Cunin likes to show his paintings in historical buildings like cathedrals.  He works with oils, charcoal, sanguine crayon, pastels and the gravure process.

In my workshop, whether or not I have a model, I always like to get behind appearances. I am in line with my times, and in a filial relationship with the history of painting: a timeless, cosmic voyage, the swift movement of the charcoal or the brush on the canvas, trying to open up to incarnation using colours, signs and light.

Since 2006, his figurative artistic approach, which comes from the tradition of Western painting culture, has become “orientalised” by the use of a form of drawing that is close to calligraphic writing. Notions such as emptiness, transparency and the sign enrich the vocabulary of his work.
Balancing form and essence of being, between light and air, between West and East.

Painting is an act of love, and for the painter that I am there is no subject more beautiful than the human being, and more particularly the female body.

“These women, muses and models, as a result of numerous exchanges and discussions, have taught me, among other things, that femininity does not only reside in the appearance of the body. The lines, curves and volumes could only be be born through the drawing thanks to the gift they gave me of their inner beauty, so that the charcoal becomes an intermediary for the expression of their grace and the mystery of life.”