Nina Childress, painter with a punk history and pop spirit

With the Beaux-Arts de Paris editions, the Geneva-based writer Fabienne Radi publishes an “autobiography by Nina Childress”. It’s a fun and quirky tribute to this French artist, who celebrates 40 years of painting with a punk and pop spirit at the same time.

“I discovered her work during an exhibition at Mamco in Geneva. I don’t particularly like painting, but I really enjoyed this exhibition. So I went to the conference where she presented her work. And then I say to myself: your work is not only really great, it is also brilliant!” Words from Fabienne Radi, Geneva-based author between literature and contemporary art. The object of his enthusiasm: Nina Childress, French artist, forty years of career and 1081 paintings collected in a catalog in the form of Ali Baba’s cave.

Nina Childress is an oiler of contemporary art. A girl who is fearless, like BB and Claudia Cardinale in a western that doesn’t get bitten by bugs. His career began on the street, punk style, on the walls of New York or in Parisian squats with his gang of boys, the Ripoulins, kings of night action, merriment and colorful chaos.

The era – the 1980s – shakes up the established codes of art, invents free figuration, lives 100 miles an hour, is close to rock and graffiti and practices street art with his American contemporary Keith Harring. When she’s not roaming the streets with her brushes, Nina Childress is singing with the Parisian punk band Lucrate Milk.

>> To see: an Arte topic on the group Lucrate Milk by Nina Childress:

His painting at that time was ironic, colourful, cheeky, full of allusions to pop culture, from Pollux from the “Magic Spinning Top” to Haribo sweets. We find it on the walls of her city, in Rita Mitsouko’s clips, on the pages of Actuel magazine and in galleries that are as spontaneous as they are ephemeral.

>> On display: Nina Childress, Pictures at an Exhibition. The Ripoulin Brothers Mach 2. Paris 1984

So much for the turning point of the 1980s and 1990s. In forty years, Nina Childress has gone through many periods and explorations ranging from the blurry to the fluorescent bad painting to hyperrealism, from children’s portraits to the Sylvie Vartan or Sharon Stone series, from poverty to international recognition.

Today there are many museums and art centers where his works are well hung. Nice revenge for an artist who never let go of her brush, even if the art market shied away from painting, which is considered old-fashioned alongside conceptual installations. At the beginning of the next school year, we will also find the paintings of Nina Childress at the Musée des Beaux-Arts in La Chaux-de-Fonds.

An autobiography against a painting

But what does a Geneva writer growing up near the Friborg forests of Mont Gibloux do in this urban and rocking life, stained with oil or acrylic? “I told her that if she ever needed someone to write about her and her work, she could count on me,” says Fabienne Radi. fan lyrics. And struck a deal for the price of a painting.

Fabienne Radi writes a first catalog dedicated to Nina Childress and today finally delivers a second book as clever and delicious as her painting: a false true “Autobiography of Nina Childress”. The story is accompanied by her thick catalog raisonné entitled “1081 paintings”. It also intertwines like a novel between the biography of the rocker (Patti Smith or Viv Albertine des Slits way) and the thoroughly edifying adventures of a girl who never gives up in a world at least as rough and macho – that of contemporary art – as that of the rock.

>> To listen: the topic “dizziness”

Fabienne Radi, Nina Childress’ autobiographer / Vertigo / 6 min. / Thursday at 5:09 p.m

An Autobiography of Nina Childress comes with a QR code. Reading with your laptop in hand, you constantly find Nina Childress’ paintings above the reading and Fabienne Radi’s deadpan comments. A few chapter headings set the tone of this fascinating book, even if we only know color as a dispersion to be distributed with the role: “play doctor”, “freak out in a parade”, “I’m taking off my shirt”, “go to Starcolor”, “know how to paint on everything” or even “love of crusts”…

Unmissable this lively book by Fabienne Radi: Nina Childress poses on her pink cover in Venus kitchen outfit with a pot of sauerkraut as cache sex. Punk someday…

Thierry Sartoretti/ld

Fabienne Radi, “An Autobiography of Nina Childress”Beaux-Arts de Paris editions, 247 pages.

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