‘The portrait, to me, is one of the most fascinating forms of art and I aim to revitalise it with inspiration from art history and the realities of modern life.’
Born in Rochdale, Alicia France is a figurative painter. France began painting at a young age and received a BA in Fine Art from Newcastle University. France's Self-Portrait with Cat (2017) was acquired by Ruth Borchard Collection in 2017. She has since been awarded the Portrait/Figure Prize in the Jackson's Open Painting Prize in 2018.
Alicia France is an artist who specialises in figurative painting on metal. France's works capture modern working-class life through a traditional painterly lens with her latest nude portraits of her mother drawing inspiration from Titian's classical nudes of Venus and Andromeda. France's renderings of soft flesh on metal have attracted critical acclaim with their exquisite delicacy, often hyper-detailed and painted in miniature. While France predominantly paints individual portraits in oil paint, she also takes an interest in scenes of gathering, experimenting in ink, pen, pencil and charcoal. France cites her inspirations as Vermeer, Titian, Jenny Saville, Egon Schiele and Lucien Freud. She has said of her interest in portraiture:'The portrait, to me, is one of the most fascinating forms of art and I aim to revitalise it with inspiration from art history and the realities of modern life.'
Self-Portrait with Cat shows France's mastery in oil on aluminium. France looks out at the viewer, draped in beautifully articulated colourful fabric, clutching an unimpressed cat whose fur is rendered with great delicacy. The exquisite detail of France's self-portrait is especially notable considering its size, a mere 16.5 x 13.5cm.