the Paintings of Philippe Sauvie

Artist's Statement

Because I find the majority of great art to be derivative of other great art, I do not shy away from derivation in my own work. I play at being a Matisse, Picasso or a Johns, to name but a few of my favorites in the visual arts but I also borrow from pop culture as well. I examine and sometimes incorporate these assimilations to form my own artistic voice. I search for clues... sensations... tradition... inscrutable truths. Vagueness and chance connections between images are the building blocks of my art. I feel however that my work is ultimately about love, a radiant, luminous kind of love. Resemblance equals love to quote Matisse and I agree. I insist upon leaving it up to the viewer to decide for themselves what an individual piece may mean to them.

I begin a work with a piece of oriented strand board (OSB for short). This ubiquitous construction material makes a wonderful starting point because of its ability to accept a variety of mixed media approaches that I bring to a work. The surface is golden, rough, wonderfully varied like nature in a broken or "fractal" way. Using OSB as a ground for my paintings gives me the sense that I am working "in nature itself. . ." like Jackson Pollock, as I apply various media to create images which play a kind of hide and seek with the innate geometry of the board, which seems a metaphor for painting itself... which leads to the expression of the widely varying images.

It is my hope that the viewer encountering one of my pictures would experience a call to joy, and a better understanding of themselves, nature and an insight into how they think as well as how art comes to be inculturated.

Artist's Bio

Philippe Sauvie was born in Portland, Oregon USA and loved to draw as a child. He was encouraged to do so by his Grand Aunt who was an elementary school teacher. Drawing became a kind of escape from the rigors and frustrations of formal education. He purchase a book on Picasso and admired the photos of the artist taken by David Douglas Duncan. He was inspired and began making huge drawings in the sand with a stick at Gearhart on the north Oregon coast. Years later while visiting his sister in New York City in the mid-1980s he took in the work in some of the great museums including the Museum of Modern Art. He was engrossed with how the originals differed from the reproductions he was familiar with. In 1992 he traveled to see the Henri Matisse Retrospective at MOMA. A love of color ensued. It was after this trip he set up his own studio and felt he had a direction and approach to take his own art. Color and drawing must clash and find resolution.

Today, Mr. Sauvie produces a luminous mixed media paintings utilizing oriented strand board (OSB) as a ground and has at its core an admiration for works of the modern masters but not to the exclusion of the classics or primitive art. He searches for truth by sampling, examining, re-examining and rectifying. . .using his own sensibilities and approach to media hoping to arrive at a destination and understanding that is never quite reached with traditional mediums. He works in a multiplicity of styles simultaneously out of an impulse to constantly be changing and growing but also because he considers each individual painting as a kind of puzzle piece to be utilized and one day reconstituted, perhaps digitally, into entirely new works. Thus, he has purposefully withheld his work from public exhibition and representation to this point but has sold a limited number of originals from his studio to a handful of admirers who happened by and showed a sincere interest. Mr. Sauvie is currently seeking gallery representation and his work can be seen at

When not painting, Mr. Sauvie produces architectural illustrations for architects and real estate developers as the owner of Sauvie Architectural Illustration LLC (SAI) in Portland, Oregon. His architectural visualizations and collaborations can be seen at He has a Bachelor of Science Degree in Applied Design from Portland State University.

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