Fabien Dettori (b. 1971) is a French painter and a photographer who merges the boundary of the two seamlessly. In his artworks, he conveys complex emotions. Being raised by his painter mother and a photographer father, Dettori was naturally drawn to the integration of the two mediums.
Dettori started his career as a photojournalist. He then worked in various photography studios, collaborating with esteemed photographers such as Paolo Roversi, Jean Paul Goude, and Dominique Issermann. He explored his possibilities in fashion photography, where he became familiar with capturing figures. With this extraordinary experience, he felt the desire to create more expressive works. He now dedicates his full time to his artistic projects at the boundaries between photography and painting.
In his series Come Closer (Pieces Unique), Dettori paints on board with acrylics and gold leaf. He then transfers a unique diaphanous polaroid photograph to his painting. Then he uses photo-chemicals to create additional depth to his works. The pieces are a perfect combination of photography and painting. The abundant layers of the series each speak to and captivates the audience. Dettori loves to explore all the possibilities of his technique. Recently he started using the Japanese Kintsugi technique in some of the works, a method of mending broken plates and embracing imperfection. While the series reminds the viewers of Renaissance portraits, the artist is allowing his works to be “imperfect” as opposed to Renaissance paintings which emphasized perfection.
The small size of the works is another factor that makes Dettori’s works unique. Instead of trying to draw attention using size, he chose to work on a smaller scale. This provides a more intimate and delicate atmosphere, since the audience has to come closer, to see the details and the layers of the works, and develop a personal connection.
In Palettes, a new series of paintings, he uses his own handmade paper on which he mixes his colors for his paintings. He revisits his palettes to discover abstract landscapes. Dettori layers multiple materials. On top of boards, he places the found landscapes and abstract scenes, then in some cases, gold leaf is added. The work is then framed with white matte board, emphasizing the chaotic yet serene scene in the artworks. It’s as if the artist is speaking to the viewers that finding such small pieces of art within remnants is the beauty of chaos.