visual arts

Samuel Gelas



What changes and developments are to be noted in your work thanks to the residency at the Cité internationale des arts?


"Since my arrival at the Cité internationale des arts, I have taken several pictorial steps, the main one being to make class and group portraits. This work draws its inspiration from travels, encounters and questions related to the economic and social situation of certain social groups. This project is also similar to the poetics of the encounter, which is the concept of creolisation, of the All-World concept of the Martinican poet and thinker Edouard Glissant. 
My work has since evolved through the practice of photography and video of individuals and artists from different backgrounds and cultures. Which enriches me enormously, from a personal point of view, as well as my pictorial work."


An anecdote about your residency at the Cité internationale des arts?



"The Cité internationale des arts is a great place for artists to work in good conditions but also to meet other artists from around the world and art professionals. I have always been amazed by my encounters with other artists, both in the richness of our exchanges and what they conveyed to me through their stories, their journeys, their worldviews and their artistic practices. I was struck by the quality of everyone's work, whether in music, song or visual arts. The talent of others has been a source of motivation and inspiration for me, which has sometimes allowed me to question my practice; to surpass myself in a way. Finally, some of the meetings were so enriching that I had the idea of making a video project out of them.


My professional meetings were also beneficial to me because they allowed me to have great opportunities for exhibitions such as Eclat d'îles Vol. 3 at Espace 24 Beaubourg (February 2019), a solo show in the corridor of the Cité internationale des arts as well as a participation in the collective exhibition at Villa Radet on the Montmartre site (June 2019). I am currently preparing my next exhibition planned for La Terrasse, an art space in Nanterre, which will allow me to take another step forward in my artistic journey."




The French artist from Guadeloupe, Samuel Gélas, was born in 1986. A graduate of the Ecole Nationale Supérieure d'Arts de Paris Cergy, his work was discovered by the general public at the 2012 Salon de Montrouge in France, and ArtBemao 2013 in Guadeloupe. In 2015, his paintings were presented in Paris in group exhibitions at Galerie Nathalie Obadia and Galerie LJ.


Samuel Gélas' pictorial approach is similar to narrative figuration and pop art in a form that is at once playful, poetic and critical of the world. The painter looks at and analyses the media and societal phenomena of daily life. Most of his works question human nature through its various forms of animosity and animality in a corpus that works forcefully on the issue of urban, social and cultural violence.


Samuel Gelas' residency is supported by the Ministry of Culture and the Cité internationale des arts as part of its action to promote Francophone creation.

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