Sophie-Yen Bretez is a self-taught emerging artist currently living and working in Paris. Originally from Vietnam, Bretez moved to France at a young age providing her with a rich fusion of cultural heritage often reflected in her multifaceted artistic practice. After completing a master’s Grand École at Neoma Business School in Rouen, France in 2018, Bretez held multiple management positions throughout Paris. In 2021, Bretez decided to pursue her passion for art and began creating full time.
Presenting a thematic fusion of autobiography and narrative identity, Bretez’s oeuvre is marked by her signature dream-like surrealist figuration and skilful depiction of complex emotional states. Focusing on discovering ways in which to mirror the human condition in a state of recovery, Bretez often includes an illuminated horizon line stating, “I paint horizons for those who have suffered.” By portraying her characters in semi-open spaces with a sunset or sunrise in the background, Bretez blurs the boundaries of the confined ‘safe’ space one builds for themselves in moments of weakness. Ultimately, highlighting the ambivalence of existence and the ambiguity of the human condition.
Interested in challenging the traditional male gaze Bretez utilises reverse voyeurism and the evident nudity of her characters to challenge our societal relationship with the naked female body. Unfaltering and strong, the women in Bretez’s paintings look directly out at the spectator, serving to simultaneously create distance and prove they are not at the viewer's disposal rather they assert control of their own bodies.
A natural storyteller Bretez begins each painting with a poem linked to memory. Titling her works after these spontaneous and instinctual poems, Bretez incorporates an additional layer of dialogue between the work, the viewer, and herself. Testifying to the intimate and the universal through substantive narratives, Bretez seeks to perpetuate a wider reflection of political, societal, philosophical, and existential themes.
« And maybe one day, When the blue of the night, Will drop on the world, I will no longer be like the rain, Nor the word: - Melancholy. », 2023
« It's not your fault If the roses fade. Ceaselessly enjoy everything: The foam and the rain and every morning. There is only one regret, Not having had enough - time. », 2023
« Taking care of each other, As the rain flows into, The sea and the spelt. I am nectar and honey, Pistil and flower - To be picked with gentleness. », 2022
Sophie-Yen Bretez: Powerful, Despite It All8 Jun - 8 Jul 2023In celebration of the gallery's 5th anniversary, JD Malat is thrilled to present Powerful, despite it all, a solo exhibition by French-Vietnamese artist Sophie-Yen Bretez. A champion of emerging female...Read more
Woman, Empowered8 Jun - 1 Jul 2022JD Malat Gallery is pleased to present Woman, Empowered our first exhibition featuring an all female selection of artists, from 8 June - 9 July, 2022. The exhibition will display...Read more
Q&A with Sophie-Yen Bretez | JD Malat GalleryMay 18, 2023@Invest'Art presents an insightful interview with artist Sophie-Yen Bretez, offering a deep dive into her artistic background and creative process as she prepares for her highly anticipated first solo exhibition 'Powerful, despite it All' at JD Malat Gallery. On view from 8 June 2023 until 8 July 2023, the exhibition will feature a series of paintings that build upon her signature style of dream-like surrealist figuration, skillfully depicting complex emotional states isolated within painterly narratives. This exhibition invites viewers to embark on a kaleidoscopic journey reflecting on themes of memory,...Read more