Art Business News recently learned that the highly collectible French artist Peppone will be exhibited at Art San Diego. We wanted to find out more so reached out to the U.S. Wholesale Director for Bel-Air Fine Art, Jennifer Lavigne. We wanted to discover more about Ms. Lavigne, her background and insights, plus her perspectives on artist Peppone and the collection to be featured at Art San Diego.
Q: Introduce yourself — who you are and what is your gallery’s vision?
JL: My name is Jennifer Lavigne. I’m 30 years old, French, and live in Miami, Florida. I have been working for the prestigious Bel-Air art galleries for a few years now, and I am the U.S. Wholesale Director for one of our French artists, Peppone. Established in 2004, Bel-Air Fine Art is now one of Europe’s leading contemporary art gallery groups.
Our gallery aims to introduce collectors to the best artists in each discipline. Art is a means of communication: it creates memories and emotions, which we then distribute. Our vision is to share Peppone throughout the United States. His talent has already attracted nearly a thousand collectors, and Art San Diego is just the beginning for him in the U.S.
Q: What is your background?
JL: My background is in event organization. I’ve had the honor of collaborating on the organization of several prestigious international events in France, such as the Cannes Film Festival, Cannes Lions, and Sirha. My experience in these industries (film, advertising, and food) elevated my taste for detail and beauty. It was only natural for me to continue my career in fine art, another luxury industry with a niche clientele.
Q: What is your work philosophy and how does that impact the gallery?
JL: I work to learn something new every day, such as an artist’s background and craft, marketing methods, or client communication techniques. I know from experience that life is short and that we must make the most of every second to be better and happier. I find significant happiness and value in my work, so I always aim to grow personally and professionally.
Q: What artists and art styles do you represent?
JL: Bel-Air Fine Art represents around sixty artists from different countries. However, we’ve recently chosen to focus on the artist Peppone, who works to bring to life moments from childhood and well-loved films through his art. Peppone will be our only artist represented at the Art San Diego fair, so we can focus on sharing his talent with the city and its galleries.
Q: What artist(s) inspire you?
JL: Frida Kahlo is the painter who inspires me the most. This woman had tremendous inner strength; she created unforgettable art, and the emotions she managed to convey are just incredible.
Q: What is the best advice you’ve received?
JL: “One need not hope to undertake, nor succeed in order to persevere.” My grandfather, a successful and happy entrepreneur, taught me this quote. Strength of character and a persistent work ethic are essential qualities.
Q: When you are not working, where can we find you?
JL: In the ocean! I live in Miami and love activities like jet skiing and diving. When I’m not working, I like to go on road trips through Florida; it’s such a beautiful place. I also enjoy spending time at Faena, Setaï, and Soho House on Miami Beach.
Q: What does exhibiting at Art San Diego 2023 mean to you?
JL: We have many collectors in California as does our California gallery partner, Markowitz Fine Art, so I am excited to connect with many of them during the fair. People are at the heart of our work as a gallery. We want to create genuine connections — our artists are very present in our galleries to build relationships with clients. We are delighted to begin our direct sales work with U.S. galleries and dealers at the Art San Diego art fair!
Q: Tell us more about Peppone — your feature at Art San Diego.
JL: French artist Peppone, also known as Christophe Tixier, creates Pop-inspired artworks infused by the imagery from his vast collection of nearly 500 comic books, including Tintin, Star Wars, Marvel, and Walt Disney. As a passionate life-long collector, he has gathered thousands of diverse objects, ephemera, and comics that coexist in a dense and informative jumble that makes up his studio in Provence.
Peppone’s parents, both of whom were teachers, instilled in him the belief that sharing is one of life’s greatest riches. His first comic books were given to him by his father, and he subsequently enriched his collection by frequenting flea markets, attending auctions at municipal libraries, and through the generosity of friends and strangers alike. The artist utilizes this abundance of paper to create brightly colored and variegated resin forms imbued with popular symbolism that evoke the innocence of childhood and his native territory.
He has often stated that humans are the only living beings aware of their own mortality and that, to escape it, they reproduce, communicate, and dream, thereby creating a cyclical link between the past, present, and future. It is by carving into this abundance of paper that Peppone breathes life into his works, thus establishing an emotional connection with his father and perpetuating his legacy.
We’re excited to present Peppone to galleries, dealers, and collectors at Art San Diego.
Top image: Dark Side of the Moon V2 by Peppone