Catherine Timotei is a French Corsican artist and designer who resides between Corsica and South Africa. Timotei was born and spent her childhood in the French island of Corsica, the birthplace of Emperor Napoleon Bonaparte. In the island, nature, animals, birds, and her books shaped her imagination from an early age, and her family’s strong cultural and ethical values invigorated her to travel the world. Thus, Timotei’s roots, experiences, and life outlook all contributed to her creativity and her work.
Timotei is known throughout the globe as a creator of exuberant and bold colored paintings, which are done in large-scale dimension. Her work draws inspiration from a diverse assemblage of influences, from Renaissance masters to the 20th-Century abstract Expressionism movement. Her artwork strives for an untutored style through a celebration of color, form, contrast, and scale. It was at MoMA, New York, that Timotei experienced for the first time abstract expressionism, which triggered a change in her artist direction and way of painting; she transitioned from a European modernism style to abstract expressionism. This radical shift empowered her to reject the inherited concept that art should copy nature, and since then, visual theories expressed through the abstract became the focus of her work. Critics highly acclaim her artworks for their size, vibrant colors, and expressive notes that draw on critical aesthetics of the most highly regarded and sought-after masters of the arts. Her artistic choices are grounded in a philosophical interest and desire to express emotion and ultimately touch the human soul.
Catherine Timotei has much experience in the art world. Timotei was initially inspired by monochromatic drawing, comparable to primitive painting. In Florence, Italy, specifically at the Lorenzo de Medici art school, she was formally introduced to the painting techniques of the Renaissance Italian masters, such as Leonardo da Vinci, Raffaello, and Michelangelo. Soon after, at Sotheby’s Institute of Art, she developed an interest for contemporary art, and through art classes at the Museum of Modern Art in New York, as aforementioned, she fell in love with abstract expressionism. This was a turning point in her life, as she firmly believes that in our current age of globalization and modernization, abstract expressionism, with its permanent and timeless presence, is conceivably one of the most recognized historical genres.
Nevertheless, Catherine Timotei’s technique is in constant evolution. With color-field painting as the subject of her work, Timotei uses oil paints, a mix of pure color pigment and linseed oil to create her large-scale paintings. She begins her process by applying paint with a spatula, then layering with it with a squeegee. Timotei strokes the canvas with several thin layers of paint, on a scale of dark to light, to give her work a translucent effect. Through a combination of various art techniques and prolonged visual analysis, with extended intervals of drying time in between, the beauty of her work originates from the vibrant colors that inescapably raise emotion to the viewer. Timotei has a unique gift, a natural talent, and attention to detail that enhances her ability to excel in her aesthetic approach to create beauty, through art, to touch the human soul. Timotei’s artwork touches on themes that are cultural, social, and political. Timotei’s work is concerned with the underprivileged, the natural environment, the protection of endangered species, and the overall well-being of the planet. She firmly believes that art can change the world for the better and that her artwork is an expression of the self that possesses the power to touch the human spirit and transmit a personal sensation to the viewer.
In the recent past years, Timotei managed her art gallery, The Leonardo da Vinci Gallery in Cape Town, a commercial enterprise that enables national and international artists to exhibit their work in South Africa. Furthermore, to help her community, Timotei participated in a non-profit art initiative that supports youth groups through art classes. From 2015 to early 2018, she has taught children art every Saturday morning. Also, she is an active member of the save the Rhinoceros campaign, which is an operation that raises awareness and helps the population through sustainable tourism. In 2016, Timotei sponsored a charity auction event in a joint venture with Trevor Manuel, who was Minister of Finances in the South African government. In terms of buyers, she has clients from Monte Carlo, France Corsica, Botswana, and the USA.
In conclusion, Catherine Timotei appreciates when her viewers and buyers are not knowledgeable about her art, yet still appreciate the beauty of it and understand the abstract concept behind it. Timotei is approached yearly by art galleries all around the world, especially in Paris and New York, and has national and international buyers. She is most thankful that, among some many talented artists, she can sell her artwork and be represented by some many distinguished galleries.
“In the increasingly technological environment of the 21st century, we see a revival in the popularity of abstract art and abstract expressionism, with a particularly profound influence on painting and sculpture. Abstract expressionism is often considered for its advancement in painting, creating a form of narrative, which includes the viewer.”