Adele Renault (1988) is a painter, who does realistic portraits of overlooked subject matter, working in scale from intimate canvasses to wall-sized murals.
Renault grew up on a musical family on a farm in the Belgian Ardennes. At age 14 she traveled abroad alone; lived in Venezuela on an exchange, then two years in Brighton, England. She studied and practiced visual arts, from classical oil painting to modern-day spray can graffiti. In 2010 she graduated from the Academie Royale des Beaux Arts in Brussels with a degree in Graphic Design.
In 2009 Renault initiated her collaboration with artist Niels Shoe Meulman. They now travel the world together, creating large scale murals, where she adds a host of site-specific birds and animals to his iconic word-images. Together the duo also run Unruly Gallery in Amsterdam, The Netherlands, where they are based.
Renault is fascinated by the inconspicuous beauty of every day objects and subjects. She observes closely those and that not considered worthy of a second look. She paints portraits of faces, the elderly, the homeless and pigeons in a realistic style. Her subjects are pictured as photographed, yet are then isolated from their context, enlarged and flooded in sunlight. She captures moments and expressions full of stories and meaning. Suddenly a scruffy pigeon and a woman in the last days of her life emanate a quiet grace and irresistible force of life.