Hammer and brush in hand, the French-Russian-Brazilian with a gigantic afro gives a new breath to the French art scene. From his almost 2 meters, Alexis Peskine, the painter who looks like a basketball player, does not fit in the french art scene. He helps us to decode his path to become an artist.
Why did you leave for the U.S. as a teenager?
I was playing basketball and it is almost impossible to keep up both studies and high level sport in France. Imagine running four times a week between my home in Issy-Les-Moulineaux, my club in Versailles and my school in Paris. In the U.S. college, it is mandatory to have good grades to play, in contrast to the French system where I was not doing much in class until I have been oriented to technical school. A blessing in disguise in the end. I was two years away from high school diploma when I had the opportunity to go to the U.S. to be student athlete in Atlanta and Chicago then at Howard University.
But after two years of athletic scholarship you quit basketball
to devote yourself to art?
I got a new scholarship, in Art (Fashion Merchandising and Painting), this time. I began to earn 25 000 dollars awards for my department. As much as I was undisciplined in France, I was a top student when the class interested me.