First published: Fall 2011
Danielle Jacqui was born on February 2, 1934, but it could be said that 1970 marked the beginning of a fresh life for her. It was then that she embarked on a new professional adventure as a brocanteur, selling second hand goods, and a personal artistic pursuit of her highly personal and unusual art.
The early 1970s were a founding period for Jacqui. She met Claude Leclercq, her second husband, who became a close companion in her artistic career until his death in 2000.
A fellow brocanteur and a man with a rich personal history, Claude shared with Jacqui, a ‘state of complementarity and mutual enrichment’. The period from 1973 onwards marked Jacqui’s participation in the first of what was to become a long line of both group and solo exhibitions. Since then, her work has been shown in France, Japan, Switzerland (including at the Collection of Art Brut, Lausanne) and the United States (‘Love: Error and Eros’ at the Museum of American Visionary Art, 1998).
The 1980s were also an important decade for Jacqui. She met Raymond Reynaud, another artist of remarkable talent who became the leading figure in the loose grouping known as artists singuliers, and with the help of Dr Jean-Claude Caire and his wife Simone, who published a mass of information about self-taught French artists in their journal Bulletin d’Ozenda, was able to befriend and exchange ideas with a network of other artists in southern France. The 1980s also saw Jacqui begin her masterful embroideries, each of which required three years of work.
If those years reveal a path that we dare call ‘classical’ in art singulier, the 1990s and 2000s marked a new turning point in the life and work of Jacqui as it reached its most innovative period punctuated by artist’s residencies as well as interventions in public spaces, such as her 50-metre-long urban fresco between her home town of Pont-de-l’Etoile and the neighbouring Roquevaire in 1999.
The façade of the Maison de Celle qui peint, Jacqui’s house, was redecorated in its second version in 2000; and her enormous project Colossal d’Art Brut – ORGANUGAMME, as Jacqui has named it, began in the town of Aubagne in 2006.