My favourite painting: Marine Tanguy

'The metallic finish, the storytelling and all of the layers means I rediscover a new part every time I look at it.'

Marine Tanguy on Anama 2019 by David Aiu Servan-Schreiber

‘I feel incredibly lucky to have spotted the talent of David so early on in his career, before he became a big name. For years, he has been raising awareness about climate change and deforestation, particularly in the Amazon.

‘This painting was made on wood. David then applied a mix of oil paint, cement, copper leaf and resin. Once they had all dried, he burned the resin to create cracks, texture and a smoky effect. Just like the Amazon rainforest, the painting took time and multiple resources. And, just like the Amazon, it was then burned.

‘The work’s metallic finish means that the colours are forever changing depending on the light. I love the fact that this, the storytelling and all of the layers means I rediscover a new part every time I look at it.’

Marine Tanguy is the CEO of MTArt Agency

John McEwen comments on Anama 2019

David Servan-Schreiber was born in Paris, a son of Pierre Servan-Schreiber, one of France’s leading lawyers. Severely dyslexic, he first made street art in Paris with an elder brother, then learned art history through working for Sotheby’s in London. He began to make his own paintings and was approached by Marine Tanguy to join her MTArt Agency, which freed him to become a full-time artist.

Mr Servan-Schreiber says becoming an artist was a ‘natural event’, rather than a choice, as he had always found painting a catalyst for his ideas on sustainability, the environment, our planet and religion. He has been extremely successful, MTArt having sold ‘at least’ one of his paintings every week for the past six years. Instagram has proved a primary means of promoting and selling his work.

Recommended videos for you

Anama comes from his best-known series: ‘Planets’. Paint, gold leaf, other natural metals and cement are applied, sometimes using a blowtorch, to a wooden panel. The burn marks suggest the fires and other destructive forces by which humans are destroying the habitable Earth. Mr Servan-Schreiber did not have a religious upbringing, but his use of gold leaf reflects its presence in Christian icons and he regards ‘Planets’ as a way of sharing his ‘interpretation of religion’. Of Anama he says: ‘It’s one of my favourite artworks and on that day I felt so deeply emotional about the state of the world.’

He has exhibited internationally and entered into various environmentally beneficial business partnerships with Ruinart Champagne, the ethical fashion brand MAM and various others.

Based in London with his wife and their son, Mr Servan-Schreiber also has studios in Paris and Provence in France.