Patrick Moya

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Patrick Moya
Born Troyes, France
Nationality French
Education Villa Arson, Nice
Known for Conceptual art, installation art, painting, sculpture
Movement Movimento Artistico Mediterraneo

Patrick Moya (born 1955 in Troyes, France), is a Southern French artist, living in Nice on the French Riviera. He is a part of the Nice contemporary art movement, the new wave of the École de Nice (Nice School). Moya has been at the forefront since the 1970s of straddling the latest forms of media and technology to benefit art rather than rendering it extinct. He is an early pioneer of video art.

Early Life and Career[edit]

Moya arrived in Nice at the age of fifteen. He studied Fine Arts at the Villa Arson for three years. He hosted a program on student radio called Bonzour Bonzour.[1] He was later hired as an artists' model, posing nude for ten years for the art students at the Beaux-Arts. At age 15 also, Moya only took on his Catalan surname following the late marriage of his parents. This spawned the practice of using the letters of his name in his art which he has put on as many surfaces as possible, often in the background of his paintings or in sculpture, in a celebratory way which has become his trademark.[2] Being a model meanwhile taught him to objectify himself so he could later insert himself as the medium in his own work after realizing that "with the ubiquity of broadcast media, the creator had to invent himself as a creature" to ride out and embrace New Media. He was greatly influenced by McLuhan's Global Village. Very early on in the 1970s, he began experimenting with video art. He launched a comic strip magazine, named Reptile au Style. In the 1980s, he began making digital using a Thomson MO5[3] and conjugating the word as art in Verbes d'État. He also used celluloid as medium on which to scratch his name and play it back as film art/art film. In 1982, he was launched as a solo artist by his mentor, Nice Director of Museums Claude Fournet. His later use of 3D has seen him birthe new worlds along with the creation in 1996 of his cartooned manga alter ego crossed with Pinocchio, Petit Psy. Today, he relishes the "Second Life" environment where he has built Moya Land[4] and by extension, has spread the Moya label to the virtual frontier. He regularly includes live and interactive performances between him and the public, using the virtual environment and has done collaborations with Thierry Mugler and Yves Saint-Laurent. Music also plays a role; another character he has developed in his art, Dolly the Sheep, has her namesake techno dance beach parties, popular on the French Riviera and Ibiza. Moya has exhibited widely in Europe and Asia.


Moya is a prolific artist touching on everything from art films, billboard art, ceramics, computer or web art, conceptual art, drawings, fashion art, muralism, painting, projection art, sculpture and video art - up to now. His body of work has been inventoried in a catalogue raisonné that comprises over 4500 pieces in the span of 40 years between 1971 and 2011. His work has been plastered on the city of Cannes's public transport system's mini-buses,[5] on Smart cars, on cowbells, on designer clothes[6] and promotional USB cards issued by Cannes's Hotel Martinez, as well as France's famous Guide Michelin. He has also designed dolls for UNICEF. Moya is one of the very few modern artists to be commissioned to paint a Catholic church,[7] dedicated to Saint Jean Baptiste in Clans. His frescoes can be found in public buildings in Monaco, namely the Princess Grace hospital.


Moya's maxim has been "to please everybody while remaining avant-garde; to be everywhere without wasting oneself; to touch each medium while staying perfectly recognizable".[8] He credits his time as a nude model for his healthy degree of exhibitionism and narcissism that gets duplicated as his cartoon alter ego. The result is art that crosses generations and genders. His work is often described as positive and jubilant.


Attuned to everything and everyone around, Moya has participated in projects to benefit AIDS, and UNICEF.


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