Like Raf Simons collaborator Sterling Ruby, Belgian painter Delphine Rama, 31, flits easily between the worlds of art and fashion. Scrolling through her Instagram account (@dine_rama), it’s evident that she’s an artist who knows her fashion trends – and the latter, alongside personal favourites such as the abstract art movement, influences her paintings. “I have always been fascinated by the stories of fashion designers; the colour range used in certain collections inspire me,” says Rama. Fashion entities as diverse as design collective Vaquera, model Jazzelle Zanaughtti, Balenciaga and Hermes have all been name-checked on her Instagram as the inspiration for her colourful abstract paintings. Likewise, the painting she created for this story was inspired by the “femininity” of rising South Sudanese model Aweng Chuol, who “embodies a poetic universe,” according to Rama.
After having participated in many exhibitions where she showed alongside masters such as Matisse and biennales (Mobil’Art) in her native Belgium, she relocated to Singapore last October to be with her husband, graffiti artist Didier Jaba Mathieu, who is based here. Her life has revolved around the arts since the get-go – her father’s an art critic and meeting artists on the regular has been a fixture since childhood. However, google her and you won’t find much information – somewhat of a unicorn in 2020. “I spent my time avoiding (art) competitions; I’ve always been rather discreet. I taught (French) to refugee children for 10 years and you’ll learn a lot about others and about yourself when you teach; this (in itself) can be real wealth,” says Rama.
This article first appeared in the January 2020 print issue of FEMALE.