Duaív was born in 1952 in the maritime region of France near the city of Bordeaux. He’s traveled the world as a classical musician and accomplished painter, receiving accolades for his incredible work in service of nurturing and promoting the arts. With the world as his canvas, Duaív’s work is a contemporary representation of Impressionism at its height.
When Duaív was just three years old, he picked up his first paintbrush, but at the dismay of his parents, the walls of his home became his first canvas. Nevertheless, by the time he was nine, Duaív completed his first oil painting. Still in his early years, Duaív’s family moved to a nearby island off the coast of France, which inspired Duaív’s love of boats and coastal scenery. His mother was a classical pianist and his father was a sculptor, so Duaív was raised in a very artistic environment. Although he began showing a natural talent for painting at such a young age, his father didn’t want him to become an artist – so he bought him a cello. The cello was a fitting choice for Duaív, who had met renowned cellist Pablo Casals when he was only eight. With his new instrument, he continued to practice, but chose not to leave his painting behind.
As Duaív grew older, he chose to be classically educated in both art and music. He attended the Conservatoire Nationale de Musique in Paris, trained in the cello under Bernard Michelin. He also attended the École des Beaux-Arts in Paris to further his studies in painting. Duaív’s art and music began taking him everywhere, opening doors to incredible opportunities. When he was 23, Duaív met artist Salvador Dalí. Dalí continually inspired Duaív throughout his life, constantly reminding him to blend his passion for the arts, transitioning his music throughout his painting and throughout his life.
Many collectors love Duaív’s paintings because they’re so uplifting. They’re colorful, cheerful, and bright – almost buzzing with movement across the canvas. The artist uses cans of paint rather than tubes, working with various sizes of palette knives and tiny brushes, smoothing with his fingers. While he only uses six to eight colors on his palette, a full spectrum of hues shines within each painting. His inspiration comes from his travels and his favorite artists of the past, especially nineteenth and twentieth French artists such as Monet and Cézanne and Dutch artists such as Vermeer and Frans Hals.
In 2003, world renowned cellist, Yo-Yo Ma, sponsored Duaív’s immigration to the United States, and in 2011, he became a citizen. As a thank you, Duaív painted Yo-Yo Ma on the cover of his own album. Currently a resident of Florida, Duaív spends much of his time in live performances. Through the means of what he calls, “Happenings,” Duaív performs spontaneous concerts at galleries and outdoor spaces, accompanied on piano while playing his cello before his book signings and gallery openings. Most recently, Duaív has traveled aboard cruise ships, painting in live performances and inspiring audience participation. Notably, for Barack Obama’s inauguration, Duaív painted a portrait of the president in front of a live audience while the inauguration sounded on television around the ship. The most important thing to Duaív is being able to share his art as an experience, inspiring his audience.
Duaív has painted for many events in Cannes, including the Salon de la Gastronomie at the Palais des Festivals where he painted world-renowned chefs. For the fiftieth anniversary of the Cannes Film Festival, Duaív designed the sides of two buses with the landscape of the area and faces of popular film stars over the decades, which were hung in the former transportation museum in Mougins.
Duaív has received many awards and accolades. He was awarded the Commander of the Order of the Star of Europe, European Foundation Prize, for his efforts to assist contemporary artists and his country, awarded by HRH Prince Henrik of Denmark. In 2006, Duaív entered the Benezit Directory of top-rated painters. He is also featured in “Who’s Who” in International and American art. He has also received the Lys D’Or from the Cannes International Carlton for his international career. Duaív has exhibited all over the world, especially across France, Switzerland, Belgium, Spain, the United States, Tunisia, and Australia.
Today, Duaív continues to paint and play his cello without relent. For two hours every morning, Duaív practices his cello, maintaining his technique. Each night, he paints in his studio for four to six hours, always listening to music. The two disciplines are so entwined for the artist that he cannot paint without music. He claims that there’s no such thing as Sunday and he never takes vacation. For Duaív, his art is his life. His home is filled with memorabilia from events and accolades – newspaper clippings, scrapbooks, and frames. For Duaív, it’s essential to give back to his community, and through his art, he is able to do so.