Born in Namur, Belgium, Jean Francois Detaille discovered his passion for art at an early age. His father's hobby was painting and on vacations with his parents in Spain and the South of France, Jean Francois would watch the local artists create on-the-spot portraits for tourists. In 1975, after a chance meeting in Figueras, Spain with the flamboyant artist Salvador Dali, Jean Francois realized that the quiet life of the studio artist was not for him. In 1976 he enrolled in the Academy des Beaux Art in Belgium, best known as the school of painters such as Jan van Eyck, Brueghel, Rubens, Magritte, James Ensor, Alechinsky andothers, to develop his talent along more formal lines. Upon completion, he enrolled in the Academy des Beaux Arts in Paris, known over the years as the birthplace of numerous art movements, the base of Academic painters Messonier and Jean Baptiste Edouard Detaille, and the school of impressionist painters Claude Monet, Vincent van Gogh, Jean Francois Millet, Paul Gauguin, Henri Matisse, cubist Pablo Picasso, surrealist Salvador Dali, conceptual artist Ben Wautier and performance artist Yves Klein.
Jean Francois' desire for adventure led him to travel widely. In 1982, he packed his bags and art supplies, traveled around the world on a sailboat and painting thousands of paintings along the way. The Caribbean, Hawaii and Tahiti were his new themes and his boat made a perfect studio. "I always painted in front of an audience to music. In school I was faster than everybody else", says Jean Francois. Searching for a methodology that would harness his technical skills and allow a rapid, spontaneous style of work, he created Extreme Art in the early 1990's. Working with explosive energy and without preliminary plans or sketches, Jean Francois uses forceful strokes of vibrant color to fill large canvases in minutes. He explains that working at this rapid pace opens a more direct channel between the image in his mind and the motions of his hands, giving the finished work greater immediacy and power.
In 1997, Jean Francois was asked to perform in the show"Madhattan" at the New York New York Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas. That engagement resulted in other invitations from producers and event planners in several countries. In 2000, he was named the Spotlight Awards Entertainer of the Year for the special/corporate event market. And continued to reap awards as the years went by. Jean Francois quickly became the most sought after event painter traveling the world for special appearances from Las Vegas to Hong Kong, Milan, Paris, Tokyo, London and Monaco.
Jean Francois recently decided to reinvent himself, taking the show in a new direction and stretching the limits of his art form by using a different type of medium; clay. Combining that with his performance art, skillful sculpting hands and stand up comedy, his Extreme Art act has turned into a full evening show. Jean Francois' current projects are a PBS special, a theatre show-"Les Tableaux Noirs", and possibly an Off-Broadway and Las Vegas show. Jean Francois can be spotted running through airports around the world or performing in a show near you!