Posted on: June 29th, 2012 by admin



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Extreme artist, adventurer, speaker, motivator, solo climber, solo sailor. Pioneer of Performance Painting and creator of Extreme Art, Jean Francois Detaille was born in Belgium, to a family name with a long genealogical tree of painters, Jean Edouard Baptiste Detaille, Paul Detaille.  Jean Francois was raised in a close obsession for art by his father.

Jean Francois spent his youth vacationing in the South of France in Provence and the Catalonia region of Spain where his father was friends with the local artists. It was in 1974 that Jean Francois met the famous surrealist, Salvador Dali and visited his house in Port Lligat a few steps from his parent’s vacation hub.  Jean Francois was invited to the opening of the Dali museum in 1974 and witnessed Dali live painting his creation of Don Quixote right on the plaza facing the museum.  Jean Francois was not only impressed by Dali’s skills at sketching but by his panache and exuberant personality.


A few years later, Jean Francois decided to enter the school of Art IATA  “Institut des Arts et Techniques Appliquees” in his home town of Namur.  Nurtured by a fantastic and passionate teacher, Marcel Warrant, Jean Francois discovered his real call and also a medium which allowed him to express his talent.

Focus was a bit of a challenge for Jean Francois, as well as, his spurts of energy.  Painting gave him focus while favorite sport, Judo, broke his shyness and, in addition provided him a competitive spirit and a black belt.  Jean Francois’ youth was a balance of Visual Art and Martial Arts.

He painted all week and competed internationally in Judo the weekends.  After completing his art education at the “Academie des Beaux Arts in Namur”, Jean Francois moved to Paris to finish his Education at the “Ecole Nationale Superieure des Beaux Arts.


In late seventies  Jean Francois was a bit of a rebel.  He would paint his teacher portraits onto the school blackboards within minutes, leaving the black of the black board as the shadow and adding the highlights with the chalk.  Then in 1983, on a bet with friends, Jean Francois crashed the welcome ceremony of the European Tour of Pope John Paul by bringing a blackboard into the middle of the crowd of 60,000 and painting the pope portrait In louvain La Neuve.

Upon his return to Belgium, Jean Francois, facing the early 80’s economic recession, sold his paintings and drawings from door to door and art festivals, and with the proceeds, started a gym class called Body Language, a combination of Judo warm ups put to music. He first drew his project at the table of a coffee shop which took 3 years of building his successful exercise craze and introducing Aerobics in Belgium. Jean Francois sold his business of near 10,000 members and set sail on a journey of discovery which took him all the way to Paul Gauguin’s last refuge the Marquises Islands in French Polynesia.  For the next seven years Jean Francois made the world’s backyard his studio, painting thousands of paintings.  It was during that period that Jean Francois made Miami his stop over, after sailing the Caribbean and appearing on Don Francisco Sabado Gigante on Univision. Jean Francois also developed a full illusion show including routines with his art and performed his magic aboard a dozen of cruises ships and Las Vegas.

Jean Francois didn’t really push his performance art until the early 90’s when he decided to stay in the US. Jean Francois spent all those years prior reinventing himself.  From opening a first US business in Hawaii to running a t-shirt manufacture in Florida; and from performing on cruiseships to painting the Portrait of the Kings of Belgium and Spain, and even the Prince Rainier of Monaco.  In 1997 Jean Francois was hired by Kenneth Feld to be the featured act in his new production show in Las Vegas’ newly completed New York New York Hotel & Casino.  Jean Francois took the strip by storm with his more than Vibrant Art he called Extreme Art, which was as Extreme as his own life.  In 2000 Jean Francois was awarded Entertainer of the Year for the corporate event industry, making him the hottest, first class act in the industry and surely the first painter in history to become the recipient of a theatrical award for live entertainment.  Since that time, Jean Francois has performed more than 150 shows per year and has appeared center stage quickly becoming the choice of the elite in business meetings, as well as, the jet set. His paintings regularly fetch six digits at auctions, and his portraits have immortalized everyone from Bill Gates to Nelson Mandela.  Jean Francois’ client list includes the largest leading companies in the world, such as, Microsoft, Apple, Oracle, Merck, AT&T, Samsung, and Verizon . And the list goes on. From Paris to Beijing to Dubai, Jean Francois’ art has inspired many artists, but his ability to entertain audiences with the quality of his art is far from being matched. In the Corporate world, Jean Francois has borrowed his artistic talents to the launches of Botox, Lipidor, Sun Micro Systems… and many more joining on stage Scott Mc Nealy, Carla Fiorina, Steve Jobs, and paint the likenesses live of Richard Petty, Donald Trump, Dave Thomas, T. Boone Pickens and many of CEO of Fortune 500 companies. Jean Francois has participate at the grand opening ceremony of the 2008 Ryder Cup in Kentucky, the Independence Mall, new home of the Liberty Bell in Philadelphia, The new MGM resort in Sanya Island, China, The Atlantis resort in Dubai and many more.

Jean Francois has appeared on many television shows and news, around the globe including: Benissimo Switzerland, Larry king Live, The tonight show, The Today show…

During all these years Jean Francois has studied and specialized in Cognitive psychology and Gestalt therapy, today while entertaining, Jean Francois delivers an amazing motivation shows filled with his techniques,  great art and unmatched stage energy.

Jean Francois today, spend his time rock climbing, sailing painting and presenting.

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