Nicole Peyrafitte (born June 18, 1960) is a Pyrenean-born performance artist who considers herself a "Gascorican" (an American from Gascony).
Early life and education:
She was born in Luchon (French Pyrenees) into the 5th generation of a family of restaurateurs and received her early cooking training from her grandfather Joseph Peyrafitte, a renowned chef. Later she perfected her skills, interning at several award-winning restaurants in France. She moved to the United States in 1987, where she started her career as a collagist, painter, singer and multi-media performer. She lives in Bay Ridge, Brooklyn with her husband Pierre Joris, where she moved in 2007 after 15 years in Albany, New York.
As a singer, Peyrafitte draws on her eclectic heritage to perform songs ranging from French cabaret to jazz standards and contemporary poetry. Her voice work is often integrated into multimedia stagings based on her visuals (paintings and/or videos) and writings and involves the onstage preparation and cooking of a dish, to be shared with the audience. Her work addresses the experiences of negotiating her identity across two continents and four languages.
Her most recent performances include "The Bi-Continental Chowder / La Garbure Transcontinentale," and "Augustus Saint Gaudens' return to the Fatherland." She performs domestically, nationally and internationally. In 2005 she was voted best performance artist of the Capital Region.
Peyrafitte has two CDs out: "The Bi-Continental Chowder /La Garbure Transcontinentale" released in 2006 and "Whisk!Don't Churn!" (both released with Ta'wil productions.
Peyrafitte also writes a blog concerned with the intersections of food, art and ecology.
Concerning her work, poet/performer Anne Waldman has written: "Nicole Peyrafitte is a brilliant and most original performer. Her vocalizations, her songs, her gestures are provocative: both stunningly beautiful and powerfully unnerving at times. She is the chthonic goddess come to tempt you, scare you, transform you. She is in the poetic lineage of Greek tragedy, Café Voltaire antics, of dada and surrealist play but with a post-modern, hip sensibility. I am transfixed when she's on stage."
Text from this biography licensed under creative commons license