RETRO SUBJECTS IN MODERN GRAPHIC UNIVERSE - Interview with GRAPHIKSTREET



Tell us a little bit about your collage and how it began.

My collages blend past and present, black and white and color, pop culture and street art. A main retro subject in a modern graphic universe. I love street photography, and I started photographing, among other things, posters torn off in the streets of Lille or Brussels — I find it very graphic. (I did not know the work yet of Jacques Villeglé). But, the pictures were not enough. I needed to work with the material. So, I retrieved the posters that I took a photo of and I glued in pieces. It allowed me to make large format images. I like portraits and figures, I can express myself better with characters. So, I started by mixing my ripped posters with icons of the US cinema; Maryline Monroe, James Dean, Steeve Mac Queen, etc. Then with anonymous characters, recovered from the commercials old magazines.


Do you have a strategy or end goal when it comes to your artwork?

The goal is already to be satisfied. I have a lot of fun designing my collages, it's a real addiction. I promote my work to the public via social networks and I expose my work as much as possible. If one day my collages could travel abroad, it would be great!!



How do you come up with your creative collages?

I collect posters in the street, old papers such as; invoices, plans and newspapers from the 1950’s and 1960’s. What interests me is to bring out a piece of past in a more current context.


Describe your process.

I often share a central subject; a portrait, a car, a scene of life, and then I compose around by successive layers. The aerosol paint stains give a more contemporary side. It gives rhythm to the composition. I love the colors, the damaged paper, torn off — I find it aesthetically pleasing.



How do you want people to feel when looking at your artwork?

I want them to feel comfortable. To tell each other a story. To be touched. I create rather cheerful, colorful visuals, with smiling characters. I do not particularly want to disturb or shock anyone. And that we can find it beautiful — it’s already not bad! 


If you could collaborate with any artist, who would it be and why?

I would have loved to collaborate with Picasso, Basquiat or Wharol!! Work on a generic Tarantino, Scorsese or on a Daft Punk clip! More seriously, I think collaborating with anyone. Working with a graphic designer or a collagist, why not? There are painters that I love, but I think that it would be interesting to work with an artist of a different universe like; sculptor, musician, or director. Get out of a comfort zone and combine talents on different media.


Is there an artist or person who inspires your work?

Many things inspire me. Music, design, the urban world around me. I am from a generation that has seen many artistic trends emerge. Pop Art or Street Art. I'm very much a fan of Warhol, Basquait, Banksy, Sherpard Fairey. Urban music, hip-hop, rap, electronic music, as well. I am very big fan of Beasties boys, Cypress hill, chemical brothers, Daft Punk. And different types of design; the furniture from the 50's to today. I'm a big fan of Verner Pantone, Pierre Paulin,Tom Dixon, Charles and Ray eames, Starck ... For Graphic Design, digital art also inspires my work. It is this culture, this mixture, that today enriches me and inspires me.



What does a day in the life look like?

It starts with a good coffee! I share my days between my freelance office in Roubaix, my clients and my workshop at my home near Lille. I have weeks with or without children, so they are quite different. My days otherwise are pretty basic. I work, I try to laugh as much as possible, listen to music, spend a lot of time on social networks, and of course — art!! Have a drink in the evening with my dear or friends and if I rendezvous with some inspiration — I'll work on it. I love working at night!



What is art to you?

BIG question!!! It’s a lot of emotions, a means of expression. Putting art in your life is putting joy, sensitivity, love in it. The art of life! 


I like the aesthetics of work, no special need for a message. We often tend to intellectualize the works. I work at the heart and instinct. I do not necessarily have a message to deliver in my work, but I try to tell a story. Art has always held a lot of importance in my life. I always drew and loved it. Painting, sculpture, photo, collage. I like to try many things and everything interests me. I found collage is a good way of expressing yourself. "Sticking" with what I do on a computer, but coming in contact with the materials. Play with typography and shapes.


What’s are your future plans / goals?

I have several exhibitions planned in Lille in March, Roubaix in May, Marseille in June. I'm working on new media such as skateboards or recovered wood. I have some ideas right now of working on wrestling masks! And to continue to explore and advance in my work — to progress and make myself known!


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