I often choose old and long-forgotten advertisements and rework them, attempting to give them a new life. Something once commercial and trivial might become less tangible, more meaningful.
When did you first think about becoming an artist, and how did you get to where you are today?
My parents divorced when I was six years old, and I mostly grew up with my mother who was a very hard-working lawyer. She used to take me to courtrooms with her. At those times, drawing became an escape and coping mechanism for me. With a few crayons and a piece of paper I would create my own universe, a world that operated under my own terms. While art was first a way for me to learn who I am and emotionally distance myself from the reality I disliked, it later became a path I wanted to explore further. Luckily, I had my family’s support and so, as soon as I finished school, I went on to study at the Saint-Etienne Higher School of Art and Design in France. That was the beginning of my career in art, although I prefer not to call it a profession; painting is a process that comes from within, and it is unfair to wrap it within the boundaries of a traditional job description.
The female figure is prevalent in your artwork. Could you tell us more about that?
There are many reasons why I praise the female figure but mainly because I like to question stereotypes. I often choose old and long-forgotten advertisements and rework them, attempting to give them a new life. Something once commercial and trivial might become less tangible, more meaningful. I am in constant search of new realities, new systems, new worlds.
Is your work a self-portrait?
Yes, I could say that some of my pieces are self-portraits. I think it is almost impossible for most artists not to leave a small piece of themselves on a work of art. So, even when my paintings are not strictly a self-portrait, I would say that my emotions, a bit of my past or some of my personality do tend to show.
Could you walk us through your creative process. Which part do you enjoy the most?
Well, to start with, I work every day. I love being in the studio; it's my own, personal playground. However, of all the aspects of the creative process, experimentation is what I enjoy the most. I like to use new materials and media. It's invigorating and exciting to try out various textures and formats, discover new printing techniques, colors or papers. I also like to collaborate with other artists, filmmakers or designers, as I need to share my vision with others and discover their perspectives as well. Furthermore, I am totally into the creative process itself. Odd as it may seem, I find it reawarding, regardless of the final result.
Could you share some challenges you have encountered, and how did you cope?
My journey hasn’t always been easy. I have been to dark places, every artist has. The art world is full of ambition, insane competition, politics and gossip. I try to protect myself and my values as much as possible and I try to learn from my own mistakes. I am allergic to laziness and rude attitudes make me laugh. On the other hand, I really appreciate it when a gallerist is more than just an art dealer. Sharing my creative journey with people who care is what I enjoy the most. In exchange, I treat them heavenly.
Have you ever experienced gender bias, and has that affected your career?
Yes, I have experienced gender bias quite a few times. At the beginning of my art journey female artists had to work twice as hard to gain visibility. Getting a solo exhibition was incredibly hard, almost impossible, as the art world was dominated by men who mainly liked to exhibit and deal the work of male artists. A woman had to fight with all sorts of preconceptions: ''women get married, have kids and then they forget all about art, so why bother exhibiting their work'' is something I heard so many times in my 20's. It was painful, really.
Recent years, however, have brought about many changes in the western art world. Women are celebrated more and more, not just as artists but in many key roles of the industry, such as curators, writers, critics and museum directors. It makes me so happy that women have more power now, and I do believe in female solidarity. It's such a pleasure working with women curators. I like their sensibility and drive. The energy is different; the potential is huge. Especially the young generation of female art workers fills me with joy. Their professionalism is beyond compare and I am convinced that their future is bright.
Do you think that we women, have each other’s back and that we support each other?
Now fortunately we do, significantly more than we used to. Specifically, in the art world I believe that women wholeheartedly support each other and celebrate each other’s success. I think we have come to realize that we can achieve much more when we’re in this together, and that life can be much more interesting and fun when you have others in your life to share it with.
Do you think that there is a recipe for success?
I strongly believe in hard work and determination. But luck also plays a role. Being in the right place at the right time, meeting the right people, encountering an opportunity… It is important, though, to know how to manage our luck, and to respond to opportunities when they arise. Keeping our eyes open and our minds positive and exploring new paths will lead to new directions. And this is a good start towards the world of success.