How would you describe yourself as an artist?
“Many people automatically label me as a street artist because I use spray paint for my work in the street. I find that a bit reductive so when people ask me to define myself and why, I say that I am an artist with a typography background. Because in my daily practice the typo and the letter are always present. “
For those who don’t know you yet, can you explain your background briefly?
“Originally from Tournai. I studied at the Cambre and taught at the Cambre for 4 years, then I worked as a graphic designer and artist at the same time for about 10 years, but I mainly earned my living as an artist. Since the Solvay* buildings project I don’t do graphic design anymore. I only do painting, and it goes in all directions: artistic projects, engravings, jewelry, culinary projects. I work a lot with starred chefs [Ed David Martin, Tim Boury, Nick Bril, Cyril Molard and more], photographers. As a choreographer and set designer I also create shows. Many projects as long as I have fun, as long as I can do “good around me”. I have always collaborated a lot with many different types of projects, charity projects regularly, collective exhibitions, dinners…”
What appealed to you about the idea of collaborating with Kowi Kowi?
“I like the idea of working with a new medium, a fairly new medium, because my work is applied to many objects and it is the encounters with these objects that make my work or even the person I am evolve. And the mask for me could be part of it and is part of it now when I see the result. It’s a new experience and it’s also a way to get messages across.”
More technically, how did you go about making the masks?
“What I find pretty cool every time I start a new project on a new medium is a period that can be very short or a bit longer depending on the project and my state of mind. There are projects where I need a lot of time to comprehend and understand. I need to test, to see, to make sketches. And that’s again how I worked with Kowi Kowi. The tools also induce very specific results: brush, marker, spray, pencil… So I need to try several to know what I’m going for and to be sure of the result. I knew from the beginning that I wanted to do a big message: one word. And a tight, dense composition, which is my signature. The skulls are also a part of my work. I find the representation of a skull and crossbones by an artist interesting: in my case I see death as a stage like adolescence or old age. Death does not worry me so I use it as a medium of communication. This is my view of the thing.”
The masks have strong messages (Hope, breathe…) can you explain them to us?
“The choice of words is quite personal because I have to choose them to write them. And there are a lot of words I chose that are related to “living together” and “freedom”.
Freedom: The will to remain free or to be against the new laws which are destroying freedom. My work allows me to give a message but each person will interpret it more or less as he wants.”
A final word on the choice of black and white for the masks?
“I find that black and white is more of a master key when it comes to integrating them into my work. Black and white is definitely my signature.”