“Everything can be art, from the moment the meaning of something goes beyond face value. Porn is as old as humanity, so of course part of the production transcends the basic call of the flesh. Some artists, including me, use porn as a prism to try to decipher the world around them and their feelings. “
1. In your drawings we see a most illusional approach of sexuality. Do you believe that human sexuality is something more than its conventional approach of our (western) society?
The fact is that sexuality in the Western world has never been considered as something conventional … We always see the sexual through a filter that reflects the fears or prejudices of the ruling classes, regardless of the time we are in. There is no structural difference between the demonization of the body in the Middle Ages or its medicalization in the nineteenth century. The images of sexuality that I draw are also not free from a priori, they simply embody the detours of my imagination, which I try to distance myself by tracing them on paper.
2. Your drawings are mostly black and white. Do you feel that black and white is an element that intensifies the sensuality of your work? Is it an aesthetic that completes the sexy mood of your art?
I believe in the fantasy of the audience, which is why I leave “fictional reserves” in my drawings: areas left voluntarily open to the imagination of the person watching them. Black and white has a similar effect, because color translation is an individual and subjective act. Ambiguity can have a multiplying power: sometimes it is necessary to say half of it in order to say the double.
3. The mantra of Kink Power is “Art as porn, porn as art”: Do you feel that you can relate with this? What is art and porn for you and how do they relate?
Everything can be art, from the moment the meaning of something goes beyond face value. Porn is as old as humanity, so of course part of the production transcends the basic call of the flesh. Some artists, including me, use porn as a prism to try to decipher the world around them and their feelings.
4. What BDSM has to do with your art?
I understand BDSM as a set of contemporary sexual rituals, with a particularly marked aesthetic component. It is a very rich creative vector, both from a formal and a fictional point of view.
5. The protagonist of your art is the woman’s body and sexuality. Would you like to give us some information about what is so inspiring for you on woman’s body and sexuality?
I am not necessarily focused on female body or sexuality; what interests me is the role of women in society, symbolized in the role they play in the horizontal position. By portraying women in unprecedented sexual roles, by making them the driving force behind stories, I give them a place that has been denied to them in the history of art – and in history itself. I draw something that should be natural, obvious. Since this is not (yet) the case, it leaves me a lot of ground to cover.
6. Which is the position of woman’s sexuality in our (western) society? Do you feel that your art improves the social acceptance of woman’s sexuality?
Art plows the symbolic field, sometimes in advance, sometimes late. In that sense, yes, art changes reality. On the other hand, it can not be a goal in itself, because it is impossible to predict what the consequences will be, in one sense as in another. When I started to publish my work, I felt that we were going to an opening and that my drawings were in a way the minutes of this movement. In the meantime, society and social networks are closing more and more to the sexual thing and I have the impression that I am doing, very involuntarily, resistance. In the end, it is always a journey that is done individually, and the product of which is a gift, appreciated or not, to the community.
7. You use Tumblr, one of the most popular social media, which used to allow adult content, changed its politics and banned it. What do you believe about this change? Did it affect you and your work?
Tumblr is the first channel where I started to share my work and to my surprise I found a huge audience. Tumblr was a place of exchange and inspiration, where I initially found a good part of my creative motivation. It was a unique ecological niche, rich, bizarre, unlimited. The banishment of adult content is an cultural catastrophe similar to the destruction of the Great Barrier Reef. The algorithms used to filter content asphyxiate the creative work, and still allow other content of truly obscene nature. This is a rare example of self-destruction, which, from the best, has become the worst thing on social networks. Tumblr today plays no major role in my work or my contacts with the public.
8. Generally speaking, have social media helped people, especially women, express and communicate with their sexuality without being judged or is it just another aspect of our conservative society? (for example nipple’s censorship)
Social networks were really a space of freedom at the origin, but since they have been bought by the GAFA, they have been disciplined, monetized and reflect today mainly the moral orientations of the powerful, while offering a public place where to burn from time to time a witch for the example.
9. Is Ink your Blood? Do you feel more alive through drawing? What do you feel specifically when you draw?
That’s it, exactly. Without ink, I do not exist. To draw is to incarnate myself; it is giving flesh, substance, an existence to my mental world.
10. Which is the story behind your trilogy “Ink is my Blood”? How did this celebration of love, desire and sexuality start?
The Trilogy is the product of my desire to share my work with fans in a more material and direct form than social networks. These large format books allow me to free myself from the frame of screens and put an object of desire in the hands of those who love my work. The Trilogy includes a selection of more than 400 of my drawings, made between 2012 and 2016, and is accompanied by essays and interviews and allow to discover my work from another angle. The Trilogy was funded by successive crowd funding campaigns, which were a huge success and reflect the desire of the fans to have my drawings on paper.
11.Any contemporary artists with sensual content who you admire?
There are many, but, for me, those of Vince come out of the lot. His line is so direct and his use of color so delicate that each drawing is a pure delight. I am not a collector, but I would give a lot to get one from Vince on my walls …
12. A drawing of yours which is your favorite one and the reason behind this preference?
Mmmm … difficult. It’s like asking a mother which of her children she prefers. But hey, here’s one that I particularly love. It’s called La technicienne de surfaces (Worshiping my idol), which in French means basically a cleaning lady. Beyond the satisfaction for the technical achievement, I like the story that this drawing tells. I imagine a museum after closing time, a woman who does a hard job all night long and for now, in a solitary intimacy, touches her idol, comes into contact with the sublime. It is the meeting of the trivial with the divine, the moment when you transcend our reptilian brain. The moment you are anointed by the power of art.
13. What kind of messages do you receive in social media? How does your audience express its approval to your work? A moment of communication that maybe you remember vividly?
I’m always amazed when I receive messages from fans who follow me since 2012, since the moment I published my first drawing tumblr … Some write to me to ask permission to be tattooed one of my drawings – which is really a declaration of love for my art -, other to tell me that my work helps them to consider their own sexuality in a new angle or to follow an artistic vocation. All this is so surprising, because drawing is first of all a pleasure for me and the idea of sharing was basically only a corollary to this solitary journey. It’s as if you are singing alone in a dark wood, and suddenly you are startled by an applause from nowhere …
14. You prefer not to reveal your identity. Is it something that you may do in the future? People would be interested in learning the person behind these drawings.
I have always preferred works to authors. I understand, rationally, that one can be fascinated by the mysterious side of creation, and it may be desirable to know more about the creators. But for me, the real miracle lies in the works, in what they induce, in their ability to deeply touch, intimately, the psyche of the spectators – and not in the biography of their creators. Do I enjoy a novel better knowing that Hemingway was a lonely and alcoholic hunter? … Maybe that helps me superficially to identify with the author, but it does not get me closer to the why and the how of the artistic emotion, of this magic moment when another human speaks to me, personally, through his/her work. In my opinion, all this storytelling around the biography of the author is rather a useful advertising tool to exist in the media circus. And since I do not want to participate in this, no, there is very little chance that I will reveal my identity in the future.
15. Any future work plans? Maybe another book? Any collaborations?
I just finished a fun collaboration for the Inrockuptibles, a French magazine, which illustrates a small sexual bestiary. I’m working on two illustrated book projects, one for adults and one for children, where I create texts and drawings. One is the story of a female automaton and the other is a contemporary fairy tale. And then of course, as of 2020, the publication of the following volumes of Ink Is My Blood will continue.