Stark present, forming future

We already took a peep at Agathe’s work some time ago, so as to make said #focus complete, here’s (part of) what’s on her mind; what she was down to share of her way of looking at the things that all add up to form the world. Some slices of stark talk from an artist fishing her strength out of Doubts Pond, with all her might.


You picked the color black which is a strong choice as far as aesthetics; do you reckon you could turn into some sort of female Soulages?

I wouldn’t say that qualifies as a choice more than it does as something that just naturally springs out of me. There’s no thought being put into whether or not people will be into it, otherwise that would mean my art isn’t sincere and thereby is not even art in the first place.

I’ve always drawn in black and white and can’t see that change anytime soon for now. I’m not saying it will be that way forever. My art is constantly evolving, and so am I. It’s an extension of my being.

And I just so happen to see the world in black and white now, but my vision is bound to evolve.

Do I see myself turning into a female Soulages? Be it in my work or life in general, there is nothing I do in order to look like somebody else. I don’t think following whoever is a good way to self-fulfillment.

There are people I admire or who inspire me, whether or not I’ve met them, but I don’t necessarily want to « be » them or look anything like them.


 
« Art doesn’t have anything to do with the popular gender stereotypes I don’t think. »

 


Now for an observation in bad faith and taste, doesn’t black usually qualify as a masculine color? Do you aim at claiming that color to yourself?

I mean I never told myself that being a girl, I really should draw using pink or red, so to speak. Art doesn’t have anything to do with the popular gender stereotypes I don’t think.

Just like I don’t think that color really belongs to anybody or anything. I’ve always worked with black and white and intend to keep doing things my way.


Do you think you might come back to drawing in color one day, or dig further into specific certain tints?

I’ve never done that before so I couldn’t « come back » to it. But maybe that will come to me one day; I may add a color, several colors, or quit exploring black altogether. As long as it’s in tune as what I fel like expressing and transmitting then I will do it.

I just go through more or less determining and recognizable phases, and those are unpredictable. 

 
 
« People have often blamed me
for lacking nuance. »

 

Your drawing style is macabre, sharp and accurate but also fluid and striped; would you say that sounds like you, or is it a conscious choice in order to set yourself apart from the typical flashy representation people have of the southwest coast of France?

I disagree with all this. My style isn’t macabre just because I work with black. Many people only see the dark side of them without noticing the light that springs through and out. Like an old black and white photograph - the light stemming from the contrast are much stronger and brighter.

Yes, certain works of mine have to do with melancholy, sadness and some of them even refer to death. But my personal universe isn’t macabre just because of that per se. I always indirectly suggest love, attachment, treachery, passion. Feelings that aren’t necessarily happy ones, but not even close to macabre, they’re just part of life.

As far as the southwestern stereotype, I think that idea is over and has been for years now, I haven’t been confronted to that ever since I came down here from Paris and that was seven years ago. Or maybe, maybe around july and august when the waves of tourists hit.


In your bio on your website, you state: every drawing I make are a sign of change of some kind, for better and for worse. What is it that qualify as better? And as worse?

It’s just a general statement. We always live through events and constantly get hit by strong feelings. Just like anybody else, I have a past and a story that keep writing themselves every new day.

I feel and live every single moment very intensely, which may be seen as a weakness. But today that is my biggest source of inspiration, which just can’t be helped so it’s infinite, and my art is my way of handling, channeling those emotions and healing some of them.


 
« It is impossible for me to draw or write holding
my pen the conventional way, but that’s OK,
I fail to see a real harm in that. »
 


That is very sententious; is your life like your drawings: all or nothing, black and white?

I have to admit that yes it is. People have often blamed me for lacking nuance, and that’s got to be true. I am a passionate person; I have few limits, be it as far as good or bad things.


 

For you, is a drawing more of an adventure or a fixed idea? What is your usual working process like?

I work every day, drawing, painting, writing. I don’t look for things, I just feel them. Thanks to the people I meet and what surrounds me, to music, to the memories that spring back, to books, to new landscapes I keep discovering.

Working by yourself requires discipline. And the more I draw and create, the more my inspiration needs to be fed. Ideas come to me from the inside and I need to spend time - plenty of it - alone, just so I can listen to those and figure out a way to transcribe them.

I wouldn’t talk about « fixed ideas » as much as I would about obsessions, some of them consistently seeming to reoccur in my drawings.


In another interview, you highlighted how people have blamed you for being unable to properly hold your pen before. Is that yet another way of standing out by not doing things like everybody else?

(Laughs.) That was just a traumatizing story from middle school (« traumatizing » in a lighthearted way of course), my teacher told me that. You could compare that to trying to have a lefty write using their right hand - they might try, but will never become a righty in their own right, because that’s not how they naturally function.

It is impossible for me to draw or write holding my pen the conventional way, but that’s OK, I fail to see a real harm in that.

I can’t see why we’d need to be specific certain ways in order to please others, or fit inside molds. Especially in situations where that would contradict our own nature.

Just like forcing a child to study and eventually become a doctor when they’re really an artist who feels like painting will only slow them down.