1. Do you wear jewellery every day? If so, what is their story?
My very first jewel - I was very small, and it was too - was a very delicate chain made of gold. On a day of great inspiration, I gave it to our labrador to eat. After this attempt, which was not very well received by my parents, I’ve kept a respectful distance from everything that shines.
2. You recently created an illustration for us, how do you define your artistic style and what are your main influences?
Style, whatever that is, is far too deep to be to be summarily defined. A marvelous essay by Marielle Macé (Styles. A Critique of Life Forms) shows that style extends to existence itself - she speaks beautifully of "the phrasing of life". Art and life are two handles of the same amphora (I imagine I’m using an image that’s already taken). As for the proper artistic style, it’s conglomerate of borrowings, happy blunders and obsessions that could be very tedious, in my case, to decipher. If I had to mention two influences that, without them being my strongest, would give the areas between which I am looking for a piece of land, I’ll quote a bit of Robert Filliou, for whom art is “that which makes life more interesting than art itself,” and on the other hand, Maurice Ravel, for all artists should be a jeweler, devoted to the subtle demands of illusion.
3. Is there an artist or a brand with whom you would like to collaborate?
Among our contemporaries, there are many of them... But the humain beings with whom I most wish to collaborate are those who have already spent their time on earth, and who are said to no longer exist! I am currently working in dialogue with the artist Jean Arp, in a kind of posthumous collaboration. The poor man didn't have a say, and I hope he doesn't turn around where he rests! The result of this work will be exhibited by my dear friend David Giroire at the Palais Royal in September.
4. You draw, but you are also a musician, calligrapher, author, artistic director... What do you think is the leading thread of your activities?
I am very tempted to entrust you with the thread and keep for myself the labyrinth. But that would make me follow through.
5. You also studied in Kyoto, how important is Japan in your vision of art?
I was not expecting anything while studying in Japan and everything happened as expected: I did not find anything. The ambient silence, combined with the involuntary and seasoned idleness that occupied me there, encouraged a sensation (more so than a vision) of what art could be: a useless and pivotal thing, which when you arrive at its purest expression, could finally be much "less" than we think. What distinguishes art from life is like what separates the seas, it’s more or less filled with the same water. From there, [drumroll], life would change all its salt.
6. Since talking about a distant destination, what are your next trips?
My next destination: L'au-delà [as in Life Beyond]. Apparently it is in Belgium and it serves excellent cocktails. It's for a project, you will know more about it soon...
7. You are fond of good wine and food, you have also illustrated the label of Aesop wines, do you have any restaurant recommendations for us in Paris?
At dinner, I have two very opposite tendencies: subtlety and gluttony. Beyond good and evil, I have a profound love of cheese - which can, if you think about it, reconcile the two. My mother makes the best gazelle horns (a North African pastry), but she lives far away.
Illustrations: Joseph Schiano di Lombo