By Virginia Villari
Spending the hot and lazy month of August in a city like Marseille is really wonderful. The fresh breeze from the sea, the “calanques” with turquoise water right outside of town and the new, stunning architectures designed for museums and other cultural institutions. But most of all, the whole harbor atmosphere with all the little restaurants that offer a great variety of Mediterranean cuisines, the bars, the melting pot of people and this huge, new pedestrian area filled with sculptures and art installations.
Manon is from Marseille and lives in a beautiful loft/atelier right by the harbor. She invited me over for an “apero’” and to show me her new works. Between several glasses of champagne and some tasty finger food I got to know a bit more about her.
She’s a School of Fine Arts dropout since her teachers weren’t appreciating her (amazing) drawing and painting skills. Yep, as weird as it may sound, apparently in France schools of fine arts reckon figurative painting an old-school, overrated medium, so they were trying to push her to do conceptual video or installation art, which is not at all what she wanted to do.
So she started working – and currently works – as a building and interior decorator. Manon’s job played an important role in defining her artistic style: indeed, she had to get acquainted to draw and paint on unconventional supports, such as walls of different sorts and wallpaper. The latter, along with scotch tape, is what she turned into the support of choice for her artworks.
Manon’s favorite subject is the female body, for the simple reason that she would never paint a male body. Female bodies are more beautiful, harmonious, intriguing and they definitely go well with wallpaper, which usually presents flowery, fruity or, in general, delicate motives.
She always works at night: she likes to put the wallpaper on the floor and paint on it. A bit like Jackson Pollock, she likes to be immersed in the painting, when the lights are low and the city sleeps.
Enjoy more works by Manon in our creamcollection!