i-D and Boucheron asked four artists to take a self portrait.
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Painters, poets and sculptors, Inès, Bianca, Apolonia and Jan create vivid pictures of life as artists in 2017.
Born in Belgium and based in Paris, Bianca Argimon has spent some time at the Central Saint-Martins in London and got diplomas from both the Arts Décoratifs and the Beaux-Arts schools in Paris. From the the footballed Zidane headbutting opposition Materazzi to the massive deforestation in the Amazon, she recreates candid and colourful universes from the darkness of the news.Currently exhibiting some of her pieces in the Palais de Tokyo in Paris, Bianca Argimon took a moment to create a self portrait for i-D and Boucheron.
Where does your fascination for the news come from?
Both my parents are diplomats, so I’ve been immersed in the news my entire life and I’ve read a lot of newspapers. As soon as I learned how to draw, I felt the need to reinterpret with my own voice the information that came to me in order to integrate my own references back in it.
What are your objectives as an artist?
My goal is to find the right shift between a real piece of news and the pop, colourful, almost candid universe I’ve developed. The subject is serious, its interpretation is light. I try to lock the visitor in a complex and double-edged narrative. It can take the form of a ready-made piece (the piece “Materazzi” was a nod to the Italian commedia dell’arte), a sculpture, a tapestry or a drawing. The iconography I use is voluntarily childish. I always thought myths were somehow heavy so I take pleasure in mistreating them and making them lighter.
Tell me about your creative process, what does it look like?
It’s like a game, a Pictionary game. I spend all of my time playing with my work, and if didn’t play I would be extremely bored. As in a maths class, my work consists of finding the right equation. I can spend three days trying to find it and getting depressed when I don’t. I never start from an image but from texts and from them I sketch small drawings, I write down my ideas and I quickly start filling up a blank page. I balance out the mistakes later. I try to distort my intuition, not to polish it. I’m not looking for perfection.
Are there mediums, matters or textures that inspire you more than others?
I am interested in everything, I really like the idea of reconnecting with craftsmanship -- embroidery, weaving, marquetry… Some of my ideas can be easily drawn, others cannot. Very recently I collected the Post-its that people had scribbled on in libraries. I scanned them and arranged them on a blank piece of paper with the idea of making a tapestry. The main idea was to conciliate the randomness of a gesture that seems insignificant, with the long and fastidious process of weaving.
Tell us about the self-portrait you did for i-D and Boucheron?
I’m not used to working with photos anymore, so I asked myself a lot of questions before starting. I finally chose something quite abstract. Lately my work has brought me to the automatic writing we create randomly, without thinking.I do a lot of them myself while I’m searching for ideas and when I’m on the phone.. They are mantras that resemble me -- even though they do not reflect what I usually show.
What is the most precious object in your studio ?
I can only work standing up. I have a very big and very smooth board in fibreboard lying against one of the walls of my atelier. It is very smooth because I must be able to do what I want on it. If I had to completely empty my studio , I would only keep this board.
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