Interview by Jimon
1) Where do you currently reside and work?I presently live and work in France, in a medieval city called Vaison La Romaine, located in the South of France.
2) You travel a lot, where are you inspired the most?I started traveling thirty years ago. My first trip led me to India, which was photographically very inspiring: the strong characters, the colors… Later, twice I traveled in Asia for ten months. This is the continent where I have traveled the most and for the longest time.
3) How long have you been making art and what lead you to start?Seventeen years ago, I decided to create photo-montages from the photos I had been taking throughout my travels. Shortly after, I quit my job where I did layouts for a Black and white technical magazine. It was so boring for me. It was time to do something I really enjoyed. I wanted the photos I had been taking, to lead me somewhere new. And the photo-montages made this possible. It was a way to travel the world.
4) Did you study art or is it inherent? I was trained as an interior designer. Taking photos and traveling was initially a hobby. I have a basic knowledge of drawing and it has been very helpful with the creation of the montages. With each montage and specifically with my poetic series, I want to create a new image that can be perceived as realistic, like it could be real. That is why I can not mix photos together.
5) How would you describe ML Vareilles? Lucky to be able to create, lucky to be able to discover the world with its diversity. I was very lucky to have started traveling before the nineties, when many countries had just opened their doors to foreigners such as Vietnam, China, Burma, …, before any large consuming systems were implanted.
6) You have a series called IMPROBABLES which I am enthralled by. What is the inspiration behind this series? I try to create imaginative landscapes as real as possible, as if they could exist. I want the viewer to invent his own story. Then, the photo-montage becomes alive based on how people imagine it.
7) What kind of art hangs on the walls of your home? As my home is also my gallery, it is mainly my art and the art of the artist I live with: Ansatu, that is presented in our home.
8) What influences you as an artist? Poetic and surrealistic works which allows me to open a window on something different. It can be a painting, a photo, an illustration, could be reality or even light.
9) Three things you can’t live without in your studio? Creativity, passion and a computer.
10) Do you have a place/person/thing that you visit for inspiration? One of my last destination was Dallol in East Ethiopia. I had seen photos of this incredible colorful place. The impression of the photos was so strong that I decided to go. It is a location under the sea level that has incredible colors due to the minerals that come out of the soil. There are yellow, red, white and even green colors. This place is extremely hot and inhospitable for living. Until now, I have not chosen any photos to work with for my photo-montages. I need to wait and see later.
11) Anything else you’d like to mention that I didn’t ask? I would like for people who look at my work to dream, to open a window in their mind. I also want to show how diverse our planet and its population is. Our differences are opportunities. To open our mind and our heart to one another.
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