French artist Manyoly is making a name for herself on the streets of Europe, creating street art that is both ephemeral and lasting. Here, she answers a few questions about her work and where she finds inspiration.
I grew up with an artist at home, my mum, so I guess I have it in my blood. Street art came later. Four years ago when I moved to Marseille, I started to paint things in the streets, because Marseille has tags and graffiti everywhere, so it’s easy to just add to it.
I mostly paint very colourful portraits of women. I have been passionate about showing women in art for a long time and I have always portrayed them in different ways; for the past four or five years, it’s been through painting.
Everything has the potential to be a good material with a little bit of preparation and imagination, except of course something that is too dusty or sandy, because you just can’t work on it.
The longer it stays, the better it is, but that’s not always how it works and that’s okay. Life in the street is ephemeral.
I paint on canvas as well as on the street. I love doing both because they are so different while also complementing each other. Most of the time I don’t have the right to paint on the street, so I have to do it fast! That’s why I don’t put in a lot of detail. On a canvas, it’s the opposite; I can take a lot of time so I add more detail.
Like I said, most of the time I don’t have permission, so that’s why I do a lot of collage. I paint on paper and I paste it on the street. With this technique, I can’t be arrested (with painting I could, and I’m not keen to have that experience!). But when I do have permission, I paint directly on the wall.
A lot of people are passionate about street art, you can find them in every city. I call them ‘hunters’; it’s a big community. And of course, they share on social media the art they find. So your wall can cross the world easily like that. This is the superpower of street art. People then search for your name and ask to see more of your ‘available’ work.
It could be anywhere with empty walls and nice weather!
My work is in Marseille, Paris, Vitry, Lille, Montpellier, London, Berlin, Murcia (Spain), Barcelona, Lisbon, Ghent (Belgium) and Antwerp.
Check out Manyoly’s website to find out more.