When we first saw Julien des Monstiers paintings, we immediately fell for his bursts of color. His series Tapis, is a set of beautiful floral paintings that carry a nostalgic yet energetic aura to them. Julien is a young artist, who despite his age, is widely acknowledged among the Parisian artistic scene. Graduate of the prestigious École Nationale Supérieure des Beaux Arts in Paris, Julien Des Monstiers plays around with colors, textures, concepts and a forgotten artistic savoir faire, in the hope of placing art in a place where it had once been.
TCT: Can you tell us a bit more about your project and style?
JDM: For a few years I’ve been working with my paintings as surfaces. In fact, it means that I consider the surface of the painting as a kind of skin. I developed my style of painting in such a way, that the process has a fundamental importance, it allows me to paint either figurative or abstract scenes, it doesn’t matter. I really want to feel free to do whatever I need on the canvas. I use the space of the painting as a screen. Most of the images I use, which can be taken from Art History or Crafts, are pretexts to create appearances on the surface. I look to create “holes” on the pane surface of the painting, that allude to the memory/collective memory or to the classic tricks of painting, composition and use of colors. I first work on the different strata and then I decide which kind of pattern I will confront it to, so that the final process often looks like an image damaged by time.
TCT: What advice would you give to someone who was trying to break into the art business?
JDM: You should be working by now.
TCT: What is the most unusual request (related to your work) you’ve had?
JDM: ‘Where does your interest in flowers come from?’ As I said before, It’s always a matter of pretexts, I could paint everything. Flowers are interesting because of their shapes and colors…and also because of their use in Art History. I’m more interested in the question ‘What?’ rather than ‘Why?’
TCT: What’s next?
JDM: I’m actually working on my solo exhibition at Christophe Gaillard Gallery, which will take place on January 2016, in Paris.
TCT: What is your favorite art gallery or museum and why?
JDM: It actually depends on the exhibitions… I spend some time in all the galleries located in Le Marais, Paris’ third district, that’s where you can see a large panel of the contemporary Art. I also like to regularly have a look at the Centre Georges Pompidou, the Palais de Tokyo or The Musée d’Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris. But on a more personal level, I often go to the Musée de la Chasse et de la Nature or the Musée des Arts et Métiers.
TCT: What is the most memorable moment from your career?
JDM: Every time I meet someone who believes in my work: artists friends, gallerists or collectors. But more specifically, my new collaboration with Christophe Gaillard. He has just opened a wonderful new Gallery, near the Centre Georges Pompidou and being able to showcase my work there is really exciting!
Beach or mountain? Beach. I have a special and personal link to the sea ever since I’m a child, especially since I also practice surfing…
Braque or Miró? Miró
Palais de Tokyo or Pompidou? It depends but because I’m a young artist, the Palais de Tokyo seems, sometimes, to be more attractive; it’s more about what’s happening now, more experimental.
Wine or beer? Wine
Love or friendship? Friendship. It’s more difficult, and it’s truly precious.
Guy de Maupassant or Marcel Proust? Marcel Proust. I’ll never forget the pleasure I felt while reading A La recherche du temps perdu, one of the most beautiful books I’ve ever read.
Visit Julien Des Monstiers’ website and discover more artworks of this Parisian artist: http://www.juliendesmonstiers.com/
Introduction by Diana Vernon
Introduction by Diana Vernon