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AS IS | Florence Denou


From France

Based in Paris and Marseille

We interviewed fascinating Florence Denou about her art story, ways to be inspired, tips for those who are just starting their creative journey, books to read, and many more

A: Please, tell us a bit more about yourself. What brought you into art?

F: My background is a bit "messy". Quite atypical. I walk by heart. To encounters. Which led me from the radio to the writing while passing by the cinema etc... But during all these years of twists and turns (I was even a gilder with gold leaf), I never stopped creating, drawing, painting, playing with the material, modeling, or carving what came to my hand without ever daring to show anything. And then one day I finally forgot to be who I wanted to be and above all, I forgot to be who I thought I was and I ended up showing all my work. Simply. In Truth. And stripped of illusions.

A: What inspires you the most?

F: Everything inspires me. The true silence of the night. The blue of the sky. The blue of the sea. The waves that rush by without really going anywhere. The questions without answers. Our smallness in front of the great All. The invisible. My readings. But at the end, I let Chance do what he does. Contrary to us. Often.

A: Do you have any specific rituals while working(creating)?

F: No, none. I welcome at each moment what can happen. Or not. I do not plan anything. I work on instinct. Freely.

A: What would you recommend to someone who's new to art (rather artist or just an admirer), what to begin with?

F: I think you should start by letting your heart speak and not be embarrassed by anything because spontaneous expression gives a certain truth. A poetry. To stand in a form of asceticism, free of thoughts and detached from everything. And above all, from judgment, otherwise one does not undertake anything. I believe in recurrence. In the gesture repeated many times. In joy. I believe that one should not be concerned with the form of the work but with its spiritual and poetic value rather than with the form itself. And more than anything else, one should not try to please.

A: Your top 3 adjectives related to the art?

F: Miraculous - Free - Fervent

A: The best angle to look at art is from …?

F: The diagonal of the heart ... ;-)

A: The perfect phrase to start any conversation about art is: .. ?

F: Silence ;-) I am only joking because I have a lot of trouble talking about art. For me, Art is a bit like Faith... Everything happens in silence and the secret of the heart. Shitao used to say: "I speak with my hand, you listen with your eyes". I like that. When you start to put words to it, it's a little bit of mystery that runs away, isn't it?

A: Must-read books to talk about art (or do we even need them)?

F: There are so many but I would say "On the Perfection Underlying Life" and "Night sea" by Agnès Martin; "Cy Twombly" by Roland Barthes; "The Art of Resonance" by Lee Ufan

A: If you could change one thing in the art world - what would it be?

F: Nothing in particular. In life, as in art, I don't try to change what is. And what must be. I accept and try rather to look for the good. And the beautiful. In everything. Because even if beauty doesn't solve anything, it has an immense power: to put us face to face with what cannot be solved or changed and to make us understand and love it... despite of everything.

A: Please, share your favorite quote (not necessarily related to art)

F: Rather than a quote, just 4 words: LOVE IS THE WAY.

Thank you!

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