Sandrine Boulet, a graphic designer for a living and a poetess of the asphalt when she fancies it, draws her inspiration from the street and the city to create unusual digital works. Enjoy a playful and enchanted interlude in her world.
How do you work? Does the city inspire you or do you go seek urban wonders with creative ideas in mind?
My work is spontaneous, playful and assertive, based on the contemplation of the world surrounding us. For each time one watches something or someone, one is greatly surprised or moved! Through my work, I am trying to create a kind of visual alphabet book. That people should see my pictures and in turn start looking at their everyday life in a somewhat more positive way would be a real pleasure to me. At the age of mobile phones, computers, games consoles, Facebook… it is important to realise that it is also through simple things that we can create for ourselves a joyful and playful everyday life that is much closer to us, easily accessible and less artificial.
How would you define street art?
Who am I to define street art? You had rather ask masters such as Banksy, Blue, Miss Tic or even JR to define street art. As far as I am concerned, I am not a full-time street artist. I may from time to time stick papers in the street or elsewhere to have a bit of fun but this is not what I am aiming for. What I like best is to create. Street artists are in the street; the street is their playground, their means of expression and the city needs them!
What is so attractive about cities?
I love cities, people, diversity, their forces and weaknesses. Cities are like human beings breathing, adapting themselves, evolving or self-destroying. Men are like ants in an anthill. And I love everything in this world. Each little corner of street, the colour of the sky, the wear of a waste, the shape of trees, the people sitting in cafés. And I am watching this world all the more so that I know it may be dying…
If you were to be a piece of street furniture, what would it be?
Should I be a piece of street furniture, I would certainly be a bench for people to rest or lie down. Or a red traffic light to make them stop. And then I would turn green so they may pull away because I don’t want to stop them for too long!
This is what happens in exhibitions: we allow ourselves to slow down. Art is an enchanted interlude that enables us to stop, think, laugh, criticise, remember and dream.
What are your artistic references?
I would like to be one of the “happy artists”. A “happy artist” does not take her own art seriously. I like poetry and I also love Duchamps. Dadaism really impresses me. But I also admire Tim Burton or Bowie, Banksy, JR, Picasso, Modigliani, Lucian Freud, Mark Ryden, Cuong-Lé, a very talented young photographer, Jacques Demy, the Isle of Yeu and my baker who makes such delicious croissants!
I heard an expression from a writer, whose name I cannot remember, which sums up my state of mind: “I have not lit up my mind: other people have simply switched their own off.” Here is a sentence I love. Yes, let us all light up our minds and above all let us not switch them off.
> Visit Sandrine Boulet’s website
Translated by Oona Bijasson
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