Arbitrary Moments Sublimated
A few months ago, during our visit to Toulouse when we had the chance to meet the sculptor Gérard Lartigue and the hyperrealist artist Laurent Minguet, we stopped to see Mia, an artist whose work we love. We were instantly charmed by her big heart, generosity and passion for her art. Let’s meet this artist whose love for city life has taught her to sublimate the arbitrary better than anyone else.
The day it all started…
It all began with an art elective in high school, where the artist Mia, or Émilie Pannier, began to acquire her drawing and painting skills. She continued her studies with a Bachelor’s degree in art that she obtained at the Sorbonne in Paris. Inspired by Marcel Duchamp, she holds him in high esteem and defines him as an avant-gardist.
K. Hello Mia, what a pleasure to meet you! First of all, tell us about how your vibrant urban style came to be…
I have always been attracted to urban spaces, their graphics and lines. Their aesthetics are rich, colorful, and anything but static. I started by first painting city scapes, emphasizing the architecture. I then honed in on the concept and began painting the heart of the cities themselves and what takes place in and among these large architectural structures that I admire.
K. What does a day in your studio look like?
A creative session is often quite long. It starts by searching for images, but can also start with a subject that inspires me through their attitude and form. Their appearance is also important – their outfit, the folds and drapes of the fabrics that dress them. The surroundings are equally vital. And sometimes I just paint a subject because they’re standing in front of graffiti that I like and want to incorporate into my art.
I create my images on Photoshop. Every detail is important! This is when I set the scene. It all takes place within my universe. It is then that I pass to the next stage: the painting.
All colors work to serve my subject. They are constructed around the subject and made to highlight it. But it’s the lighting that brings everything to life. I’ll then write a text, usually very short, like notes in a notebook, a repertoire of painted and written images.
K. And who are these subjects or models?
My models are anonymous individuals or friends. In reality, it is especially their look that matters, the movement, the gait, the air with which they carry themselves.
Oil Painting (100 x 100 cm)
Oil Painting (30 x 40 cm)
Jeune femme au pull vert
Oil Painting (81 x 100 cm)
Oil Painting (40 x 40 cm)
K. Why does the city fascinate you more than any other setting?
Although they have a very pictorial dimension, I have never succeeded in painting landscapes. For the moment I look at them with admiration and think that perhaps one day I’ll paint them.
But cities on the other hand, they direct one’s glance with their lines and force you to abide by the rules of their architecture.
I am also very interested in the individual and how one’s very existence creates light play. This is very present yet fleeting as people move around the city.
K. It’s hard to think of Mia without thinking of Street Art. Which artists of this genre contributed to the development of your style?
I like all forms of Street Art. From the small and seemingly insignificant graffiti done on a whim, to the magnificent Réso frescoes in Toulouse, they all reflect our need for art. It is a testimony of our time.
I love the work of Gregory Watin or Golsa Golchini. It’s a tasty mix of contemporary art. Their work with light and color fascinates me. There have been many great masters who have exploited this subject.
K. If you had to define your approach in a few words…
The idea of sublimating the arbitrary and anecdotal while revisiting the colors of everyday life. Art is everywhere, depending on how you look at things.
Ode à une vitrine
Oil Painting (30 x 30 cm)
Oil Painting (55 x 60 cm)
Oil Painting (80 x 80 cm)