“Being self-taught, I have no limits…”
Paul Zimmerman in conversation with Simone Monney
Paul Zimmerman: Your paintings range from abstractions to figuration. How do you select your subjects?
Simone Monney: I work in different styles and it depends on my mood, which one I go for. The starting point and way of working is always the same though for all styles.
PZ: Do you have any goal in mind when your start a new piece?
SM: My goal depends on the first outcome I get on the canvas. I start every art piece with spontaneous gestual strokes with Indian Ink guided by music. If this first layer is harmonious, I continue towards my lyrical abstraction artworks. Otherwise it will be used as a base for my pop art series.
PZ: What is the most challenging aspect of your work?
SM: To get that perfect and harmonious result of spontaneity and mix of colors.
PZ: What is your artistic process? How do you create your paintings?
SM: In my lyrical series I elaborate my canvases like a musical composition. Frank touches of colors and unpredictable lines are the first approach. I use mainly Indian Ink, acrylic colors, and collages of rice paper to bring depth into this style of painting. In my pop-art series called “Free spirit,” I love to express my joyful and humoristic spirit, I also use the result of my urban discoveries I took on photo. I am a fan of cartoons and cinema, so mythical cartoon figures, movie stars, and cult symbols of big cities are used to support an incredibly diversified range of colors and techniques. I love to mix cities together and create that feeling of the effervescence of the streets.
PZ: How do you know when the painting is finished?
SM: When I look at it and I feel harmoniously perfect with my painting
PZ: Have your practice changed over time?
SM: Yes and I continue to use new techniques and approaches. Being self-taught I have no limits…
PZ: How would you describe yourself as an artist?
SM: Open minded, joyful and positive
PZ: Which artists influenced you?
SM: Rauschenberg and Zao Wou-Ki.
PZ: What is art?
SM: “When the energy and the dynamics of an artwork get through to the viewer and take him on an emotional journey and even more, stimulate his or her own spirituality, art becomes love and the artwork passion.” Paul Klee said: “Art does not reproduce what we see…it makes us see!!!”
PZ: How does the pandemic influence your work and sensibility?
SM: During these difficult times, where our habits were shaken and we were forced to stay at home, I decided to create even more colorful and cheerful artworks. For me, colors have an impact on our well-being. In my new series, called “play of light”, I use metallic pigments, which allow the viewer to see different shades.