Julien Sorribas of ‘Lipstik Design’ and ‘Sex Data’ is a French born, Australian based artist and musician creating works imbued with eros, movement, and esoteric thought.
It is a world of retro futuristic feminine beauty, industrial machinery, and fast capitalism. 1970’s B-Grade science fiction, meets 1980’s hair salon, crashing headfast into 1990’s skateboard culture.
Beautiful, yet harsh – blood splatter on high-heels…
After seeing Julien’s art, and listening to his music – we just had to ask the man some detailed questions about his life, international travels, art, thoughts on skateboarding, music and a whole lot more.
Read it all, in the interview below…
Name + D.O.B?
City, State n Country you currently call home?
Sydney, NSW, Australia
City, State n Country you’re from?
Brignoles, South of France.
Please describe some memories from key stages of your life: concerts, art, toys, romance, hunting, school, politics, crime, religion… ANYTHING really!
* Age 5 – beginnings:
I don’t remember ever being bored in my childhood. Not only that I was drawing a lot, I was lucky enough to have a small forest in front of the house and the beach, the Mediterranean Sea, 15 minutes away down the hill, offering an unlimited adventure playground. And like the typical 80’s kid, I was covered with bruises and plasters.
…My parents were fed up with my ‘experiments’ which consisted among other of mixing all the random or dangerous substances I could find in the household in the name of science.
So my Dad built me my own lab, in an empty space under the garage big enough to install shelves, light and even a operation table made in a cement block. Surrounded by all these doubtful mixtures in glass jars, movie effects attempts, disassembled electronic devices and cats skulls found in the forest me and my friends could do whatever stupid thing would go through our minds in there without blowing the house up.
Star Wars was our Bible, Dark Crystal, Conan the Barbarian, Mad Max or Indiana Jones our classics, completed by all the movies, series and cartoons of that time.
We also founded secret agent clubs or BMX gangs at that time, wearing cut finger gloves, ski goggles and homemade gang logo patches (the typical Electro Breakdance look). We would start spying on girls living in the buildings down the hill; as weird as they were and as boring their games were, they were still slowly becoming our next fascinating case study.
… Around the age of 4 I remember the kindergarten teacher asking us kids one day to draw whatever we would like to as an exercise. I took a black pen and drew something. When she saw my (obviously very black) drawing she exhibited it to rest of the class to show how awful and dark it was and took my desk mate’s beautiful and colorful butterfly drawing as the example to follow. I got blamed and booed at by the rest of the class and swallowed it even if knew inside I had done nothing bad.
I had no reason to feel guilty.
As trivial as the event may sound, it made me understand two important things: I would have to face the same stake several times during all my life (and future art involvements): following the group’s judgement and tastes, or my own intuition by trusting the void, the dark and my inner voice. And choosing the 1st option would mean being haunted by my own true self the rest of my life.
* Age 10 – continuations:
Moving with my family to Athens, Greece in 1986 for my Dad’s work (math teacher).
It was the booming of VHS. Video clubs were popping up on every street corner and the renting prices were insanely cheap, which helped me consolidate my horror / fantasy / B-Movie culture. I was also captivated by the ancient Greek art and monuments and I directly projected myself inside the Clash of the Titans, my very first VHS rented movie back in France a couple of years before.
One of my favorite weekend activities remained adventure, which was basically exploring old or abandoned houses, construction sites or sneaking into people’s places when they were inside without being caught (not to steal anything but just for the challenge and to test our secret agent abilities), always carrying our high tech material: walkie talkies, binoculars, slingshots, ninja stars, etc…
Apart from that I further developed my scientific knowledge by stealing Greek porn magazines from the street kiosks (again in the name of science).
I discovered Derek Riggs’s Iron Maiden covers which literally hypnotized me. Within a couple of years, I saved all my money to get almost all albums just to have them at home and secondarily listen to the music for hours, completely absorbed by the details and awesomeness of the graphics.
I was also a fan of the vintage video game theme songs and would record them on tape while playing the games, to listen to them later.
Around 1987 I contracted a new virus spreading among the younger individuals of the population: Skateboard. I got my first real board a year later, a Jeff Kendal deck by Santa Cruz.
We quickly got totally into spray, stencil and graffiti painting as well, which was naturally part of the whole skateboard and street culture pack.
* Age 15 – getting serious:
My scientific approach of understanding girls was taking a new turn by finally switching from theory to the first practical tests.
I listened to Jimi Hendrix, Santana, Disco and 70’s Afro Rock bands from my Dad’s vinyl collection. The Greek government provided free access to international cable TV channels to the population including MTV, opening the country to the world as well as the newest and freshest sounds (for that time) before most of the other European countries: The Red Hot Chilli Peppers, 2 Live Crew, Urban Dance Squad, the 808 States, Beastie Boys… My older cousin duplicated and sent me Acid Music tapes from France. “Acid in my House” by Miss Nicky Trax, one of my favorite, is still unique and at that time I’d beg to know how to create these crazy electronic sounds.
Meanwhile I would have to deal with the cheap Casio synth we had at home and start the most bad ass beats I could find in the internal soundbank and press on the lowest notes of the keyboard to create these very dark and hypnotising waves and frequencies, sounding like horror or space movies, that would later be characteristic of my music.
All my friends were playing an instrument; guitar, bass, drums… but I couldn’t decide, didn’t want to learn any of them or be in a band. I wanted to be my own band and have the full control, so I still had to be patient and wait a couple of years before finding the right medium, the appropriate weapon.
Moving again. This time to Cairo, Egypt in 1992. I experienced the incredibly powerful Egyptian pot and the magic of this country that inspired so many orientalist poets and artists.
My imagination was exponentially amplified.
My drawings switched from the traditional graffiti to something more personal with a psychedelic style, in the stream of the 90’s skateboard art that was renewing itself and 70’s Sci-Fi… I got to listen to more Industrial, Straight Edge, Post Punk, Goth Rock, Fusion and Funk.
Party pills were popular in those years and during a short holiday back in Greece, a friend of mine, Anna, put the Prodigy Experience in my Walkman and told me: “Julien, you have to listen to this! It’s the music of the future!” She couldn’t have described it better, it was sounding like nothing I had ever heard before. That was a blast, a revelation, just pure science, it made me understand the unlimited possibilities of electronic music and the urgency for me to get into this at one point.
* Age 20 – young adult:
I was back in France in Montpellier at the age of 18 to study art at the university, then at the Beaux Arts and finally graphic design, which gave me very different approaches: academic, experimental and technical.
I was experimenting with all kinds of media and mixed techniques: photography, computer arts, painting, sculptures and studying art history. Music wise I started to compose short tracks using free promotional software on CD ROMs from my Dad’s computer mags. I would twist and distort the patches of very limited soundbanks and ad my own samples. I recorded a couple of tapes under the name Nurse, inspired by the German label DHR (Atari Teenage Riot, Cobra Killer, etc..).
At that time, music, art, skateboarding, girls and parties were my unique obsessions. I intensified my studies of the women mystery folder and got to the cutting edge of scientific research in this field.
Despite my very serious investment in parties and against all expectations, I miraculously got my graphic design diploma.
* Age 25 – adult mode:
I lived in Montreal since 2 years at that time. I arrived there with my professional diploma and the firm intention to party and go on further with my artistic projects… which I did for the next decade.
I learned everything on the fly: organizing my own exhibitions, music shows, dealing with galleries, clubs or bars, connecting with other bands and artists, creating flyers, writing press releases… everything.
The Lipstik identity became more defined. Fascinated by the North American mass consumption society, aggressive branding and 1 dollar stores, I ran my first two solo exhibitions “Lipstik Propanganda” a Clockwork Orange look alike installation in nightclubs and festivals. I got to listen to more Electronic, Vintage Synth and other Dark Disco underground hybrid projects and had my first stage experience as part of an Electro Punk project with female singer Venus Virus.
I was freelancing as a graphic designer on the side – just enough to pay the rent, sometimes I even survived just by DJing a couple of nights a week and selling Lipstik posters from my exhibitions.
After adopting a strong visual impact and a high contrast stencil graphic style the following years, I finally developed a new process based on photo-montage and vectorial art, offering a more realistic, illustrative and colorful rendering reminding of 80’s airbrush paintings.
* Age 30 – fully formed:
I worked as a graphic designer for the fashion industry, producing T-Shirt print designs for skate, surf and street wear all day long to pay the bills and work on Lipstik and my Electric Pinups at night or during lunch breaks… I eventually settled down with my girlfriend at that time sharing my artistic and libertine lifestyle. I started producing large amounts of artworks, became a regular participant of the annual Erotic art festival of Montreal, had a couple of publications in international collection books and contests, allowing me to exhibit at the World Erotic Art Museum in Miami and in other American and Canadian cities.
Fed up with working on music with a computer (I was using software and cheap synths plugged to a Wha-wha guitar effect pedal), I acquired my first Roland groovebox (MC 307) second hand, exploring a whole new way to create and perform electronic music with an all-in-one hardware device.
We eventually moved to Port Dover, Ontario in the Canadian country side for 1 ½ years, right at the Erie lake close to Niagara and the U.S. border. I did all the worst jobs possible there but had the loveliest time ever, having everything needed: a old house on the beach, beautiful nature and vineyard landscapes, a very decent local skatepark and awesome, wild countryside mates from the corner pub and their local ghost stories. I composed a lot of my first “Sex Data” music tracks over there.
* Age 35 – meanderings:
Single again, I was living close to my favorite skatepark back in Montreal, and I listened to my 1 dollar garage sale Hawaiian vinyls with colorful pin up covers in my tikki living room with my cat… watching the snow fall by the window and counting the days till it melts so I can start skating again. I could hear the call for adventure through the icy wind: I couldn’t stand the snow and cold weather anymore, it was 12 years that I was in North America, I knew every corner of Montreal, I needed a change.
I accepted a job opportunity in Berlin where I spent 5 years and met my current German girlfriend. I had my very first Sex Data show in a Punk Bar thinking: “Man, they’re gonna spit or throw empty beer bottles at me after the first minute…” but they surprisingly seemed to enjoy it, slowly and gravely banging their heads at the rhythm of my “Mad Max” beats.
After a couple of other sets at Space Disco nights in clubs or bars with a completely different audience but encountering the same apparent feedback, I had to get to the conclusion that my new music project was not only made for a couple of ardent nerdy friends who could enjoy in-depth odd and obscure music like me, but could actually reach a way larger audience than I had imagined.
But Berlin was still too cold for me and this city, which I already knew from previous trips, was in my opinion starting to suffer from a saturated art scene and attracting the whole hipster crappy f—ing nation. I needed something else, I’m a southern kid, I still need more sun and being able to skateboard 12 months a year!
* Age 40 – middle age creeping:
My girlfriend and I moved to Australia! The sun, the beach, the luxuriant nature mixing with brand new futuristic building and areas… my local skatepark 2 minutes away, parrots and giant bats flying over my balcony at sunset: I feel like I’m home! Most of the artists I get to work with are focused on producing and promoting art and not only obsessed by their looks or tattoos.
I am involved in various local festival, events and art collectives. My girlfriend got herself a cruising board, vintage sexy roller skates, so now it’s about Adventure WITH the skateboards WITH my girlfriend at the other end of the world!
To be continued…
“Drawing women helps me exorcise my obsession and fascination for their curves.”
Why do you have two art brands / names? And what are the reasons for choosing both of them? (‘Lipstik Design’ and ‘Sex Data’)
For Lipstik, the graphic part of my work, I wanted a name fitting some of its main characteristics: a bit 70’s kitsch Porno Chic, punk, feminine but sharp as cutter blades. And funny enough: some people are really surprised when they learn that the person behind Lipstik is actually a dude and not a female artist!
With Sex Data, I wanted something that could be the name of a sexploitation B-Movie (as most of my productions sound like soundtracks) about sex robot dolls or so, a cyberpunk concept name connecting organic to synthetic, neurons to electrons.
Both are complimentary as the artwork illustrates the music that is itself a bit of the soundtrack of my visual universe, so I could have combined the two projects under one single name indeed.
But as I had previous music projects under different names it was easier and more logical to separate them. At the end these are still two different disciplines.
When and why did you first start making art of any type!?
At the age of 6 or so I once cut all my sister’s fake cheap plastic Barbie dolls and let their body parts float in mercurochrome (a red antiseptic solution for minor injuries) in a plastic tupperware with a “Danger” skull sticker on the top. I thought that was pretty cool but unfortunately my Mum did not share the same artistic vision and threw the whole thing away. That was my first confrontation with the toughness of art critics… But 30 years later I still sacrifice dolls for my exhibitions.
As far as I remember, I was drawing a lot since I could hold a pen. That was the most appropriate way for me to express different ideas rather than with words and it would let my imagination flow.
I always was amazed by the fact that you could do it everywhere and just needed pencils and a piece of paper to instantly escape reality and into your own world.
Any pivotal artistic moment(s) / influence(s)?
My Dad was a very big book and comics reader, including lots of Sci-Fi. He collected 70’s adult fantasy comics such as Heavy Metal Magazine (sold as Métal Hurlant in France and often featuring Sorayama, Corben, Liberatore or Frazetta) or l’Écho des Savanes during the golden age of this very innovative popular art form.
So I grew up in this universe and the toys, series and cartoons for kids were similar but in a softer version: cyborgs, monsters, epic superheroes and sexy female creatures (their clits & tits were just more covered) evolving in retro-futuristic or post apocalyptic worlds… This 80’s pop culture had a big impact on my artistic sensitivity and future aesthetic choices, I’m a pure product of it.
And it’s the same for the soundtracks of these productions: New Wave, Italo Disco, Vintage Synth and the catchy heroic winning melodies of Post-Prog Cocaine Electro Power Rock bands.
As mentioned before Derek Riggs cover art (Iron Maiden) definitely left an indelible mark in my mind.
Later in the 90’s, the graffiti art of Cat and Van, two talented girls who were spray painting these incredible S&M cartoony dolls in the streets of Toulouse helped me define my own artistic vision and direction; I wanted to do something similar but with realistic female characters.
The artwork of Robert Williams was also an influence and the sun marks on my characters are a bit of a tribute to his work (also because they are just crazy sexy and like the white part of the chicken it’s always the best part).
Each country I had the chance to live in left a strong mark as well and pops out here and there in my art.
Do you consider what you are making to be art, design, re-hashed crap?
I guess it’s a bit of everything…
In general I like the idea of hacking a picture or an object when it’s relevant, extracting it from its context and giving it a new significance or dimension. That was big in the skate culture especially in the 90’s with Big Brother magazine, in the 70’s with Hustler, Hara Kiri (in France) or the Do-it-yourself Punk culture that would divert ads or use collages often in a Dadaist way. I especially love to hijack packaging elements and did several works with them.
My first exhibitions in Montreal were almost only made of 1 dollar store junk and old TVs, mannequins and neon signs found in the backstreet waste containers or garbage that I would fix, paint and re-brand with my logo well enough that some people would think I was at the head of a mass producing company.
That was part of the approach; I like the idea of throwing back their own garbage into the audiences faces, without them knowing it.
Worst aspect of the contemporary art hustle?
Everyone can be an artist.
Best aspect of the contemporary art hustle?
Everyone can be an artist.
Favorite other artist(s)?
Peter Klasen, Alphonse Mucha, Patrick Nagel, Hajime Sorayama, Tanino Liberatore (Ranx Xerox), Robert Williams, Philip Castle, Geof Darrow, to name a few, as well as lots of other underground comic artists and illustrators. Among the recent artists, I think Laura Callaghan’s work is truly brilliant and sexy.
Musically speaking, the influences for Sex Data are so vast and diverse, but just to name the main ones I would say: Amanaz, The MC5, Hawkwind, Futurisk, ARE Weapons, Black Devil Disco Club, D.A.F., A Certain Ratio, Barry de Vozon (The Warriors of the Bronx), Savage House, Public Image, Tim Blake, Neon, Painteens, The Prodigy, Cybotron, Mandingo, Xmal Deutschland, Absolute Body Control, Glass Candy, Space, Kas Produkt, Gina X, The Plasmatics, Alien Sex Fiend, Skinny Puppy… It’s hard to reduce the list and almost unfair for all the other bands that really shaped the creation of the Sex Data sound.
Describe the process of producing your art? – Dot point all o.k!
* your traditional drawings and sketches?
I used to hand draw a lot, but now I only sketch to prepare my compositions or just note random ideas. It’s the very first step after the raw idea itself. It helps me put it down on the paper, extract it from my head.
I always have a sketchbook with me everywhere I go as ideas can come anytime from the middle of nowhere, including at night during a dream.
* your digital art?
My technique is to basically drawing vector art on photo-montages on the computer in order to have a realistic illustrative rendering between Art Nouveau and 80’s airbrush.
For the female models, I usually do a quick photo shoot with a friend, an (ex)girlfriend, the neighbour… whoever wants to get involved. If I can’t find the time for it, I just go through my adult image bank folder and – like Dr. Frankenstein – cut and paste pieces of women’s bodies to reconstruct the needed poses to use as a base for the drawing.
When the composition is ready I get into the vectorial drawing phase to shape the bodies with shadows and Art Nouveau fine outlines, eventually I add more elements e.g. jewellery, accessories or tattoos.
The last step is just about adjusting the contrasts and balancing the colors, make them more vivid and attractive to the eye.
* your sculptures and objects – such as your toys, 3D printed skate parks etc?
I use 3D freewares to combine the women bodies with geometric shapes. I did prototypes with clay and wood too, they have a very different and interesting result but are less precise and detailed.
I do lots of preliminary sketches before as well for design and shape researches.
If people wanted to collaborate, work with you or just buy some art – how should they get in touch?
Art is evil but don’t try it with a Ouija board, just email me: firstname.lastname@example.org
Sex Data YouTube Channel: here
What does skateboarding mean to you and why?
At the age of 12 or so one of my best friends Paul showed up one day with one of these big 80’s skateboards. He was trying to convince me to get one as well but I told him: “Man, I don’t want to stop playing Adventure for that thing!” He answered me: “You didn’t get it man, it’s not the end of Adventure, it’s Adventure WITH the skateboards now!”
I got my first (supermarket) board and never stopped since then.
…Sadly my friend passed away just 10 years later, so I guess that’s the reason I never stopped what we started together; skate, art, music and feel this permanent urge to achieve something in these 3 fields.
It slowly became a part of me, of my DNA. Like an extra organ, taking control, regulating and balancing my body and mind. The culture, music, lifestyle around it, it’s an immersive experience and complete devotion. More than a passion, it’s an addiction and I need my daily dose. It’s pure freedom as well as a self-alienation or a religion.
As a woman’s body, a skatepark is a temple, a sanctuary to me and discovering a new one is riding the curves and mysteries of a never explored landscape with the same thrill in the guts. It’s a cult site and like sex, skateboard puts you in a mystical trance that frees your body from the laws of gravity, elevates your soul by getting it closer to the Goddesses… (;
If you had to describe skateboarding, to a recently landed alien visitor from outer space – what would you tell ‘em and why?
I would tell them what it takes to convert his whole civilisation to my new skate cult and spread my empire to the rest of the whole damn galaxy.
I would organise sexy female intergalactic arena fights and build Lipstik skateboard temples at the four corners of the universe.
Favorite skaters and why?
None really or I barely know or recall their names anyway. Unlike with artists or bands I never had a particular skate hero figure, I focus on my own skateboarding and try to impress myself in the first place, staying imaginative and persistent, taking it seriously like a martial discipline.
I just watch random videos when I need inspiration or new tricks to challenge myself. It’s a bit of a solitary activity, an introspective quest like art and at the end it’s all about you, your board and no one else to blame.
Thoughts on the criticisms often levelled at Skate culture… mainly to do with its ‘tough guy masculine posturing’ aspects… Such as violence, misogyny, etc.?
Back in the 80’s when I started, we would skate like wolf packs, 30 kids riding the streets at the same time sounding like thunder, an earthquake or an aircraft from hell.
Believe me, no one would say anything when 30 kids got in the bus and didn’t pay for their tickets.
We would get mostly in trouble with the local population or stores as it was a bit of an unknown phenomena there (in Athens) but we weren’t thugs or did anything too bad. BMXers would fight vs. skaters that already hated rollers, etc… but never anything big. I’d say the violence was more in the folklore and graphics of the skateboard culture that was a bit inspired by Biker Gangs or Punk iconology.
But one very good friend and skate veteran of mine explained me that in Sydney in the same years you couldn’t even skate outside of your own neighbourhood or you’d be beaten up by locals, something I never witnessed myself.
As far as I remember it wasn’t rare to have one girl in a local skate crew. They weren’t as many as today and I wouldn’t talk for them but I can’t say I ever observed reject or true contempt from the guys. They were actually well accepted, even in the late 80’s when skaters were more of asses in their attitude.
I mean, a girl skateboarding is always sexy and nice to watch, they definitely bring something different, fresh and very welcoming into this sweaty, hairy jerkosterone world.
I also dated a couple of skate girls in the past and but it was a bit weird and funny at the same time as they would dress pretty much like you, skate and follow you in the streets like your mates, while usually (non skating) girlfriends would wait, bored to death for their boyfriends at the skatepark. I found their legs full of bruises or plasters terribly sexy though.
And Fun Fact # 624 with the 90’s XXL baggy pants you could reach their boobs under their bra by passing your hand from the bottom of the pants! 😀
Odds and Ends
Why did you decide to move to Australia man?
Adventure, Art and Love (as I came here with my girlfriend) and I won’t lie… to see sharks! The weather is great, the nature, the coast and the beaches are gorgeous. The art scene seems small at first sight but when you dig a bit deeper you find out it’s quite unconventional, very open, active and collaborative, offering lots of artistic opportunities.
And Sydney is beautiful. There are very modern buildings where I live. Mixed with the luxuriant nature it reminds me of the 60’s visionary architecture so I constantly feel surrounded by design and beauty as soon as I put a foot outside the door. This is a very inspiring environment where prehistoric landscapes and creatures are a door away from the civilisation.
I had a visceral desire to live in this country since a long time with no real rational reason (like for Canada), apart from just establishing myself here for a part of my life and producing art.
Luckily my life’s pathway – following a bit of a chaotic and artistic lifestyle – allowed me to achieve this part of my dreams.
Please describe what you think the Australian psyche / zeitgeist is today?
I’m slowly getting to identify and understand it but at first sight, I would feel it’s young and promising.
I like the atypical art scene profile that escapes the global standardisation of the world art scene and trends. Probably because of the geographical isolation and distance from the rest of the world, Australia remains a land of possibilities attractive to pioneers and continentals in search of freedom, limitless creative horizons, running off the European patronising and jaded art hustle.
Like lots of young countries it is still in the process of shaping its proper identity and positioning itself in this new century’s future mutating world. And it will be determined by its own very specific subconscious background and history, the newcomers influence and its way that it will eventually find to integrate its first nations communities heritage and psyche in this quest. The quite unique life conception and arts approach of the aboriginal people and the paradoxical relation and dynamic to art of modern Australians could be a very interesting fusion.
As we often hear reproaches from the art and cultural community about the lock out laws or the government not promoting or injecting funds in arts enough, you can find very motivated local artistic communities which get strongly involved in developing the scene which is in my eyes a sign of healthiness and vitality.
I see Australia and its art as a place of possibilities, opportunities, for whoever wants to try something. New ideas are usually welcome and considered with enthusiasm and openness. In only 3 years I exhibited a dozen times (including two solo shows ) and probably more then 30 music performances, which is quite a lot.
Who was your 1st crush and why?
A new girl at school when I was 8 or so. She had very dark hair and swimming pool electric blue eyes that speared my brain like laser rays and tightened my guts ‘til it hurt.
That’s the day you realise your world, isn’t solidly fixed on the ground and is just relying on a fragile balance that can collapse in no time and without any warning.
Does sex change everything?
I’d say it does at a physiological level as it’s the result of a close to perfect chemical and genetic match between 2 individuals.
It’s an apocalyptic revolution in the brain and entire body, a dopamine shot putting you in a trance state but like a flash of lightning, a physical crush has a short life and other intellectual, emotional and unconscious parameters are involved to make a relationship evolve in time. (That’s the theoretical part, though!)
Which cartoon character would you most like to see in a tribute sex toy, and why?
Man, I knew this interview would be tough…
I guess Warner Bros.”Tornado” Tazmanian Devil (to stay in the Australian context) would do a great job and will be fast to draw.
Who would win in a fight and why: Tony Hawk Vs. a recently landed alien visitor from outer space?
(Please draw the battle in all its violent beauty!)
Tony Hawk earthling ass is kicked with no doubt by my Lipstik Amazon warriors skateboard team from outer space…
I’ll cheat and provide an old drawing from my teenage years that should sum up the scene the best.
Please describe your latest dream in detail…
This time I’ll use a joker and will describe a dream I had one day that I think was pretty cool…
I was talking to a very beautiful girl in this dream, and shared with her that I was fully conscious about the fact that I was dreaming this scene and that everything around including herself was unreal and part of a scenario created by my own brain. With teasing smiling eyes she answered me: “Well as unreal as I am, you’re still flirting and wouldn’t mind to see how far you could go with me…” I didn’t find much to reply, so we kissed… and it raised an interesting question in me about the relation of an artist to his own creations, virtual worlds and “creatures”.
Of everything you have done what would you most like to be remembered for and why?
I would say my art.
It’s interlinked and inseparable to my child and adult life’s pathway and psyche. It has always been my priority, no matter the price, so because of my dedication and commitment to it, I guess that would be the most relevant thing for me to transmit.
I was completely broke in Montreal at one point, I mean really broke, with just a couple of dollars left in the pocket. But I used them to buy cheap women panties to make a Lipstik prototype (by applying my logo on them with paint and a stencil). But while seeing these last coins go away I was thinking: “Something must be really wrong in my head. Which sane person would do such a thing?”
So yeah remember me for this, my love for art and girls panties! And if my artwork can inspire anyone like I got inspired by others who convinced me to draw then I’ll consider I reached a part of my goal.
Drugs – waste of time or gateway to the universe?
I see drugs as a tool that, like any other tool has its potential risk if misuse or used as a crutch to cope with life. Everyone has its own relation to them and it’s up to you to define if it brings you something interesting and when it starts to become a real handicap or a threat to your mental or physical integrity.
It’s a game with the Devil so you’ve got to stay smart and vigilant.
In my case it really changed my approach and understanding of reality by seeing our social and cognitive limits of perception further, directly plugging my brain to endless possibilities of creativity. It’s paradoxically quite frustrating for an artist to experience such intense and rich visions from these parallel worlds without being able to bring all of them back. It brought me a lot at certain times of my life and now just remains occasional.
I was always more into girls than drugs and would have no time to waste battling against an addiction, my art taking too much time anyway.
What role did toys play in your childhood?
I was a huuuge fan of action figure toys: Star Wars, Masters of the Universe, Mask, Zoids… Cobra, the nazis / baddies or Punks from G.I. Joe and Action Force were insanely cool. Even the cheaper versions of all these collections ruled!
We would arrange indoor or outdoors setups, scenarios and play for hours. Sadly lots of them, if not stupidly lost or stolen, ended up “customised”, dismembered or in the barbecue as I had toy genocidal tendencies (but still own a batch of survivors).
They definitely play a big role not only in my childhood, but in my designs as an adult as well. Amazon warriors, Goddesses, Robot sex machines or a whole pantheon of Roller Derby teams, I create my characters with the same idea of building a heroic portrait like you can find through all art history as sculptures or paintings. Like for toys somehow, it’s about immortalising strength or beauty of a figure, extracting its essence through the pose, attitude, attributes or accessories to fix it into time as a single object, letting the imagination build the rest of the legend.
At the Coliseum in Rome you will find antique graffiti engraved in the rock of the walls and seats by the public, glorifying the most famous and popular gladiator fighters of the moment. It’s a bit the same idea.
What are the top 3 items you own?
Hard to choose, I have a lot! Let’s go with :
My Korg EM1 music production station that can rock a rocker’s ass!
My collection of naked chicks lighters.
My cat skulls.
Any collaborations on the horizon?
Lots in the queue but always pushed back because of missing time. But I really want to proceed with a couple of them this year with local artists, including creating some portraits of them.
Concerning the music, I would love to work with a female dancer interested in doing experimental moves on my live music or street busking sessions, like belly dancing with plastic snakes for instance (I’m providing the music and the snakes). Spontaneously adding other live instruments; guitar, bass, synth, vocals or other media like video always gives another dimension to the performances..
…so do not hesitate to get in contact, I’m open to any suggestion.
Any major projects you want to hype?
My next project will be an adult toy line of retro futuristic Lipstik warriors, including the whole campaign with kick ass soundtrack, posters, and fake 80’s promotion TV ads… But it’s a bit early now to say how long it will take to finalise, as it’s an entirely homemade project, but stay tuned: soon in your galaxy!
Otherwise watch your ass in Sydney’s streets or the underground for Sex Data buskin’ & rockin’ it!