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Interview Antonin Anzil


“Like a child in front of his model train, I imagine the topography of imaginary territories. I invent a tour of the world by scanning it with my eyes, as when you let your finger slide over the surface of a terrestrial globe”

Antonin Anzil was born in 1988 in Blois. He lives and works in Paris.

Graduated from the École Européenne Supérieure de l'Image in Poitiers in 2010, and from the École Nationale Supérieure des Arts Décoratifs in Paris in 2012, he then worked at the Maison Francis Kurkdjian Creation studio until 2017.

Finesse and delicacy characterize his artistic work. The paper medium seems incompatible with the idea we have of engraving or sculpture; and yet. Meticulously, the artist creates relief, shapes and patterns appear, multiplies points, creates a world of paper.

On the bright white surface of the paper, interior landscapes, invented maps and secret motifs develop. It's up to everyone to build their own personal images , to look for their points of reference between the lines. The works are both poetic and tangible, and we would almost like to caress these delicate lace with our fingertips. Some seem marked by decorative arts, and close to textiles, recalling patterns of hangings or tapestries. Still others take us back to calm landscapes, aerial views of territories... you just have to let yourself dream of this journey.


Antonin, when did you start working on paper?

Paper as a sculpting material, since 2010. I started during my studies at Decorative Arts in Paris.

Why did you choose paper?

I have a particular affection with this medium, I wanted to use it for what it is, without ink, without colors. Create a graphic work using only its material.

What do you like about paper material?

I love its smell, its touch and its infinite varieties and possibilities

What message do you want to convey through your works?

I am not particularly trying to transmit a message through my work, but rather to let the imagination wander in these cottony and abstract landscapes.

Where do your inspirations come from?

They are multiple, all shapes, all images can inspire a movement, a pattern. Landscapes of course and the multiple forms of nature but also an architectural structure, the fiber of a weave, the patterns of a carpet...

White is predominant in your works, with what intention?

I like to use raw Arches vellum.
The best chiaroscuro, caused by the light on the surface of the bas-relief, is achieved by the white of the paper which contrasts with the black shadow. It is this play of light and shadow that reveals the pattern.

Where do you like to make your creations?

In my workshop.

Where does your passion for art come from?

It's always been there. I grew up in it. I don't really consider art as a passion. It's something inherent to my lifestyle.

Can you tell us the name of a person who inspires you and why?

François Verdier , artist engraver whom I had as a drawing teacher for more than 10 years. He passed on to me this taste for the abstract and introduced me to traditional engraving tools. Tools that I use today in a somewhat roundabout way to create my bas-reliefs.

What taste reminds you of your childhood?
Spaghetti Bolognese

Antonin Anzil exhibits around the world and most recently at the Art Market - Muriel Guépin Gallery - San Francisco, Art Paris - LN Gallery - Le Grand Palais - Paris 8th and Art on Paper - Muriel Guépin Gallery - New York City.

Find his work on antoninanzil.com and @22_22studio

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