MUNTHE ART MONDAY: ANDREA MONGENIE
Please introduce yourself and tell us about what you do.
Hello! My name is Andrea, I am an Artist. I paint largely abstract compositions. I’m interested in colour, colour’s effect on people, and how composition is a fragile thing, always close to collapse. I grew up in Paris, went to art school in London, where I spent most of my adult life and ended up building a career in set design before becoming a painter. I used to be an art director for brands and magazines. It nourished my love for creating and building scenes with a backstory using objects, textures, and light. And now I’m back in Paris. My transition to painting, and my obsession with colour and form, came after the birth of my first child. Painting was a form of self-care or ritual that I would engage with every day as a balancing act to motherhood. And it slowly grew bigger and bigger in scale and space and eventually was an inherent part of my everyday life. Becoming a mother really pushed me to my limits in a way I didn’t know was possible, it helped me to let go of a lot of things holding me back, it gave me the strength to believe in my instincts.
Could you explain more about how being a woman has affected your career?
Being a woman in the art world means your role models are less visible. It’s harder to visualize the career you could have. Galleries and museums still have a majority of male artists on their rotations and being a mother and an artist is even more taboo. I have a lot of faith that things are changing and it’s a motivator in my work. Making work to inspire a younger generation of women, changing the narrative of the failing artist, and succeeding in allying a full-time career and family life is possible. I get inspired by women around me succeeding in the art world so I hope that by working hard and believing in myself I can have a similar impact or pave the way in a small way.
Can you name some other female (artist) that inspires you and explain why they do so?
Confident women (artist or not) who believe in their path, are successful and who manage to support/bring up other women along the way are my inspiration. Managing to elevate each other within our growth is powerful to me. I am sensitive to the works of lots of artists, I love discovering new talent on Instagram. Incomplete list of artists I am into at the moment: Etel Adnan, Frankenthaler, Joan Mithcell, Yayoi Kusama, but also emerging artists like Tiffany Bouelle, Zarah Holm, Nura Maria, Claudia Valsells, Diana Miller, Les Rogers, Peggy Kuiper… I’m excited to see what the future holds for all of them.
What has been the most challenging aspect of being a female artist?
Having the confidence to believe that I can have a career in the art world and be taken seriously and make a living from it. I think that is the hardest challenge. Fighting the strange assumption that because I am a woman it’s a hobby or it should be free or that my work lacks substance.
What would you like people to notice in your artwork?
I would like people to project a bit of themselves into my artwork, and let their imagination see what they want to see. I adore it when people come up with personal interpretation of my work. I hope they can relate to a certain sensibility of colour and love of form and nature. And hopefully if I am that lucky, feel the intense energy I give each piece through an emotion or a sensation whether it’s calm or peace or something else.
Each Monday we bring you an interview with a contemporary female artist.
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