21 March 2016
Alexandre Bellenger: cheers!
Hi Alexandre, your work and style have spiked our curiosity. Can you introduce yourself to our readers in 140 words?

I live in the east quiet suburbs of Paris in France. I make music, videos, I take pictures, do drawings, collages, paintings and also a fanzine called My Precious Trash. I started all these activites around 1995 and I’ll be 41 this year. I am self-taught. It just happened like this I guess and today I am happy with that aspect of myself.

Since we follow you on Instagram, your social profile has become bigger every day. Your posts are ironic, colorful and always original like in a kaleidoscope. How can you do that?

Oh ! I wonder if there is a recipe really ! Anyway I guess I invented my own probably! I discovered Instagram pretty late I’d say. It’s been just a year since I started posting on there. Once I was showing some recent works of mine to a friend and she suggested that I should try Instagram, that my works could fit there well. And that’s what I did. The first big impulse came from posting pictures involving the socks from an italian brand called Oybō. I had just bought many of them and found out that it was pretty fun to take pictures of my own feet. I’ve actually now developped a proper technique for that, like a « feetselfie » technique (otherwise I really dislike that idea of selfie. I much prefer to call it self-made). I also started a serie of pictur ecalled « Stand up auto portrait » which has kind of become my everyday signature post. And then slowly I got into taking more and more pictures of myself in various situations, of the clothes I wear, their details, the colors and alway strying to make it look like it’s not me who’staking the pictures because I found it most of the time disgraceful. I also work sometimes with a photographer called Agatha Point.The narcissism question is important to me. It is always present in any art activity anyway I believe, but it is even more present when it comes to take pictures of yourself. I found it rather obscene somehow. So I had to find a way to create a character for Instagram to be suitable and bearable and acceptable for my mind. It also inspired me to create another serie, I likeseries in fact. It is a serie of stop motion videos. I’ve done about 70 by now. Each of them lasts15 seconds. I love it because with this media I can mix my tastes for clothes styling, colors, dancing, do the clown and also use my own music on them ! And the fact that they are looped automatically on Instagram really adds that kind of running gag which often provokes laughter with a goodtouch of irony (like some Chaplin or Keaton stuff). Sometimes I also post some of my drawings, paintings or pictures of things I like. I love mixin gcolors as much as possible. I love colors. I love finding the balance of different colors together, like the palette of a painter, that’s what I like most.

Which are the things you love and you hate of your job?

I have never had a job really. I don’t like the idea of a job. It might sounds really really odd or pretentious to say that nowadays but I have decided and managed to live my life so far without having to have a job. I do everything I do considering it purely my desire to create. I have never taken a holiday in my life ever (I shoul dsometimes in fact… that’s what my daughter would like !). I work constantly and at the same I am constantly on holidays. It’s a pretty odd way to function maybe but that’s the way I find it works the best for me. I’m always having things going on inside me, plans, ideas and stuff on the move. It can take years sometimes or maybe just a day to accomplish them, it depends. Even if I seem to be off for weeks not doing much, it means I am probably preparing something. And sometimes I am not even really aware of it myself. It’s a weird process. It took me years to be fine withit. And it is still sometimes pretty tough to deal with. I think it’s a lifetime thing. It’s something I’m always working on. It will never end I think. It’s like always making it closer to a livable « économie de jouissance » as I would call it in french. I will always keep on working on how I want to live my life. And the more it goes, the more I see what’s important or not and it seems lighter and ligther and smoother. I want to feel a bit less silly day after day. Sometimes again it’s really rough and tough and there is doubt, but since I was a child I’ve been driven by somekind of inner strong energy and desire. I have always created things, mostly on my own, talking a lot to myself, inventing stories, playing characters, making up weird disguises with stuff I found anywhere like old clothes, pins, badges, pieces of fabrics and looking like a mix of a clown and a punk ! I wanted to be Boy George when I was 8!

Which is the color you prefer to use when you get dressed in this season? And for the next spring?

I love blue. I realise how much during those last 6 months I’ve loved to wear blue in fact. All kinds of blue. I love to create some « full blue » outfit. Camaieu of blue, duck blue with clearblue and navy blue with a touch of royal blue ! I find it hard to wear green for example. Maybe I’ll manage one day. Also I really love odd mixes of colors and patterns. Like orange, pink and red for example. Sometimes I manage and it works. The key is never try too much. I must let it come easy, otherwise it mean sit is on the wrong track. It should not feel forced. For the next few months I’ve been thinking pinkc ouldbe a good option. Full pink outfit ! Ah ah ! But multicolor is for sure my favorite color ! The colors that suit us really have to do with the color of our skin. Some colors don’t mix well with your skin color and that is something to consider. I’m not sure that clear colorsr eally match well with the skin of my face or hands for example. They make me look quite pale and as I have a red hair type of skin color, it doesn’t really work on me.

Give an advice for those who want to experience their creativity on Instagram.

I don’t know if one should ever givean advice really ! But well, for me Instagram is like any other thing in life. It is just part of it, of the whole thing. It is a tool, a place, and it works the same way other societies or groups of people work or have worked probably the sameway for about 3000 years. So I’d say, it might sound simple, but it’s mostly just about being yourself. I’ve just finished reading a book about Jeff Koons where he discusses with art critic and historian Norman Rosenthal. And Rosenthal explains to Koons how he decided not to be an artist because he though the would be too anxious about what to do as an artist thinking that nowadays everything has already been done and that he wouldn’t be able to do anything new. And Koons simply said to him that the key is : just do what you REALLY want to do. Do what is YOU, because as there is only one YOU, it has obviously never been done before. It sounds simple but if you dig into that direction and mix it with reading litterature, the classics I mean, philosophy and add to it a good dose of freudian and lacanian psychoanalys is then you can get to the core of it, to what make seach of us that unique and singular, one and no other. Out of art activities or creation, every talking being should get the chance and risk (because it isrisky of course) to go through that step, that neverending step which consists in working on one self to always get closer to the core self and feel how it is good and strong to be alive and do things one loves and share them with others. Smiling and laughing ! Sharing and laughing !And dancing ! Ah ahah ! How sad it is nowadays to see most people in their little corner trying to just get ephemeral fame !This is a time gone by. Let’s share things and have a good laugh together ! Cheers !

Alexandre Bellenger for DDmag– Paris – 1 Marzo 2016
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