We met the french artist Emmanuelle Masson (EMA.M) just before her big retrospective „My bubble“ at our cooperating partner Seven Star Gallery in Berlin-Mitte.
Paulina’s Friends: Welcome to Berlin, Ema.M! You say you have just moved here in order to start a new life – is this a personal as well as professional decision? What does Berlin mean to you?
Ema.M: My life felt empty, and my paintings were very loaded – full of detail, which was certainly to fill this moral and intellectual hole. I need to love, learn, see, feel and suffer to advance. I didn’t find this in Cannes, a place so beautiful but so poor at intellectual level. There were too many fake people without sensitivity and emotion. My life was too easy and boring. I came here several times, and I found a city as energetic as New York twenty years ago. Berlin is charming and full of surprises. The people are so nice and really cool. I fell in love with the city in December 2016, and left everything to live here. I feel free, and my pictures are free, because my life is full. Berlin equals art, freedom, charm, expression, culture, emotions vibration and love.
PF: What is your opinion on the current social and political situation in France?
Ema.M: My country today is like a star that aged badly. What a pity! We remain on our achievements, we are too lazy and fear improvisation. Unfortunately the panache is not eternal! Politically, the situation is serious, because we do not have worthy candidates to raise the beautiful country.
PF: Share with us how you became an artist.
Ema.M: I have always drawn, since I was able to hold a pencil in my hand. My first painting was a lion, which I made when I was 3 years old. It was hung in the entrance to my kindergarten. My mother had always taken me to museums. I went to advertising school in Paris (Art Graphique), and to Central Saint Martin’s in London. Here, I also worked as a designer for Saatchi and Saatchi. But it was in 1990 that I really felt the vital need to be an artist, and I went into the orders like a nun at the covenant.
PF: In your work, you explore numerous forms – painting, sculpture, even interior design. Do you see yourself as an all-round artist?
Ema.M: My love to create is endless! I bring objects to life. This is like child birth to me, a surprise, a challenge and a joy.
PF: Does functionality lessen the value of art?
Ema.M: Art is a powerful feeling that is posed on a support, a power, a message. It is not a commercial product or movement. It comes from the guts.
PF: Where does your inspiration come from?
Ema.M: Everyday life, my emotions – what I feel, see, love, hate.
PF: Very often you repaint or completely change your paintings. What drives you to do this?
Ema.M: I’m never satisfied. My emotions are different every day. I change my paintings all the time – it’s why my agent in Cannes keeps them away from me!
PF: You talk about your ‘bubble’. What is this?
Ema.M: It is my private house with God and it’s so peaceful. Just him and me, my creation.
PF: What are you hoping to do, both in life and in art, in the future?
Ema.M: I want to keep this thirst for life, to love and create. I want a large studio or workshop, because I still have lots to do – big creations. My mission is not finished, I have a lot of work to do. I want to continue to exhibit my work around the world and be able to help others. I have to help people in difficulty.
PF: Emmanuelle, thank you so much for this interview!