“Madame”, or “Madame Moustache” uses old newspaper clippings and other old documents to revive them as collages in the streets of Paris and elsewhere. Her Collages cover topics such as transgression , love or gender. She kindly spent some time with ISSA, sharing a glass of wine.
– dear Madame, please introduce yourself to us.
I am “Madame” or “Madame Moustache”, but originally it is “Madame”. I’m a “collagist, a bill-poster” I work mostly collage, I add a few color drawings, but very little. I come from a family of painters, my grandfather was a painter and a scenographer, my father followed somewhat the same way without making it his profession, and I have a stage actor background but also as a theatre analyst, on both theory and practice.
I was an actress for 8 years after that, I left everything, I traveled, and when I came back, as I was a bad actress (laughs), I looked for other ways to express myself. I was very complexed about drawing because of my family history, I did not feel up to it, suddenly I start to stick, stick on my drawings, and this became just collage.
– where does your tag name come from?
Originally, two years ago, I choose “Madame” because I thought it was “flashy” (laughs) I thought it was cool, but it is also a nose thumb, because when I was young ,people tough I was a boy, because my hair were ravaged by a friend of mine, another reason to choose “Madame” was because I spent a lot of time with guys, I’m a bit of a tomboy, suddenly it’s a nose thumb to all this. It”s also due to the fact that I never been able to come to terms with being a girl. In fact it was obvious.
– How do you define yourself? Artist? Street artist? Anything else?
I have a problem, I could never say that I am an artist as long as I’m not living off the fruit of my work . I grew up in an artistic family where my grandfather used to tell me that “it’s not you that can proclaim you’re an artist, it is the others who say to you that you’re an artist or not, “and I find it very true. I could never say that I am an artist, I find it too pretentious, in fact I am a lot of things, I am a restaurant manager when I’m in my restaurant, I’m a bloody idiot when I do the bloody idiot (laughs), I’m a collagist when I make collages, I’m not an artist, I don’t know.
-Most street artists have an interesting back ground. How did it all start for you?
I was born in a small ugly town near Tours, in “Joue-Les-Tours”, it’s a dormitory town, horrible, hosting the second biggest Michelin factory. I quickly realized that I had to leave, I have great relationships with my Family, which is great, but I had to leave. At 17, I went to Poitiers, with my degree in hand, to study theater. I had good results, so I got scholarships to go to Italy. I did a lot of back and forth, all by preparing two masters at the same time, I’m hyper active. I was tought to do good theater, but I could not find me good enough, and I left everything behind to go to San Francisco and then to Ecuador. I traveled to South America, and when I came back to France, I felt lost. I didn’t knew who I was, or where I had to go, and I had no money (laughs). I found a job as a waitress, then I became Manager, and now I’m the Director of my restaurant. Along with that, I started drawing again, I did a lot of travel books, on which I glued a lot of things. Following my friends advices I stopped drawing and started collage instead. It started like that, motivated by my friends.
-What is the first thing you do when you get up in the morning?
I put on loud music and I dance. After, I prepare a cup of tea.
-Street Art is mostly a visually stimulating form of Art. To add another sense, what music of song would best accompany your art work?
I don’t know, I love music. I listen to a lot of Electro, old Hip-Hop, old Rock. Like my father, I listen to the Beatles, the Stones… My collages are what I am, this is my guts on paper, this is my catharsis, so the music that corresponds to me is all the music I love and listen to, from Kumbia to Jazz.
-In all forms of art, inspiration is crucial. What has inspired you to create so far?
I draw in my life, my hard times, my friends, my family and specially my love stories. Yes, maybe mainly on my love stories. I don’t know. I just love everything.
-Before going to paint, what is on your check list to have with you?
My bucket, my brush, water, glue, my telescopic arm because I like very large sizes collages, and Fred Le Chevalier in my pocket (laughs – editor’s note: Fred Le Chevalier is a French Street Artist that often work with Madame Moustache).
-Name 3 artists you admire and why?
André Robillard, he is an art-brut french artist who builds rifles with recycled objects, I am a huge fan. He is a genius. I also love the photographer Joel-Peter Witkin for his baroque and poetic but gloomy side. And finally Calo, Rivera and all the mexican muralists, but especially Calo for his colors. For this beautiful blue.
-Which city would you name as capital of Street Art and why?
Mexico maybe, because I just came back from there. Or Valparaiso, yes, Valparaiso is one of the most beautiful cities for me. That touched me the most artistically.
-What other passions do you have?
Traveling, reading, meeting people. I love to eat (laughs). Culture in general. I’m passionate about everything.
-Which is your dream project, ignore costs, realistic thinking and all means?
Do a world tour, collaborations with artists I love, dead or not dead (laughs). Never stop doing this. It’s a question of exchanges, meetings…
-If someone vandalise your artwork, what is your reaction?
I have no reaction. When I do collage, I impose my collages on passersby who asked for nothing. Some love it, others do not like it and degrade it. I understand both. I have no animosity, it’s the rule of the game. By sticking on the streets, I give a life to collage, and if his life is being degraded, so be it, again, it’s the rule of the game. Anyway, half of the time I am unable to find the places of my collages (laughs). I sometimes have beautiful surprises. I found once my collage protected by the Cleaning Services of the Town Hall, they painted everything around but left my collage. This was a big gift.
-If you were a world leader, what would be the 5 things you would change?
That question sucks (laughs) I just want more tolerance. Intolerance hurts me. Stop the fact that everything is governed by money.
-Is there a question you think is important but no one ever asked you?
Does it makes me happy to do that? Yes it does. I do it to make people happier.
-Do you have a message you would like to express to the world or a certain community?
Thank you to all the people around me, I hope to make them proud, my Lovers, my friends, my love (laughs).
Thank you so much Madame ! and “Cheers” 🙂
Creative Regards ! “I Support Street Art” team.
See more Madame Moustache art, check out her personal page: