Paris based illustrator Carine Brancowitz on art and adolescence


Carine Brancowitz

Carine Brancowitz

Her illustrations first caught our attention in Grazia and since then, we’ve been enamoured. Her work, drawn with ball point pen, is a labyrinth of detailed patterns, inked with vibrant hues.

She often draws adolescents as they mill about during all too ordinary situations. Sometimes they’re eating or laughing or sitting or sad. Carine’s precision helps bring her subjects to life. Her work is full of depth as she contrasts detailed subjects against flat backgrounds,  perfectly capturing the moods of her teens. Her skill is all in the subtle nuances, the way a thousand tiny lines of hair can be strewn against a girl’s bright eyes.

Carine’s pieces are layered with different styles, with her lines being just as interesting as her subjects. Her illustrations are so complex, yet simplistic, that one can’t help but wonder “how does she do it?”

We met Carine in her workspace in Paris to gain some insight into her process. Her studio, a spacious white walled apartment in the 5th, was sated with drawings, in various stages of completion amidst her colorful array of pens.

We brought with us many assumptions:  that she has a divine level of patience (she doesn’t), that she must carefully preplan her illustrations (not really) and that she’s been to the Eiffel Tower (not once).

Carine possesses an unassuming sort of charm; she’s graceful, but not loud about her talent (everyone’s good at something) and as we sat with her on the floor sifting through her pieces, we were overcome by a surge of nostalgia as we remembered the happy sickness of our youth, in the faces of her subjects.

And as with youth, our experience with Carine was fleeting. Before we parted we asked her to share with us her thoughts on adolescence, illustration and the effect of globalization in art.

Habemus Pizza

Habemus Pizza


When did you realize you wanted to be an artist?

Around 7 years old, really early.
I felt it. You don’t really choose to be an artist.
This is a seed deep inside you,
you choose to water it or not.

Why did you choose illustration as your medium?

I’m not fond of messy places.
I treasure living in a clean and empty space,
and don’t want to be confronted to the chaos that painting materials involves.
Stains everywhere and so on…
Moreover sometimes I travel a lot. You need to be “light” and flexible.

From where do you draw inspiration?

From everywhere.
There is a constant flow;
a line in a book,
a talk-show on the radio,
a person in the metro,
inspiration is generous. Continue reading

Baptiste Debombourg on installation and collaboration

Baptiste Debombourg on Installation art

Parisian installation artist Baptiste Debombourg defies all predictability with his mind bending, three-dimensional pieces. He sheds architectural conventionality, and instead works with shapes and patterns in a way that is nourishing to the eye and baffling to the mind. While some artists play around with the idea of containing chaos, forcing an idea into a space, so that it can be examined easily, Debombourg prefers to take ordinary materials and create that chaos.

Debombourg recently collaborated with luxury brand Maison Martin Margiela to create a dynamic installation piece for the Grenelle store in Paris. The piece, appropriately named Turbo, is full of drama and impact. Following the success of Turbo, Debombourg teamed up with the luxury brand once again to create another installation piece, Stalker, which premiered at the Miami location, in time for Art Basel.

We sat down with Baptiste in Paris, and asked him to share with us his perspective on contemporary art, his growth as an artist and the correlation between art and science. His penchant for his art carries in every word he speaks; Debombourg is a brilliant thinker and his work is innovative.

Baptiste Debombourg on Installation art

TURBO at the Maison Martin Margiela boutique in Paris. (Baptiste Debombourg)

Baptiste Debombourg on Installation art

STALKER  Debombourg’s most recent collaboration with Maison Martin Margiela. (Maison Martin Margiela Facebook)

What influenced you to become an artist?

I was just curious about everything, and was trying to find the best way to understand things. I was very scared of becoming an artist, but chose the arts because it was the best way to have the freedom to find, to search and create projects. I was also asking myself about the question of ego because the ego is very bad for the arts. I thought a lot about this question, and finally, I chose the way of art because it allows the freedom to imagine everything you can do, and in our society, I think that’s very important, to have a way to imagine something and a way to think it would be possible to do it.

You work in temporary spaces, and your work is often three-dimensional, why have you chosen installation art as your medium?

This is the way that you touch the reality and exist more in the workspace in my point of view. I decided to create some work in sculpture and installation, because when you’re making an installation you don’t impose a work to everybody, it’s just a question of time. Installation is exciting, it can offer a surprise, last just long enough to disappear, then it exists only in the memory. The aim is to make sure the piece exists without me, I think this is the best way.  Continue reading