Photo by: @klagbacarl (i.g.)
"The Haitian author Franketienne once
said chaos is life and death is calm."
FOS: Where are you from and when did you discover you are an artist?
DIMITRI: Iʼm from Paris. I donʼt really know when I discovered I was an artist. Iʼve been drawing since I was little.
FOS: What was the moment of clarity, was it spiritual?
DIMITRI: Not really. I've always wondered "if I didn't draw, what would I do?" . In the end not much of interest
FOS: I would call that a bit spirtual. A sense of purpose from drawing is like an angel singing at you telling you your identity. It's special. You're definitely chosen from above.
FOS: I noticed your general motif is the repetition of sketched figures, what informs this style?
DIMITRI: I have always liked comic books, I try to represent the action, as if it were a movie.
FOS: Interesting. I find organizing drawings as a huge collage such a "movie" is such a collaborative effort on your part, your words transition to moving image.
FOS: Do you describe yourself as being intertwined with music influences as well? We know you have a label called Doggo Agostino.
DIMITRI: Music has a huge place in my work. I listen to it all the time when I draw, it inspires me. I usually listen to Funkadelic or Public Enemy a lot. the energy is crazy.
FOS: What do you feel represents you?
FOS: Impusivity is important for an artist. You act on your strongest emotion. It's quite amazing how you can do that, not many artists possess that quality. It's definitely special. I feel impulsivity is the essence of art and expression itself.
FOS: Who do you look up to?
I really like the work of Nancy Spero. She is clearly an artist who has inspired me enormously. I also like the work of Pedro Bell, Pierre La Police, Henry Darger and Raymond Pettibon
I also discovered a piece by Japanese artist Hiroshige which really struck me, the piece called " la guerre des gâteaux de riz Mochi et du vin de riz saké ".
FOS: Your work is a combination of chaos and clear statements. What statement do you feel you're making?
I never really thought about it. I like chaos. The Haitian author Franketienne once
said "chaos is life and death is calm."
FOS: Also, your work is also incredibly political, what is your political stance in art?
DIMITRI: Art allows minorities to express the social injustice in which we live. The multiplicity of supports and references make people today look at "non-white" art and realize the freshness of this art.
FOS: That's beautiful. You were also featured in our POC/Black artists page! The fit of sleep is passionate about this concept.
FOS: What is informing your new work? Emotion, betrayal?
DIMITRI: My recent works are purely cathartic. There are a lot of emotions coming out of it, consciously or not. Fear, anger, pain, rage. I draw a little every day, listening to the same song over and over again, often it's Ryuichi Sakamoto.
FOS: Again, Iʼm going to ask some questions about your new series of work. What do you feel the narrative is? Is it an autobiography of some sort? A short story?
DIMITRI: At the beginning it was just a series of drawings on my psychological state. there was no particular meaning. I put myself in the scene, killed by monsters or by myself. I tend to scare myself sometimes. As we went along, there was this concept of the predator kingdom that arose. I got it from a track from the Hunter X Hunter animated series. This is where I decided to picture myself trying to get out of this realm, where negative emotions prevail. Nevertheless I still do not place a narrative.
FOS: The usage of violence and emotion is used in a lot of the new pieces, I love how visceral your new work seems to be. Is the process of your work spontaneous, or planned?
DIMITRI: Completely spontaneous. I have no idea what I want to do until I'm in front of the sheet. It depends a lot on what state I'm in and what I'm listening to.
FOS: Iʼve seen the way you work. It comes from something pure, how you express your stories. Do you believe art is a pure source? Where does art for you come from?
DIMITRI: It's a topic I talk to people about a lot. I received a lot of feedback from my last drawings, feedback that touched and moved me a lot. I think people have seen in my drawings emotions that they experience, feel themselves. My way of expressing them, although
not perfect, touched them too. I think art comes from that, from this ability to be able to talk about oneself while talking about others.
FOS: I also feel a lot from your drawings. When we were going to school together, the cathartic nature of your art transmitted so much of a visceral response from the class. I think you really cultivate that aura to your audience very well.
"I think art comes from that, from this ability to be able to talk about oneself while talking about others."
FOS: Your new work truly represents longing and power for the control of your emotions. Who are the figures in the pieces that truly express this? Is it the drawings of you, or the ones that seems to convey an action towards you, or the portraits of other characters?
DIMITRI: A little bit of everything. I realize that I have a hard time dealing with these emotions and this is in part. Due to the many traumas that have continued to follow me. Violence, lack of confidence and landmarks when I was small ... In general I live it well, recently those wounds were quite open and it's hard to deal with, a lot of things happened to me (family, love, stress, etc.) and make me relive trauma. Dealing with those violent emotions is hard. When I let myself be overwhelmed by these emotions I no longer control anything and I am very violent verbally. The drawings allow me to illustrate these moments and to take a step back from them.
The predators are my traumas and me at the same time, I have to get out of it and be safe.
At first I was very bad, but now I am a little better and I will get better and better. I would stop my drawings at this point. I wish I could make a book out of it in the future.
FOS: I know you personally and I find this interview very personal and touching, and I feel that that is an essential part of being an artist. Sensitivity. Thank you so much for talking to us! We enjoyed your answers. I hope everyone is touched by this interview, and I am sure they will be. Thank you Dimitri.