In French, the term "slasher" refers to a person who combines several activities out of envy. One could say of Sarah Maubert Mendez that she is one of them. Trained as a tax lawyer, but always passionate about art, she decided two years ago to no longer curb her cravings for ink and acrylic.
She now paints for pleasure, but also on commission, under a pseudonym or in her own name, and expresses herself through various universes.
Whether she draws lovers in charcoal, whether she paints bluish tones on the sea bed or lines in ink, she is guided by a desire to spread calm and positive waves to those who take the time to look. No classical training for Sarah, who learned to paint with her grandfather and then self-trained in various techniques.
The most important thing for her is experimentation. No matter what canvases are spoiled, what colours are mixed or what strokes are missed, she continues to explore the nooks and crannies of her creativity, drawing inspiration from her everyday life.
Q. Tell us about yourself and how you came to be an artist...
A. As far as I can remember, I've always been the one in school that loved to draw everything and everyone. I learned to paint from my grandfather, an amateur painter who was a fan of landscapes. When he died, I felt the need to fill the void he had left and to use my emotions in a good way, and I returned to what I love most in the world: drawing and painting.
In parallel to my studies, I started to paint. Shyly at first, and only for myself. I waited a few months before sharing my achievements with my entourage.
Q. Describe your work in three words...
A. Passion, joy and light
Q. When do you make your best work?
A. When I feel emotional. Whether it's positive or negative emotions, it doesn't matter.
Q. What influences do traditional cultures have on your work?
A. I don't really know if traditional cultures are a source of inspiration in my work. But in the beginning I painted a lot of monuments, I was very inspired by the architecture of French cities, especially the churches. Moreover, my artistic culture is very classical, I love Cézanne, it took me a long time to open up to the contemporary world of art, so I was obviously more influenced by traditional artistic cultures than by recent movements.
Q. Silence or sound while creating? If sound, what?
A. Sound, always sound. It can be music but it's mostly documentaries (about anything and everything) or sometimes movies. I like to be transported by voices when I paint.
Q. Artist whose career you covet?
A. Fabienne Verdier, she’s absolutely breath taking. Her way of mixing the senses with her way of painting is brilliant.
Q. Is art making therapeutic for you?
A. It is an absolute yes. I haven't been sad since I've been painting.
Q. What are you most proud of?
A. That people like what I do. And that they want to have it at home. I think it's crazy to have a part of yourself in a stranger's home. It's like somehow allowing someone you don't know to have the part of yourself you put in the picture in their house. It's both intimidating and very rewarding.
Q. What do you see yourself doing in 5 years?
A. I think I’ll still be a lawyer. But I don't know. Everything's going really fast, so I don't think about it and I'm living in the moment. But wherever I am, one thing's for sure, I'll be surrounded by paintings.
Q. If you could travel anywhere to create for a while, where would you go?
A. Either in a very large and bright studio, with canvases and materials available wherever you look, or at the top of a cliff.
Q. If you could have a drink with one artist, who would it be?
A. Fabienne Verdier again. Or maybe Alec Monopoly.
Q. What messages or emotions do you hope to convey to your audience?
A. The art I produce is very personal, it is full of emotions that come through me when I paint. I hope that these emotions reach the person who is confronted with the work. No matter what he or she sees in the canvas, art is very subjective, and there is never a single reading in what I do. But what is certain is that I hope to convey the emotions I feel.
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