That Scarlett A. “A” actually means “you” when pronounced in that heavy, obscure yet poetic tongue so very own to Antwerp, a place proudly referring to itself as the only City in all of Belgium. The letter also stands for”art”, “ambiguity” and “alamode”. Leaving behind the alphabet soup, we enter the cool calidity that is Antwerp collage artist Lebasille, Temper accomplice.
In the ringing words of Vincent Van Gogh, “I poured my heart and soul into my works. And lost my mind in the process.” Whereas nobody back in the day had an ear for this post-impressionist, anybody and anything in this age of Insta-everything can call themselves an artist, in one way or another. Whether the output is art or not, lies in the ever-fickle eye of the beholder. Conclusively so.
Nevertheless, those whose work manages to advocate the dialectics and context of one visual image physically united with the next, take the creative game to whole new levels. From the concept of collage-ing to the theory of durability in art at large, we present you with a quickie for the road as Temper takes five with Lebasille, creator of our “Redressed Revolutionary Issue” collage art.
Bring your A-game.
Take One! Zhongguo (中国| “China” in Chinese), no holds barred
Lebasille: I am a great admirer of this nation’s economic propelling force, but this drive does seem to come at an exceedingly ecological cost. The term ‘overkill’ springs to mind. To put things comprehensively.
I traveled across the Mainland, and beyond, a few years back, just me, myself and I, and… To me, the country then was, now is, and tomorrow shall be a walking, talking contradiction — where the capitalist means justify the communist end.
Take Two! Layer Upon Layer Upon Layer
Lebasille: When it comes to my work, I like to add different layers of meaning fueled by my personal interpretations of or associations with the imagery.
The art of collage-ing, to me, is altering one single image, albeit one overexposed or centuries-old, by turning it into something that wasn’t there before. Creating a different canvas through unfamiliar, brand-new connotations.
Through the use of endless imagery and possibility, I approach the overall concept of The Collage by playing with dialectics and context.
Take Three! The concept of “Durability” in contemporary art
Lebasille: I attach great importance to the concept of sustainability, in fashion, art, and life in general. The very notion of durability has been installed in my mind ever since I was a little girl, with my mother always telling me to choose wisely and sustainably, n’importe the price tag.
As a society, and a planet, we have arrived at a point of no return; a point at which green thinking and acting are no longer faddy trends but have become actual necessities. The same applies to the fields of art and fashion; everything always comes back. And always will. [This little piece of knowledge in se is a style staple.]
All the aforesaid combined, shows the importance of artist navigating their way through the sustainable jungle — using old techniques, recycling different materials, re-using existing objects — in a bid to preserve tradition, too. One dear friend of mine, Zero artist Jan Henderikse, even turned this sense of re-purpose into a life’s work.
I loathe this current society of consumption and waste. True handicrafts, old skills, and traditions are dear to the heart.
Take Four! Your images (as scattered throughout this Take Five) for our “The Redressed Revolutionary Issue”. What sprang to mind?
Lebasille: Pop, pop and some more pink-colored pop. The process an Sich started off by taking a closer look at Temper and diving into my pictorial archives, aka my personal most-beloved and -worshipped treasure trove. Having known the woman behind the publication [that would be yours truly, Me, E] for quite some time did help, obviously. Yes, you may insert that #wink here, E. [#donediddlydone]
When it comes down to the “redressed” part of things… There’s a revolution going on! People are taking action, at long last! From Gen X to Gen Z, from Antwerp to Beijing, the raucous realization slash spiritual awakening that we, as individuals, should try to live and buy as ecologically responsible as possible in order to restore this planet has hit. Hard. Across all borders.
Take Five! What makes that creative absinth flow?
Lebasille: Hand me an x-acto knife, a book or a magazine and I’m off! Other inspirations that get the juices flowing are the one hundred-ish books and magazines in my collection; I can flip through those pages for hours on end. Preferably, I work with imagery that stems from the 1960s and 70s, a time when everything was seemingly still so pure. So personal. So full of personality.
Last but certainly not least, then… Cliché, cliché, and so very own to a cheesecake such as myself, I admittedly must say: creation requires freedom.
I suppose I’m somewhat of a loner, one of those people who often keep to themselves, but I feel you need that space. It’s a space and a place where you come face to face with… You.
Antwerpen is ‘t Stad en al de rest is parking.
FEATURED IMAGERY: ANTWERP COLLAGE ARTIST LEBASILLE CREATIONS COMMISSIONED BY TEMPER MAGAZINE FOR “THE REDRESSED REVOLUTIONARY ISSUE,” FALL 2019. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.
REPRODUCTION OF THESE IMAGES WITHOUT TEMPER MAGAZINE CONSENT IS PROHIBITED.
CONTACT LEBASILLE VIA
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After tackling Beijing for some six years where she worked for China International Publishing Group, she spent a moment in time moseying down steep alleyways and writing about their fashionable and underground features in Hong Kong.
Van Paridon most recently managed to claw her way through a Europe-based academic endeavor called "Journalism". 'Tis in such fashion that she has now turned her lust for China Fashion/ Lifestyle and Underground into a full time occupation.
Van Paridon hunts down the latest in Chinese menswear, women’s clothing, designer newbies, established names, changes in the nation’s street scenery, close-ups of particular trends presently at play or of historical socio-cultural value in Chinaplus a selection of budding photographers.
Paired with a deep devotion to China’s urban underground scene, van Paridon holds a particular interest in the topics of androgyny, the exploration of individuality and the power that is the Key Opinion Leader (the local term for “influencers”) in contemporary China.
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