Born in Aix en Provence in the south of France, Marie-Maxime studied Graphic Design & worked to become an Art Director from 2008 to 2013. She first came to Bali in March 2014 & created Natch Studio, dedicated to hospitality branding and paintings. Her focus is now as a visual artist. She has been creating for Rumah Sanur’s last Pasar Vintage a live mural; The Legend of Calonarang, on the front bar.
When did you start as an artist?
I always have been attracted by art without really understanding what art was supposed to be. When it came time to choose a job, I didn’t believe I could get any income as an artist & I didn’t want my family to be disappointed. So I chose to be a Graphic Designer as a compromise.
More or less one year ago, I decided to put my job in standby mode & finally try as an artist, simply because it was no choice anymore, I deeply felt I had to try.
And what or who were your early influences?
The first time my mother took me to Paris, I was 14 years old. She organised a visit at Le Louvre. I immediately felt in love with “Le Baiser” by the French sculptor Auguste Rodin & the paintings of the French Neoclassical artist Jean Auguste Dominique Ingres. Back home I would try to draw nudes in charcoal to transcribe what had touched me & make small reproductions of these paintings.
How would you describe your style?
When I paint for villas or restaurants, under Natch Studio, I try to blend graphic & realistic style. The goal is about aesthetic & consistency; the approach is similar with design.
When I’m Natch ArtWork, I will definitely go for a blend of abstract & naïve illustration style. It’s always about human beings; it can be funny, naughty, meaningless or poetic. It’s a visual sociological study.
What material do you use?
Mostly acrylic paint or felt pen.
What is your favourite type of material/medium to use?
I love brushes more, because it’s harder to control the line. So there is more space for the unexpected. I also love large surfaces, walls or plywood. With large surfaces painting become dancing; it’s a complete form of expression.
Why the interest in art?
I guess art is an amazing space of freedom. With art, things are not supposed to be this or that. They are what you want them to be, that’s all.
How has your practice changed over the years?
When I started drawing, I remember I was just trying to translate “the beauty of the body”, a very classical approach.
After, I was fascinated by “the invisible”, things you feel but can’t see, a conceptual approach inspired by the study of spiritual currents.
Now I draw what I see in a naïve way, as children do, without thinking too much. My practice probably has been following my understanding of life.
What inspires you?
Definitely PEOPLE. I always have been fascinated by human behaviours. The more I meet unusual personalities & situations the more I’m inspired. Children drawing also inspire me a lot because they are free of judgment and strong opinions.
What type of work does Natch do?
#NatchStudio for Graphic Design, focus on branding & murals in the hospitality business.
#NatchArtWork focuses on art, this is the freedom area.
When you see a blank space/wall how do you get inspired?
It depend of the context, if it has to be a design approach, I will be inspired by the project itself – the concept, the architecture, the space, the interior design, the owner.
If it’s an artistic approach, I just try to remember a situation that made me laugh or touched me recently until something pops up in my brain.
Can you tell us about the piece you created for Rumah Sanur?
It is a mural of the Legend of Calonarang, an Indonesian folklore story that originated in Bali.
The goal of the painting is to highlight Indonesian culture and local foreigners collaborations, a reflection of Rumah Sanur’s values and ideas.
I chose to highlight these two points while talking about a famous Indonesian legend as interpreted by my foreign eye and references. This is how I blended both culture and express the idea of collaboration in a large way.
The style is very straight forward, almost childlike as I want the message to be strong and fun.
How did you first learn about Rumah Sanur?
Almost 3 years ago, my best friends in Bali, a couple a local architects bring me in Rumah Sanur even before it was ready to open. They were good friends of Ayip Budiman and Yoka Sara, both co-founder of Rumah Sanur.
Why do you enjoy coming to Rumah Sanur?
It’s a place where I can refresh and open my mind, meet new people with different conceptions of life & passions. It’s a place of collaboration & opportunities. But Rumah Sanur is not just a creative hub, it’s also a place where people are involved for the future of their environment, craft heritage & country. It’s a rare thing. That’s why I love it.
Nature of engagement and examples of projects with Rumah Sanur?
I have worked with Rumah Sanur on graphic design & art collaborations. I just did a live painting of a mural out the front at the event Pasar Vintage. Also with Ayip, co-Founder of Rumah Sanur Bong Eco Hostel branding, coming soon.