Intro & Interview by Shanon Weltman
French Illustrator Malojo and his main squeeze, fellow talented Artist Ciou, are our first international interviewed artists. These are our first interviews to be emailed rather than verbal, so appreciate the beauty of brevity. We’re lucky we got a chance to meet them and spend a little time with them while they were staying in Brooklyn for their opening at the Cotton Candy Machine back in April, during Malojo’s birthday. His illustrations borrow imagery from iconic cartoons and traditional tattoos, with a cuteness that favorably blends with the nightmarish qualities that dominate his art. Both Malojo and Ciou were asked the same questions, so you’ll obviously have to read both interviews.
SHANON WELTMAN: Who are your favorite artists?
MALOJO: It’s always hard to answer that, but the 2 living artists I love are James Jean and Al Columbia. We just came back from Amsterdam and Madrid and where I saw some paintings from legendary artists like Bosch, Bruegel and Goya, which I’m mad about!
SW: What are your favorite materials to work with? What do you use to get those tiny fine lines?
M: I work with oil sticks for my painting and pencils for drawing. The pleasures are different, now I try to work more tiny and be more attentive to details.
SW: How long does it take you to complete a painting?
M: It depends on a lot of things, most of the time I work on a painting and a drawing at the same time, so let’s say 2 weeks and more.
SW: What inspires the style and imagery of your artwork? (colors, patterns, big eyes, sharp teeth, mutant animals, etc.)
M: My inspirations come from cartoons comics medieval painting, the flemish school. I love religious and mythological painting. Generally when I paint I listen to music. All kinds of rock, blues, bluegrass, soul, doo wop, metal, hip hop, pop, new wave etc… music is a big part of my inspiration. I can’t imagine painting without music, but when I’m drawing I prefer to watch a documentary; it makes me find unexpected things to feed my work .”
SW: What’s it like being in a relationship with another artist, and what’s it like collaborating sometimes?
M: It’s all positive, we work like a little factory, we share energy, inspiration and love!
SW: What advice would you give other artists about how to get your work shown in galleries internationally?
M: I don’t really know… work hard, be positive, humble and polite!
SW: What is your favorite collectible toy series?
M: I’m trying to reduce! A few months ago I became crazy about Mego company toys, at the same time I began to collect some Justice League Unlimited action figures. I also have a huge collection of Joker from Batman, lots of movie monsters, Disney figures, art toys, and naturally Kaijus, Sentai and Yokai!
Mego Batman toys