“Since I was young, I’ve been drawing characters and animals. In the early 1990s, I started discovering graffiti with friends of mine, tagging a little bit and following them, taking photos and stuff. Then I wanted to be a part of it. The characters came out spontaneously. I chose to use acrylic paint because I was using it while studying, and I found it more comfortable than spray cans, even if it wasn’t a graffiti style. Then I continued painting. I didn’t really choose it, it came naturally. Painting on walls was a way to show that I was boycotting the conventional art world. At my beginnings, I had a rebel mind. I also find this more exciting to paint in the street because it is forbidden. Painting on walls allows me to keep my freedom; as it is illegal, there is no censorship. It is also a challenge, since each time I paint on a wall there is the risk of seeing my work erased. Since I like moving around and meeting people, so I prefer painting in the street. It also enables me to make my art accessible to a larger public audience.
At the beginnings, my dolls were self-portraits. Graffiti has a very megalomaniac side; instead of writing my name, I chose to represent myself through my dolls. I felt a real need to affirm myself, maybe because I have a twin sister and I had to show my difference.Later on when I didn’t feel as much this need to mark my identity, my work became.The idea of provocativeness has also a part in my conception of my work. I have always liked painting a sexy doll in an inappropriate place. I want to provoke strong reactions.
My dolls convey a provocative image, sometimes a bit erotic. I wish they disturbed and provoked fantaisies. I want them to make the viewer react, no matter the reaction. I would like them to make people forget their daily lives.”
Miss Van started wall-painting in the streets at the age of 18, initiating the feminine movement in street art. Miss Van’s sultry female characters began to pop up on city center walls in the mid 1990s, they instantly possessed a timeless quality, as if women had always painted such graffiti in the streets. She is now exhibiting all around the world from NY to LA, Europe (France, Switzerland, Germnay, Spain, Italy, UK, etc.), and Asia. She has shown in art centers and museums as the city gallery of Schwaz in Austria (curator : Karin Perrnegger), the Baltic Art Center in the UK or the Von der Heydt Museum, Kunsthalle in Wuppertal, Germany. She has shown with some of the greatest artists now as Os Gemeos, Mike Giant, Banksy, Faile, Shepard Fairey, Barry Mcgee, Ryan McGinness, Takashi Murakami, Ed Templeton, and many others.
An artist’s impact is truly felt when their work becomes so familiar that it’s hard to remember what the world was like without it. When the Toulouse native and current Barcelona resident. As Caleb Neelon puts it “An artist’s impact is truly felt when their work becomes so familiar that it’s hard to remember what the world was like without it. When the Toulouse native and current Barcelona resident Miss Van’s sultry female characters began to pop up on city center walls in the mid 1990s, they instantly possessed a timeless quality, as if women had always painted such graffiti in the streets. (…) Since then her characters kept evolving, becoming less cute and more dangerously alluring-their sexy aura made all the more complex by their increasingly ambiguous facial expressions. The more she moved into gallery work and could work with the nuances of more fragile media than the streets would allow (pencil, for one), her characters grew even more sensitive, subtle, and delicately rendered.” (Taken from her website http://www.missvan.com/)
My first encounter with Vanessa (Miss Van) was back in 2002 when I decided to make an exposition repressing girls from the street art and multimedia scene in Europe & Middle east. It was my first time as a curator and had amazing help from all the co-workers, friends and artists around.
‘MAMA – showroom for media and moving arts’ in Rotterdam, the Netherlands was the gallery where I was working at that time and where the exhibition took place, make a long story short, I met Vanessa and mange to bring her from Paris to Rotterdam and deliver a delicious show which sparked my passion for arts, multimedia and the power of collaboration and inspiration, that fire is still burning strong. Since then I have been keeping in touch with Miss Van and always on the lookout for her latest style changes, new exhibition and creative adventures, she is by far one of the most productive artists I ever had the chance to work with, always dropping fresh new artworks and always exhibiting in some part of the world, jumping from Street art projects to high-end collaboration in prestigious galleries, from fashion exploration to books and video participation, always busy and always delivering fantastic pieces.
To me, Vanessa is a dear friend, even if we only meet once every 5 years or so, we both in love with Art and the power of creation, passion to us is a never ending driving force to deliver, share and basically breath! Live Long my dear girl, best of all worlds…
Here is the video from that expo, it’s indeed ridicules and old school but you can already sense the energy that we talked about so much.
****** And here she is in full glory! Enjoy.
Super good, right?!?
To check more on Miss Van’s art go to her websites here, I would also recommend to check her blog on her site to find out where you can catch her next show:
- Miss Van Community page on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/MISS-VAN/131801806878444?sk=wall
- Miss Van’s Art on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/The-Art-of-Miss-Van/18915720597?sk=wall
- Miss Van Public Figure on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Miss-Van/107770782578924
- Miss Van Interview on Juxtapoz part 1: http://www.juxtapoz.com/Features/interview-with-miss-van-part-i
- Miss Van Interview on Juxtapoz part 2: http://www.juxtapoz.com/Features/interview-with-miss-van-part-ii