Work

Marine Giraudo Returns to Handmade Collage

The artist gravitates to the physicality of collage after working in multimedia art direction.

It is a sunny day on Marine Giraudo’s side of the screen, yet a bit windy. In Paris it is pouring rain again, and I had almost forgotten what summer looked like. Marine hadn’t. She’d spent some family time in Bretagne and just met her friends in a country house in the southern French region of Drôme, between the Alps and the Mediterranean Sea. She’s wearing a light green sweater matching the color of the shutters behind her. Her headphones are tangled and, though the sun is bright enough to blind you, she doesn’t seem to care. She looks like a digital postcard on FaceTime—a picture of the perfect beginning of a summer vacation—until I start talking about the one thing you’re not supposed to talk about during holidays: work.

“Every single day is different, and this is why I love my job,” Marine says when I ask about her day-to-day. Sometimes she spends all day in her apartment in northeast Paris, where she enjoys the peace and quiet of what she calls “my own bubble,” wrapped up in work on her computer. And sometimes she goes to her studio in an artists’ incubator called POUSH Manifesto in Clichy in the Greater Paris area. POUSH is typically where Marine likes to make her collages—on a big table where she can take up space and store all of her magazines, backed by a sprawling view of Paris. In her headphones, the music never stops playing and guides her creative process, shuffling between genres as she shuffles through the pages of her magazine collection.

Marine first started cutting images out of magazines when she was a child. In her room, alone at night when everyone was asleep, she would mash together images, papers, and colors in random combinations. It’s not so unlike what she does today. From a very young age she felt at peace cutting and pasting. She pauses to think back to those days. “I guess these were moments of meditation I naturally created for myself without even knowing what it meant,” she says. I want to know more about how that felt, and Marine explains that collage actually requires a lot of focus. “When I make a collage, I’m living the present moment and I forget everything else,” she says. But don’t misunderstand; she also had a lot of fun making work that felt spontaneous. “Truly liberating,” she whispers.

Despite her passion for collage, Marine wasn’t quite sure she wanted to be an artist, strictly speaking, after high school. She got her first degree in art history and continued her studies at the École cantonale d’art de Lausanne (ECAL), a university of art and design in Switzerland she graduated from in 2017. During that time she put her collage practice on hold to focus “on learning new things,” she says.

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Marine Giraudo recently revisted her love of collage and quickly garnered some big-name attention, including from Isabel Marant. Self-Portrait by Marine Giraudo

Marine started her career at L’Officiel magazine in Paris as an art director. For the past three years she’s been building a multifaceted practice through various projects, making videos and animations, taking photos, and bringing virtual reality and fashion together when she worked, for instance, with the young Swiss fashion designer Vanessa Schindler.

Last year Marine felt she needed to create a safe space for herself, given what had already felt like a hectic career. She wanted to go back to creating images that felt like an escape. She was drawn to collages again. “I wanted to make time to do something for fun and develop a practice in which I can’t compare myself to others, where there are no points of reference,” she says. “And I missed not being behind a computer screen all day.”

Marine posted her handmade collages on Instagram—it felt like the easiest way to share with family and friends, showing her work for the first time. Unexpectedly, brands started reaching out to collaborate. Isabel Marant was her first campaign; she animated her collages for it. Marine has also been making new animations for a Nike campaign to launch in the fall in collaboration with Convoy and photographer Noel Quintela.

While creative work is pouring in, Marine is still uncertain of where she fits in the artistic landscape. “I’ve never really considered myself an artist,” she confesses. She thought about taking her collages in a new direction so she could use more of her own photos and create larger formats to exhibit and share—no phone or Instagram necessary. For a few years Marine called herself a “digital creative,” but her growing handmade collage practice is challenging that idea. “I’m less and less able to define my practice, and I’m happy about it,” she says.

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Photo by Dan McMahon

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Image courtesy of Marine Giraudo

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Collage for Isabel Marant. Image courtesy of Marine Giraudo

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Image courtesy of Marine Giraudo

A version of this article originally appeared in Sixtysix Issue 07 with the headline “Marine Giraudo.” Subscribe today.

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