- Text by Ed Andrews
“We pride ourselves in keeping an artisan side to our work where possible,” says artist Amélie du Petit Thouars, who along with fellow artist Eloïse de Guglielmo, founded Parisian collective Moshi Moshi Studio back in 2008. “We try to come up with timeless designs. Which means not following the current trends but trying to stick to a more classical aesthetic adapted to modern times.”
Moshi Moshi Studio are finding inspiration in the pre-Intel Inside days of yore, preferring all things hand-crafted to digitally engineered. Not that they’re totally entrenched in nostalgia, though. By staying “curious and aware of [their] surroundings”, the pair reel off their influences from the Italian Renaissance masters to Wes Anderson and Monty Python via Goya, Degas and Japanese manga artist Suehiro Maruo. This diversity shows in their range of creations including spartan black-and-white typography, dreamy analogue photography and anatomical doodles. “We think it’s important to nourish our work with influences from the outside world,” says Amélie. “We always start our designs by going through books.”
And fitting like a Jacquard loom with their tangible approach, this March they contributed two pieces of artwork to DC’s Burning Ink tattoo art show in Istanbul – a show where the artists’ creations can only leave the premises engraved on skin. Their choices? “Powerful symbols” of an owl and the Virgin Mary, both hand-drawn and hand-painted in black tempera.
“We love the culture of tattoos and the aesthetic range and possibilities,” remarks Amélie. “We are more into vintage tattoos and letterings but a tattoo has to be meaningful and tell a story. It has to be a conscious choice. We like the idea of the commitment and the magical quality that [a tattoo] can gain through time.”
Moshi Moshi’s creations for DC Burning Ink Istanbul exhibition with be ceremonially set on fire on April 12 but living on as a tattoo!