The art and manner according to Cecilia Bönström

Photography, painting and installations: for Zadig & Voltaire’s art director, every form of art is source of inspiration.

What is your relationship with art and where does it comes from?
Firstly, from my visits to Swedish museums. After few years in Paris I started to pay attention to photography. When I met Thierry (Gillier, founder of Zadig & Voltaire) this center of interest evolved again. I started to be attracted to contemporary art, especially the American one. To me, art is like a bonus. It is a gift that brings another dimension to my life. I’m surrounded by art everyday but in a very casual way. At the creation studio or at home, works are lying on the floor, on the walls… We live with them more than we admire them.

The work of art that you crave for?
A little Giacometti’s sculpture, would be a dream come true!

Are you a collector at heart?
Not at all! I don’t like the idea of being attached to material things. Collecting art requires a lot of reflexion and energy. I put mine in work above all. When Thierry created the brand, the Zadig woman, and even when he collects he always has that artistic vision. His intuition helped him build Zadig & Voltaire’s success. He is also very talented when it comes to find incredible work of art. There is something common in these two visions: prefiguring tendencies.

Which artist would you dream to be?
I would have loved being a ballet dancer. When I was younger, I took 8 years of dance lessons. I stopped at 14 years old. I was too shy and didn’t have enough personality anyway. I admire the control dancers have and how they fight to master their body. Benjamin Millepied’s work is pure art.

Have you ever had the Stendhal syndrome?
I am realist, I have a hard time being in trance in front of a piece of art! I am like a soldier: I concentrate on what I have to do and I move on with my skills and my faults without comparing myself to others. So I think my pragmatism is taking over my emotions.

What is the artistic rendez-vous that you never miss?
The Fiac! Sometimes I even escape the studio and go there many times… I also love to go to the Fiac to observe the public. The Miami Art Basel, that I also know very well, is an incredibly festive event but it takes place in December, the busiest period of the year for me.

Which exhibition would you recommend?
The one that highlights Urs Fischer’s latest work. At the Gagosian Gallery in Los Angeles. Some Zadig’s bags from last spring collection were directly inspired from Jackson Pollock’s work. Art inspires me like a flash. It is an important stimulation source that helps me to always go further. In every Zadig’s collection there are references to art: it can be a color inspired by Richard Prince’s exhibition DeKooning in 2011 or a Christopher Wool’s typo or a Warhol inspired print… And the dripping, Jackson Pollock style, I can get tired of that.

Which young artist should we follow?
I discovered David Ostrowski at Almine Rech’s. He touched me a lot.

Which master would you choose to realize your portrait?
I would ask Axel Israel to make a multicolor profile like his auto portrait.

The artist or creator that you loved being around?
Helmut Lang. His aestheticism and his vision of the woman, the purity of his design, this is all I love. He is unique and inspired so many artists.

Which artist you wished you were the pupil?
I would say Cy Twombly, so he could teach me how to scrawl with the same strength, precision and madness.

The first work of art that you bought or the one that you immediately fell in love with?
In the early 2000’S when I discovered Ryan McGinley’s photos it was love at first sight. His light and his vision of nature, water, youth and nudity… I instantly adored his work.

Your secret artistic skill?
I don’t know, you should ask my close friends!

The piece of art that delights you every day?
The look of my youngest boy.

Pictures: Alexandre Tabaste