French artist Richard Orlinski is known for his bold, pop-art sculptures, which have appeared at French Grand Prix and on the slopes of Courchevel. Most recently, he collaborated with luxury watch brand Hublot and last month, saw the opening of his first London gallery on New Bond Street. Here, he tells us about falling in love with art, colours, and wild animals
1. When did you first realise that you wanted to be an artist?
I remember very well the moment I had a kind of love at first sight for creation. At school, when the other little boys used to play the brawl, I would prefer to create small terracotta animals. I was only 4 years old when my teacher called a local TV to come and discover my little sculptures. But growing up I ended up choosing a more steady job before I dropped it off to become an artist.
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2. Do you need a specific atmosphere to be able to create?
I don’t need a particular atmosphere to create. Everything inspires me, people’s daily lives, wherever I am, I can find an object, a feeling or an environment that inspires me. Afterwards, I get a lot of inspiration from animals for my sculptures. The first piece of artwork I created was a red resin crocodile. This mysterious animal has always fascinated me and humans in general. It has been on earth for a hundred million years. It is a witness of mankind. My creations are a reflection on the animal instinct and human nature. I have always been attracted to wild animals.
3. Many of your recent sculptures have taken the form of a wild animal – which animal from your series do you think you’re the most like and why?
The work with which I identify most is my ‘Wild Kong‘. It is one of my most emblematic works, but it is above all the one that comes closest to man and the human being. Strong and protective at the same time – he is a little bit like the ideal man without the hairs!
4. How has social media changed the art world?
My goal is to make art that speaks to the greatest number. I like to provoke an “immediate emotion” for both adults and children. I attach great importance to popularising my art by making it accessible. I like to exhibit my sculptures for free and in the open air. It’s very important for me. Social media has helped me a lot with that. This world of the instantaneous is quite fascinating.
5. You work with a distinct colour palette, what draws you to those particular shades?
The first piece I ever made was red. I love [to work with] a very colourful palette. All of my resin pieces are so pop and joyful. The pop colours give an immediate feeling especially with children. From one colour to another, the emotions could be different. We’re all time thinking about new colours and we always want to work with new matters, which can change the sculpture’s colour.
6. If you weren’t an artist, what would you be?
See Richard Orlinski’s full portfolio: richardorlinski.fr