Jan Philipzen

The Freezing Moon

Team

Photography · Jan Philipzen
Fashion · Victor Hanen
Makeup · Jenneke Croubels
Fashion Assistant · Calixte Priou
Makeup Assistant · Lou Boudin

Designers

  1. Full look POIRET, coat and black dress PRESSIAT
  2. Full look CRINOLINE, Skirt and shoes NICOLAS BOYER
  3. Boots PRESSIAT
  4. Skirt FRANÇOIS TAMARIN and corset CHRISTIAN LACROIX
  5. Full look POIRET, coat and dress PRESSIAT
  6. Tutu FRANÇOIS TAMARIN
  7. Skirt PRESSIAT

Peter Kaaden

Alles Wird Gut

Team

Models · Marlene at Tigers Management, Nathalie at Girls Club and Belle at Modelwerk
Photography · Peter Kaaden and Till Milius
Fashion · Peninah Amanda
Production and Casting · Pina Marlene
Hair · Ruby Howes
Makeup · Maria Ehrlich
Fashion Assistants · Sophia Bogner and Jakob Schaefer

Designers

  1. Dress THE ATTICO
  2. Bra Stylist’s own, skirt VALENTINO and stockings FALKE
  3. Coat VERSACE and jewellery Model’s own
  4. Coat VERSACE
  5. Dress THE ATTICO
  6. Dress BOTTEGA VENETA

Ramla Ali

Ramla Ali’s enlightening fight in and outside the ring 

Professional boxer Ramla Ali (born in Mogadishu, Somalia) is definitely one of the forces of change of our generation. The featherweight boxer became a voice for refugees as she herself had to seek refuge with her family in the United Kingdom, from war-torn Mogadishu in Somalia in the late 1990s. Having earned a first-class law degree at the respected SOAS University of London, and delving further into her successful professional boxing career, Ali is forging for herself and others a trailblazing path ever since the undefeated boxer (7-0 in her professional career including two knock-outs)  won the English title in 2020. Making history at the Tokyo Olympics by earning a bronze medal and thus becoming the first Somali women to compete in boxing, at the Olympics, Ali is showing through the years, her perseverance despite what she has been through, and her determination in changing the game. Earlier this August, Ali performed a career stepping fight against García Nova in Saudi Arabia, as the undercard on the Anthony Joshua and Olexandr Usyk fight. Her career in fashion as a model and public figure has also been a way to provide representation for young women. As a Unicef ambassador and having funded the non-profit organisation Sisters Club, in 2018 in London, providing a safe space and free sport classes to women, Ali’s activism serves an amplifier for social causes, more specifically women’s rights and equality.

Ramla it is such a pleasure and honour to have you as one of our cover stars for this issue. 

Firstly, I wanted to congratulate you for your recent wins on your fights against Agustina Rojas at the o2 in London and against García Nova in Saudi Arabia. How are you feeling now? 

Honestly, A little tired. I had two back to back camps with little time to give my body any rest. But I wouldn’t change it for the world.

“I love boxing, I love being in the ring. It’s the only thing that gives me purpose and the only thing that allows me to feel brave.”

A career stepping stone recently was your now historic fight in Saudi Arabia earlier in August against García Nova, as the undercard on the Anthony Joshua and Olexandr Usyk fight. How was the preparation leading up to it? 

This fight itself was the most important of my career and throughout the training camp there was a pressure to perform and showcase women’s boxing, as I wasn’t just representing myself but also all women in combat sports. So the world can see that we deserve the same platform and opportunities as our male counterparts. My training was located in Southgate, adjacent to Compton in Los Angeles under the guidance of legendary coach Manny Robles who has been responsible for a number of world champions. It’s not an easy regime with Manny and I’ve chosen one of the hardest gyms in the world to train at but with this, comes the experience of being alongside some of the greatest talents in the sport today.

“My life has never been easy so I naturally have chosen the hard path to get prepared. “

It has only been since 2012 that Saudi women were able to compete at the Olympics in boxing. Your presence there is also a step towards equality in the country. What was it like, as a Muslim woman to be able to fight professionally in your holy land? And how do you wish this impact the future generations?

2012 was when women were first allowed to compete in the Olympics but Saudi Arabia as a country only allowed the participation of women in combats even more recently than this, my fight recently being the first professional female fight in history there. The hardest part though as I had the support of the promoters, and the region was really trying to educate people on why we choose to do this.

“My goal has always been to break down barriers for women and this competition allowed us to continue pushing for greater equality and inclusion in our sport.”

I was also fortunate enough to perform Umrah whilst in Saudi, which was an incredible experience getting to visit Mecca for the first time in my life.

How do you usually work with your coach and how was it to train under the supervision of the legendary Manny Robles? 

Working with Manny has opened my eyes to the very elite level of boxing training. Whilst in Los Angeles, I train twice a day, six days a week. Followed by one additional remedial session, two sports massages and one physiotherapy session (dry needling, cupping etc) and a further 2-3 sessions spent in a Hyperbaric Oxygen chamber. I do two sprint track sessions a week and one long run. I spar three days a week, followed by further boxing sessions for either technique or conditioning and then I also employ world famous strength and conditioning coach Mattias Erbin from Argentina who looks after all my strength, conditioning and recovery work. Mattias has worked with Lucas Matthysse, Jorge Linares, Brian Castano, Jamal Herring, Vergil Ortiz to name a few.

Do you have a favourite match of yours and what was so special about that fight?

In terms of amateur fights, it would have to be my African Zone Title gold medal in Botswana in 2019. The whole experience was just amazing, it was my first time at a championship in Africa which is the opposite of competitions in Europe or further a far. The fighters are tough and don’t stop but there is a real warmth and friendship between the countries and the teams which I loved. In terms of my favourite pro fight in boxing it would have to be Saudi because of the importance of the occasion and the fashion in which I won.

With each of your fights, it must be a constant progression and constant learning path. How was your journey to the Tokyo Olympics? 

The journey to Tokyo over the last previous five years was a real adventure with my husband/manager Richard, who was also my coach at the time during my amateur days. From getting lost at 2am in West African ghettos trying to find our hotel with signal and not being able to speak the language, to desperately finding cheap place’s to wash our clothes in the slums of New Delhi before catching a flight to another tournament somewhere else in the world. Experiencing an Olympics Games during Covid. There was a lot of up’s and downs. I don’t feel like I got the full Olympic experience, but im so glad to have competed.

What have been the biggest challenges you have had to go through and overcome? 

One of the biggest challenges like most female athletes in a male dominated support, is simply being a woman.

The biggest challenge for me initially was the lack of funding and support I received when competing for my native Somalia around the world. If people think it’s hard to compete as a woman in sport, it’s even harder as an African. I honestly don’t know how a lot of these incredible east African runner’s do it. I’m often told that women’s boxing is booming now and more opportunities are coming. Which to some degree is true but until more women tune in and support female athlete’s its hard to command pay and opportunity equality when our viewership is so much smaller than males.

When I fist started boxing, female boxers were so far and few that I didn’t even have a changing room in my local club. I either had to wait for each boy/man to get changed or walk home wet and sweaty.

Who/what has inspired you? 

I’m inspired by so many. Jackie Robinson because of what he had to endure on his journey. Venus and Serena have done so much for women of colour in sport. Ilwad Elman in Somalia is a hero of mine. 

You founded the non-profit organisation Sisters Club in 2018, in London which focuses on providing women with access to different sport disciplines including football, boxing and more.  Could you talk more about it and why you have created it? 

Sisters Club is a charity I founded in January 2018 which has recently taken on funding support from Nike & Lululemon which provides free weekly boxing classes to up to 300 women across London in four locations. The classes are specifically aimed at religious and ethnic minorities and those that have suffered domestic abuse to learn self-defense through the sport of boxing. But it is an inclusive class that welcomes all women from all background, races and beliefs. We have recently started hosting events across other sports including rowing, running, basketball and football as well to give our ‘sisters’ the chance to experience others disciplines. My hope is to expand the initiative to the U.S, Africa and the Middle East with the help of future partners. I started it out of the need to ensure women who look like me and have shared experiences are not left behind due to their background or their financial situations. It was born out of a need to create a community and platform that provided the opportunities I felt I never had growing up.

Do you have any future initiatives planned in your native Somalia?

I do hope to have the chance of expanding Sisters Club into Somalia at some stage.

You have mentioned before that the career of a boxer is a short one. Have you already envisaged what you would like to do after?

I do live day by day and try to appreciate the experiences and opportunities that come to me in the present but yes I have already begun to lay the foundation for what I hope to be doing for the next twenty years post sport.

The theme of this issue is IN OUR WORLD. Which impact would you like to make in this world? 

A quote that the great Mohammed Ali once said really resonates with me ‘your service to others is the rent you pay for your room here on earth’.

“For me, of course I’d love to be known for being an incredible boxer, but more than that, I want to be remembered for how much I helped others.”

Team

Talent · Ramla Ali at IMG
Photography · Dafy Hagai
Fashion ·  Clara Mary Joy
Makeup · Megumi Matsuno using Dior Capture Totale super potent serum and Dior Forever
Hair · Joe Burwin
Set Design · Haleimah Darwish
Photography Assistant · James Clothier
Fashion Assistant · Diana Scarpignato
Special thanks to Richard Moore

Designers

  1. Coat MM6 MAISON MARGIELA, head scarf vintage RICK OWENS, boots Vintage and bracelet Stylist’s own
  2. Jacket ADAM POULTER, skirt and shoes DIOR and ring CARTIER
  3. Jacket and shoes DIOR, shirt Stylist’s own, shorts vintage and ring CARTIER

Xavier Casanueva

Faces

Team

Models · Erin at Emmi Grundström Casting, Giulia Maria Verikas and Thea at Milk Model Management, Louis and Hamish at Elite Models
Photography · Xavier Casanueva
Fashion · Asier Rodriguez
Casting · Julia Lladó
Hair · Takuya Morimoto
Makeup · Takenaka

Designers

  1. Top MM6 MAISON MARGIELA and shorts MAISON MARTIN MARGIELA
  2. Full look CHLOÉ
  3. Top TALIA BYRE, belt and skirt Model’s own
  4. Full look BOTTEGA VENETA
  5. Full look GIVENCHY
  6. Dress ANN DEMEULEMEESTER
    Hamish · Vest MM6 MAISON MARGIELA
  7. Full look SIMONE ROCHA
  8. Full look ANN DEMEULEMEESTER
  9. Full look BOTTEGA VENETA

Celeste Galanda

The Dark of Matinée

Team


Model · Yeray at Elite Model
Photography · Celeste Galanda
Fashion · Francisco Ugarte
Hair Stylist and Makeup · Regina Khanipova
Photography Assistant · Patricia Vizcaino Villalón

Designers

  1. Full look KENZO
  2. Jacket DSQUARED, Necklace PALM ANGELS
  3. Full look BOTTEGA VENETA
  4. Jacket and trousers JW ANDERSON x MONCLER, Shirt BOTTEGA VENETA, T-shirt RAF SIMONS, Shoes CAMPER LAB
  5. Sweater and shorts JW ANDERSON x MONCLER, Necklace PALM ANGELS, Shoes CAMPER LAB
  6. Sweater JW ANDERSON and Jeans VERSACE

Julia Morozova

Kids of Summer

Team

Models · Valentyn Boiko, John Godswill at the Claw Models, Gryte Kunaikaite at Women Milano and Sweia Hartmann at Wave Management
Photography · Julia Morozova
Fashion · Veronica Dronova
Casting · Isadora Banaudi
Hair · Giuseppe Paladino
Makeup · Stella Grossu
Fashion Assistant · Vladi Avksenenko

Designers

  1. Top LOUISE LYNGH BJERREGAARD and underwear SOFT AND WET
  2. John • Cardigan VERSACE
    Valentyn • top UNAPE and pants VERSACE
    Sweia • Top SOFT AND WET, skirt and stockings LOUISE LYNGH BJERREGAARD and jacket MAISON MARGIELA MM6
    Gryte • Cardigan UNAPE
  3. Sweatshirt MONCLER JW ANDERSON and pants UNAPE
  4. Top and swimsuit SOFT AND WET, jeans and shoes MAISON MARGIELA MM6
  5. Sweia • Dress MARCO RAMBALDI and necklace LOST IN ECHO
    Gryte • Pants MARCO RAMBALDI and top VERSACE
  6. Valentyn • Top UNAPE and pants VERSACE
    Sweia • Top SOFT AND WET, skirt and stockings LOUISE LYNGH BJERREGAARD Gryte • Bra, cardigan and skirt: UNAPE
  7. Swimsuit UNAPE, cardigan MARCO RAMBALDI and necklace ETERE NEPHILIM
  8. Dress ALESSANDRO VIGILANTE, briefs MARCO RAMBALDI
  9. Valentyn • Sweatshirt VERSACE, pants APNOEA
    Gryte • Dress ALESSANDRO VIGILANTE
  10. Skirt THE ATTICO, gloves LOUISE LYNGH BJERREGAARD and bra UNAPE
  11. Skirt YOUWEI, top ACT N1 and shoes MAISON MARGIELA MM6
  12. Underwear Stylist’s own
  13. Top LOUISE LYNGH BJERREGAARD and underwear SOFT AND WET
  14. Skirt YOUWEI, top ACT N1 and shoes MAISON MARGIELA MM6
  15. John • Longsleeve ACT N1 and pants KENZO
    Gryte • Top, skirt and necklace LOUISE LYNGH BJERREGAARD
  16. Cardigan VERSACE
  17. John • Longsleeve, pants and boots SUNNEI
    Gryte • Pants MARCO RAMBALDI, top VERSACE, shoes and earrings LOST IN ECHO
  18. Gryte • Dress, pants and earring SUNNEI
  19. Cardigan MARCO RAMBALDI and shorts UNAPE
  20. Body ALESSANDRO VIGILANTE
  21. Jumpsuit MAISON MARGIELA MM6

Shauna Summers

Inner World

Team

Model · Robe at Tigers Management
Photography · Shauna Summers
Fashion · Elisa Schenke
Casting · White Casting
Hair and Makeup · Stefanie Mellin
Set Design · Carina Dewhurst
Post Production · RMJ Studio
Photography Assistant · Nick Piesk
Set Design Assistant · Michael Naughton

Designers

  1. Top SANDRO via ZALANDO, pants N21, shoes NEU_IN and sleeves 30 % 70
  2. Full look JIL SANDER
  3. Coat RICHERT BEIL
  4. Full look JIL SANDER
  5. Shirt and pants LGN LOUIS GABRIEL NOUCHI and shoes CAMPERLAB
  6. Top SANDRO via ZALANDO, pants N21, shoes NEU_IN and sleeves 30 % 70
  7. Top MARCELL VON BERLIN, pants MM6 MAISON MARGIELA and shoes CAMPERLAB
  8. Sweater and pants LGN LOUIS GABRIEL NOUCHI, shoes CAMPERLAB and ring JULIA BARTSCH
  9. Shirt, pants and shoes NEU_IN and ring JULIA BARTSCH
  10. Shirt and pants T/SEHNE, coat and shoes DIOR MEN and necklace LIRONIE
  11. Top N21, pants OUR LEGACY and shoes CAMPERLAB

Matias Alfonzo

Selfcare

Team

Model · Nicole Atieno at SMC Models
Photography · Matias Alfonzo
Fashion · Camille Franke
Casting · Julie Sinios
Production · Eugenia Vicari
Hair · Tina Pachta
Makeup · Victoria Reuter
Set Design · Nina Oswald
Fashion Assistant · Laura Caufapé
Set Design Assistant · Ruby Oswald

Designers

  1. Dress TOM FORD and shoes GIVENCHY
  2. Full look DU CIEL
  3. Dress LOU DE BETOLY, shoes JIMMY CHOO and bracelet BVLGARI
  4. Dress MARC JACOBS, shoes CHANEL
  5. String DU CIEL, jeans DIESEL BY GLENN MARTENS and pleasers ZANOTTI
  6. Dress DIESEL BY GLENN MARTENS
  7. Dress OTTOLINGER
  8. Full look JIL SANDER
  9. Dress SPORTMAX and shoes WANDLER
  10. Sunglasses BOTTEGA VENETA, jacket and skirt SANKUANZ and necklace RM ATU GELOVANI
  11. Full look GIVENCHY
  12. Dress JEAN-PAUL GAULTIER x LOTTA VOLKOVA

Marcello Junior Dino

How do you write a blue caption?

Team

Model · Daphne Simons at Platform
Photographer · Marcello Junior Dino at Kind Of
Fashion · Claudia Cerasuolo at Atomo Management
Casting · We Do Casting
Hair · Erisson Musella at Blend Management
Makeup · Claudia Malavasi at WM Management
Set Design · Micol Giulia Riva
Fashion Assistant · Ilaria Felici
Light Assistant · Davide Carlini
Set Designer Assistant · Claudia Desalve

Designers

  1. Dress VIVETTA, shoes vintage JIL SANDER from CONTESSA MISERIA ARCHIVIO
  2. Black dress MM6 MAISON MARGIELA, pink dress CONTESSA MISERIA ARCHIVIO, shoes JIL SANDER and earrings AUGUSTINA ROS
  3. Top and trousers EMPORIO ARMANI, tights and shoes: A.C.9 and jewels AUGUSTINA ROS
  4. Dress VAILLANT, tights OUR LEGACY, underwear ERES and shoes A.C.9
  5. Top JUST CAVALLI, trousers VIEN, belt ADRIANA HOT COUTURE, underwear OSÉREE and shoes JIL SANDER
  6. Top ARTHUR ARBESSER, dress ETRO and shoes CAMPER
  7. Dress MISSONI, tights ADRIANA HOT COUTURE and shoes N21

George Rouy

Abstraction and distortion in art come out intuitively to George Rouy along with human emotions and relationships

In his earlier artworks, George Rouy would paint elongated facial features for the wide bodies of his subjects. He would stretch the figures on the canvas through his strokes, and at times, have them sit or stand side-by-side as if conversing.

Then, around 2021, a shift took place.

Gone are the visible features of the face, replaced by intentional marks and lines guided by the haze of the moment, his creative spirit being summoned to life. Smudges of paint brush against a mosaic of splatters. Flecks of color shower dedicated spaces on the canvas. The figures still appear visible, yet invisible at the same time. They might be tall or short. Their genders, androgynous. They are colliding, manipulating the viewers first, then they sync, re-arranging themselves like puzzle pieces and letting their viewers know everything falls into place in the end. Rouy, an aficionado of abstraction, has transitioned, and he is introducing an evolution of his artistic practice.

The bodies in Rouy’s artworks evoke an innate sense of connectivity and transcendence. They trespass the realms of the physical and the beyond, almost anchoring an indescribable reason they visually came into sight in the first place. They might be five different characters Rouy brewed in his mind, but they could also be an individual with five versions of themselves. Deciphering the intention of Rouy’s paintings depends on the viewers, but the artist creates a two-way channel in his works. For every painting the viewers see, Rouy seems to ask them to trust him with their deep-seated thoughts, emotions, and fears and let him paint them through his style. For every painting he creates, Rouy stirs human sensations until he delivers.

NR wants to learn more about the psychedelic nature of Rouy’s works and mind, the desire that powers the artist to pick up his brush and lose himself in the moment of painting. When we caught up with the artist, he was in the middle of finishing some artworks for his next show. He would be flying out of the UK in the next couple of days, leaving the 12 paintings he was working on simultaneously for a while inside his studio in Kent, London. At one point, Rouy tells us he paints intuitively. He scraps off planning and gears toward illustrating what feeds his mind, whether based on his experiences or observations. Somehow, themes of interactive relationships, self-growth, therapy, and psychology bubble up and simmer in his paintings. These nuances might be implied, but one can see how they linger in Rouy’s works, drawing in whoever lays their eyes upon his paintings and locking them in there.

At first, NR wanted to ask Rouy whether he had always wanted to be an artist, then move along wherever the conversation would take us. But even before we asked him the question, Rouy had already let us in on what he would be doing in the next few days. A lot of it involved traveling, ruminating, finding breathing space, and looking at his artworks as he sits or stands before them, idling. The moment he spilled all these thoughts, we shifted our questions, inverted-pyramid style. From the role of energy in his artworks to the culmination of his present style, Rouy talked us through his artistry, influences, and life as an artist, revealing parts of himself that might be under wraps from the public’s eye. 

We started with his travels.

Does consistent traveling affect your creative process? 

I think yes. What I have found over the years of doing this is that I have times of concentration or intense work then a break. I have found that my creative process works a lot better now where I relentlessly paint all the way through before I try to find breathing space. For instance, I have solidly worked for a month now, and I will be taking a few weeks off just to ruminate and process. Then, I will come back and look at my works with fresh eyes. I see what I have done objectively and more since I have taken off some emotions and am now able to see what needs to change or shift. In that respect, traveling works well. 

I also often find myself preparing for a show, so it is good to have the works just sitting in the studio for quite a while, just to live with them. They can breathe and have their own life without me working relentlessly on them all the time.  

What is your breathing space? Do you intentionally create your own breathing space, or do you just do random activities? 

Walking, for instance, on a day-to-day basis is breathing space. Strolling in the countryside is a great way for me to process parts of the day, especially in the summertime. I find it harder to find my breathing space in winter because of the lack of light – it is always dark when I leave the studio – but I love to think of other ways to take some time off. Currently, I am between here (Kent) and Paris.

In Paris, I work more on the computer, study my art, and think about where the series is at. I was there a month ago looking at the paintings I already had in the studio, took photographs of them, then looked at them through Photoshop, just to process everything in a different way. Then, I am just actively looking at my works, and I think it is important. The act of looking also takes up time since my paintings become jigsaw puzzles, and I try to work out the next parts. Sometimes, it just does not quite click at the moment, so I let it simmer for a while before looking at it again. 

I have come to a point where I need to take some time off and come back to the studio once I feel rested because I get so caught up in the energy.

“I think painting is about having and regaining this energy and preserving the excitement, impulse, movement, vibrance, and emotions, especially because the works become a lot more abstract in areas.”

These works also need a sense of clarity, so I am trying to find and maintain that as much as I can. When I have a few to 12 paintings at the same time in my studio, I often jump from one artwork to another, so the energy gets transferred quite easily. I am conscious that when I quickly shift, things stagnate, or when I work on one painting for too long, something sucks the magic out of the artwork. It loses the spell it once had. 

Since you put it in this way, does painting ever get overwhelming for you? 

There is this idea that you have higher expectations of yourself at times, and you are constantly searching for more discoveries, so you never get quite content with the discoveries that you have already found. I think the overwhelming part is to maintain these high standards of and by self. When you reflect or get to a point when you look at some of the works you did that you felt successful, you look back to how you did in the past.

It is not that you are trying to top or match them, but I think this is where it gets overwhelming, when these successes are not happening now. When this happens, you push through it – you work through it until things reveal themselves.  It is like when we plant a seed, it takes time before the plant fully grows. 

I notice that some of the facial features of your subjects are blurred. Is that intentional? 

The faces anchor the work and the composition. They can also be a distraction that ultimately defines the work – it is about having the right amount of purpose to them. I am into abstraction, and the blurred faces break emotions and sensations by delivering physical marks in the painting. When I start to apply them, I begin to see that everything becomes emphasized while they also contradict each other. The face is about having blurred moments of life, and having these pushed out in distorted ways allow the works to have the same breadth. 

Sometimes, it is hard to explain. They just have an energy about them and a certain feel that is not of this earth – it is not from here. It is not even photographic. There is a clear distinction between these faces when they appear right, but when they do not, there is this balance between the ugly and the beautiful – transcendence and out of this world. These days, I am more into computer-generated faces or AI and the historical representation of a figure within a sculpture. Here, I can distort the face, making them heightened versions of humans. I also think about the idea of distortion or blurring as something that is not quick, but a time-based movement that links with the rest of the marks in the painting. They turn out to have the same amount of flow and energy.  

Would you say then that your paintings are energy-based? 

Not entirely energy-based, but they have an awareness of the physical in terms of their anatomy, time, and movement. So, the act of distortion can be hidden – you cannot quite tell how long strokes took or where the moment began. Other things can be visible such as the dancing figures in some paintings. 

I notice that you often use lush or dark colors for your paintings. Do you resonate well with the dark palette or do you have any intentions in the near future to shift to bright tones? 

Some of them have become brighter, but gray still is important in my work in terms of it sitting between the realms of dark and light and how it can emphasize contrast and complement well with the shades I use. I also like how gray can have different hues like pink gray or greenish gray.

I also notice that you have a lot of bodies on your canvas. How did you arrive at this point that you wanted to turn bodies into the subjects of your art?

It is an uplifting movement for me to have these bodies in my work a sense of connectivity and purpose – of flow, movement, and rhythm. I would say I am someone who has been into exploring figurative painting and how to achieve a painting that has multiple figures in it without giving a headache. I think about the figures as organisms who could be versions of themselves. There could be two people but split up into five figures. It is less about a collective, but a depiction of those you know in a space or non-space.

On the other hand, their meaning depends on how the viewers perceive them. Sometimes, the viewers place themselves in the realm that I created. Other times, they deem my paintings as romantic and soft. There is always an underlying intention to these figures and how they interact. Then, there is also this feeling of morphing, a shaping of an internal representation, of one’s psyche or being, and I think these are massively involved in my works. We are living in this life full of intricacies as an individual and as a collective, and I am thinking about these internal pressures, whether that is beauty, ego, or something else. Similar to how we show other people love or compassion, we have these intricacies that form part of who we are.

I did a painting last year called Shit Mirror (2021), and it was on how you can perceive yourself one day and have a good feeling about yourself then the next day, you have a completely different representation or idea of yourself. It is erratic when it comes to the human mind, and I try to represent it with marks, movement, and contradictions because ultimately, nothing is static. I think we live in a world where maybe we have the ideas of what and who we are, those that we think are set in stone or in one journey, then we realize they are endlessly moving.

In this matter, do you think psychology and the study of self are two of the many factors that have helped you develop or pursue your style today?

I have gone through a large amount of therapy and have to dig deep into parts of my own self-growth that there have been a lot of things I have had to tap into with myself that naturally comes out in the work I do today. I have always had this keen interest in these features of my experiences, and being able to express some of them, even hint at or allow them to just be present there, feels resonating.

I think you sometimes get forced into doing a lot of self-growth. In my case, there has been a lot of digging into internal beliefs, both rational and irrational, and they appear over time or I generate them. Then, they distort the sense of self and what is my reality in relation to other things. I have dug deep into layers of my deep-seated fears too, and I think when we start to embrace and understand these, we allow ourselves to push deeper into those areas of our mind and sensation.

Do you have any other sources of influences? 

My work is so intuitive. I can go away and experience experiences, but the ideas that I have just sit in the periphery and do not fully sit in. It is not like I am going to do a painting about this or that, no. It all just comes out in an intuitive way. Also, being around other people and having interactive relationships are important too. I often spend time on my own, painting figures. From there, I have these two extremes where I spend so much time on my own – I also live on my own – and doing these paintings about figures of human interactions and about human sensations. All of them are intense experiences to live through which then can be parts of my influences.

Have you always wanted to be an artist, then?

Absolutely. Being an artist and painting have always been my natural ways to communicate. They have never felt like a struggle. School was hard for me since it was difficult express myself through drawing and art even though they felt natural to me.

“I have always wanted to be an artist, but it was challenging to tell that to my teachers because one needs to understand how to be and what it is to be an artist to fully understand the life of it.”

It has been a huge process, overall, and I am very lucky to be doing this.

Do you have any artistic rituals before you paint?

Yes, I have got rituals. I do some exercise in the morning and in the evening. Then, I go for a walk after painting in the studio (if there is light outside). I make sure I do not work overtime. Then, I have a bath every night because I am normally covered in paint, so having a bath every night is a moment – my moment. So, not many rituals, I think.

How do your immediate surroundings influence your artistic practice today?

Living on my own, going at my own pace with everything, and not being in London were massive shifts in how I operate. There is a lot more consideration and pace that is not rushed anymore unlike in London where I had always felt urgency. Now, it is more just about looking, taking everything in from my surroundings. The thing is that in London, I would commute to the studio, step inside, and tell myself “I have to paint now.” It was a lot frantic. Whereas here in Kent, I could just come here, do a little bit of painting, and sit and look at them. Sometimes, maybe even not paint and just look at them. This is where the surrounding influences come in.

Team

Talent · George Rouy
Photography · Markn and Brigita Žižytė
Fashion · Emma Simmonds
Creative Direction · Jade Removille
Special thanks to Rosie Fitter and Thibault Geffrin at Almine Rech

Designers

  1. T shirt Vintage LAURA ASHLEY at LONDON.VINTAGE, paint splattered jeans and shoes George’s own, boxer shorts SUNSPEL and all jewellery George’s own
  2. Vintage YVES SAINT LAURENT wool suit at GASOLINE RAINBOWS, shoes CHURCH’S and jewellery George’s own
  3. Dress, archive GHARANI STROK at THE ARC
  4. Jewellery George’s own
  5. Vintage YVES SAINT LAURENT wool suit trousers at GASOLINE RAINBOWS and belt, shoes and jewellery George’s own
  6. T-shirt in red ribbed jersey, archive HELMUT LANG AW1997 at ENDYMA and classic tailored trousers in polished calfskin, archive HELMUT LANG AW2000 at ENDYMA, crystal drop earrings Stylist’s own, shoes CHURCH’S and all jewellery George’s own
  7. Vintage YVES SAINT LAURENT wool suit trousers at GASOLINE RAINBOWS and belt, shoes and jewellery George’s own
  8. Leather shirt and trousers BOTTEGA VENETA and all jewellery George’s own
  9. T-shirt in red ribbed jersey, archive HELMUT LANG AW1997 at ENDYMA and crystal drop earrings Stylist’s own
  10. Archive HELMUT LANG SS 2004 cut out Nipple tank at ENDYMA, Archive HELMUT LANG 1998 Painter Jeans at NDWC0 Archive, Paint splattered shoes and jewellery George’s own
  11. Black wool suit BOTTEGA VENETA
  12. Archive JUNYA WATANABE, SS 2002, Poem shirt at NDWC0 Archive. Black jersey strappy top, archive ALEXANDER MCQUEEN SS2002 ‘Dance of the Twisted Bull’ at THE ARC, classic tailored trousers in polished calfskin, archive HELMUT LANG AW2000 at ENDYMA, shoes CHURCH’S and all jewellery George’s own.
  13. Vintage YVES SAINT LAURENT wool suit trousers at GASOLINE RAINBOWS and belt, shoes and jewellery George’s own