Sometimes you see art so stunning being created that it doesn’t leave you with much to else to say. That’s what happened after I watched a video of a colllaboration of French street artists Žilda and Rö reinterpreting L’assassinat de Marat (The Assassination of Marat), a painting by Jean-Joseph Weerts. I immediately contacted the two and they were kind enough to agree to our quickie interview.
Could we get you to comment on that piece?
Žilda : This is a two-person work entirely made with paper brush. The point of this pictorial collaboration was to have our worlds and styles (which are quite different) meet on behalf of one and the same setting up.
Rö : It took almost one year before this project came into existence. We had to do a lot of spotting before we found the ideal location, offering the same architectural layout as the original work.
Žilda : ..the place also had to recreate the atmosphere of the painting.. it was essential to choose a “setting” respecting its private atmosphere, slightly theatrical, and offering quite precise lighting conditions.
We’d love a blow by blow of that day and how you decided on that piece.
Žilda : One day, we were at the” Crime & Punishment” exhibition in Paris, where that famous painting of Jean-Joseph Weerts’ was being displayed. It was a real blow! A revelation for the two of us..
Rö : We thought it would be very exciting to take over that work by adapting it our way and adding our own staging…
Žilda : It’s a little like our “Ode to Charlotte Corday“. But of course under a visual and artistic pretext..
Rö : …and for the fun of it! We were keen on handing this rather tragic theme with a tongue-in-cheek approach, by being absolutely ourselves.
Žilda : It’s not just about adaptation or pictorial interpretation. It’s first and foremost setting up. According to the place, the furniture, the light…
Rö : Yes..we work with visual, concrete materials, which can be “shaped”…that is the exact opposite of the canvas.
What’s the mission statement?
Rö : The place of our “Marat’s murder” wasn’t accessible to the public and the actual spot was destroyed a few days after the setting up… so we wanted to share our little fleeting lunacy through a video.
Žilda : By the way, we need to thank the author of that video who made it with great involvement and inventivity. Thank you, Colin !
Watch the installation come to life on our main page!