Ctrl-X, ctrl-V, an interview with Lola Dupré

06 Mar 2020
By Sara Andrade

Lola Dupré has dedicated her life to the art of cut and paste in her collages. Be it through the traditional method of using scissors, paper and glue or even if it was digitally, through computer shortcuts and contemporary tech processes, the resulting images can make any dadaist's jaw drop, eyes multiply and limbs swap.

Lola Dupré has dedicated her life to the art of cut and paste in her collages. Be it through the traditional method of using scissors, paper and glue or even if it was digitally, through computer shortcuts and contemporary tech processes, the resulting are images can make any dadaist's jaw drop, eyes multiply and limbs swap.

We can start by listing her bio - birthplace, date, parents... But for Dupré in particular, that's just such a side information for someone who has spent her life travelling around and absorbing the richness of different cultures. She is a citizen of the world and that's all you need to know. Shes an original and timeless in what she creates, imagining settings that could be contemporary to Dali, as well as conteporary to the 21st century, as they will be to any upcoming millenium. It's funny, because she speaks knowledgebly with a touch of sweetness and candace, but then uses, fondly, adjectives like grotesc and bizzarre. It's surreal - the kind that captures your look and kidnaps your imagination. Because what really isn't strange abot Lola is that, from all her journeys and places she's visited, the world she created in her collages is the one we find most beautiful.

How did you get into doing this kind of art, how did your surreal collage emporium began? I always loved unusual beautiful things, strange beautiful things to look at and experience. When I was young the art prints my parents displayed around the house were a big inspiration for me. I wanted to make beautiful things that were shocking, even frightening. I used to make bizarre sculptures, and I made funny little chic monsters in my sketchbook out of collage, quickly this became my focus. 

I read that you take inspiration from the Dada movement, surrealism and combine it with today's digital techniques. What are your references from those art movements? And what attracted you so much to these movements in particular? I love strange things, surrealism in general and the mad juxtaposition of Dada thrilled me. Surrealism informed me that art could be shocking to look at, sensual, and seemed to be a space where art could mix with literature and fashion. The modern world is perfect for applying collage, digital or paper is does not matter. The content in the picture matters. The world is full of images, advertising, art, interventions. I always work with paper, but it is just the road that life has made for me.

Also, what do you think digital and contemporary resources have added to art creations? I think the medium does not matter, I do not really care if it is made digitally or with paper, I care if it is beautiful and interesting. I actually love the digital world and digital art, and how art is shared a million times a second on social media. It is a liberation of ideas. 

 Tell us a bit about your creation process - and do you prefer doing it traditionally or digitally, and how long does it take to complete a print? Well I only use paper and glue, everything I do is made with paper. I find an image that inspires me, and I cut the hell out of it. I try to make it into a new creation that somehow still reminds you of the original image. Every work takes a different amount of time. But is time important?. Did you know if you drop a tennis ball on the ground and catch it again, you have moved 18 miles through space. I think the time it takes is not important. How you cut the paper is more important. 

What are your main subjects in your collages and what can inspire you to create a new piece? I am inspired a lot by fashion, vintage style, other artists. To be honest everything inspires me really, inspiration is like air. I have so many ideas in my head, I can only make a small percentage of them. A big inspiration for me is working with photographers to make something collaborative. This gives me extra life and enthusiasm to work.

I read that you are/were based in Portugal - is that true or was true at some point? If so, how has Portugal became your workplace and in which city were you based? I spent time in Coimbra and Porto, also in the central area Lousa, Gois, Vila nova do Ceira. In the mountains and also in cities. I lived in Spain, France, Portugal, Ireland, now Scotland, but not forever. I loved Portugal, what a special place.. I think about moving back one day if I can. 

Tell us a bit about this journey of yours and travel between countries until where you are now and how does this affect/influence your work? I am in Scotland now, but travelled a lot when I was young also.  I think being aware of how there are different places in the world where people live in different ways has helped me with all aspects of life not just my work. For my work I think it has helped me a lot to understand 'what is normal', and what is just particular to this city or country. To appreciate the differences and similarities is to understand better your place in the world. 

Do you have a special piece of yours that you particularly love or that has a special meaning? Not really, I am some kind of workaholic really, I am always working. Usually I just prefer the most recent piece I made, then I try to forget about it and move on.

Have you ever done a piece you decided you were never going to sell? Never, it is all for sale. I have made 1000's of collage and I think I only have maybe 15 at the moment. Everything I have sold, given away, or sometimes if I am not happy I will destroy a piece. Everything is for sale, because I must eat and rent a home. But also because I am very happy and honoured to share my work with the world.

Do you often buy artwork from other artists? What was the last one you bought? Not for a few years now, I have a small collection from some friends over the years. But in general I try not to collect anything, I want to travel light. I do not want loads of possessions because I think it makes it hard to travel. 

What's your favourite artwork, one you would love to have it in your house, if money or accessibility were no problem? I really love the bizarre grotesque work Bosch, Arcimboldo.. Something dark, flowery and beautiful from them would be nice.. I do not really have a favourite artwork that I can think of. 

*This article was originally published in Vogue Portugal's Art issue, from March 2020.

**Para ler este artigo em português, consulte a edição de arte da Vogue Portugal.

Sara Andrade By Sara Andrade


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