Urban Art Fair in Paris – Interview with Gautier and Mathilde Jourdain from Mathgoth Gallery
StreetArt360: Hello Mathilde and Gautier, nice to meet you. Can you tell us in a few words a little bit about yourselves?
Mathilde: Hello, we are a couple of autodidactes who fell into contemporary art a long time ago. It was in 1985, Gautier and I were just 15 years old. And obviously not yet married ! It’s was seeing a Speedy Graphito artwork that started our love affair with urban art. It was when we arrived in Paris back in the 90’s that we realized street art was becoming a bit of an addiction. In addition to visiting museums and galleries, we tried to catch artists in their workshops. Our approach often surprised them but this is how we encountered so many wonderful experiences with artists . Over time, we went from art lovers to art collectors and now we own a gallery.
StreetArt360: Who are the artists you have exhibited at the gallery and the exhibitions planned in the coming weeks?
Mathilde: Even though the artistic direction is really my responsibility, all decisions are made together. Overall, it’s not too complicated, our tastes are quite similar but very varied. We work very closely with Gérard Zlotykamien, David Walker, Jace, Mademoiselle Maurice, Herakut, Anders Gjennestad, Case Maclaim, Cope2, Fintan Magee … In the coming months we will exhibit TWOONE, Bordalo II and Agostino Iacurci. We try to organise a collective exhibition every year, which gives us the opportunity to work with other artists such as : C215, ZEVS, Jef Aerosol, Anthony Lister, Taki 183, Crash, Nick Walker, The Atlas, Icy & Sot, Speedy Graphito, Isaac Cordal …
StreetArt360: How do you choose the artists you exhibit?
Mathilde: It’s not very complicated. There are two essential conditions: we have to like both the artwork and the artists themselves. The idea is to collaborate, to go a long way together. For that, we must be on the same wavelength. Of course, the artist must also want to work with us.
StreetArt360: Gautier, what is your role at MUR Oberkampf ?
Gautier: When Jean Faucheur created the MUR more than 10 years ago, he asked me to be one of the founding members. At that time the gallery did not yet exist but Jean knew that we had a strong personal commitment to support the artists. I immediately agreed. Over the past 8 years, I have overseen the artistic direction. It is very interesting but often thankless . We have about 200 applications a year of which only 25 artists are selected . we obviously have to refuse many applications, so many artists are disappointed and it is my job to deal with them on the front line.
StreetArt360: You curate “Wall Street Grand Art South Paris”, a festival of urban art in the Paris region. Can you tell us a little more about this event?
Gautier: The festival has now been running for 3 years. When I was entrusted with the art direction at the beginning of 2017, i was given a kind of “carte blanche”. I thought that the realization of monumental frescoes by big names of the current street art scene would be the best way to promote urban art in this area. It is in this direction that we are now working. In 2017, we hosted C215, David Walker, ECB, Case Maclaim, Fintan Magee and Astro. It was only the warm-up lap! We needed time to find our feet. 2018 should be even better. we will not change the quality but we’ll welcome even more artists …
The Greater Paris Sud agglomeration community includes 24 cities around the town of Evry. So our playground is vast!
StreetArt360: In addition to this festival, everyone knows that the Mathgoth Gallery has specialized in the production of monumental frescoes. Do you have other projects?
Gautier: Due to lack of time, we had neglected the frescoes in the 13th arrondissement of Paris (Editor’s note: flagship district of street art in Paris and where the Mathgoth gallery is located). But we will try to remedy this. We recently organized a Bordalo II artwork and have some other exiting projects in the pipeline. We are also keen to develop other projects in the province but we dont currently have definite arrangements. These projects take a great deal of time to organise requiring both energy and patience.
StreetArt360: When we talk about project Hors les Murs ‘outside the walls’ we think of frescoes but it’s not just that is it ? For example, it could also include public exhibitions in museums…
Mathilde: Yes, that’s right. We have a few exiting things planed but being superstitious i’d prefer not to talk about it yet.
StreetArt360: Today, the street art market is booming.( events, exhibitions , galleries…) Is it scary and how do you see the future of the movement?
Mathilde: Fear? No, certainly not! On the contrary, it is encouraging and proof that this art is full of vitality. In spite of everything one must remain vigilant.
StreetArt360: Can you explain?
Gautier: When you eat too much, you may feel bad, but that’s not a big deal. On the other hand, when you eat too much and the food is not good, it can turn into indigestion. The consequences are not the same …
StreetArt360: You are participating in the Urban Art Fair in Paris. Are fairs important to you?
Mathilde: We participated in this fair last year which was very interesting . And it’s a pleasure to return. However it is not the main stay of our work and so we must be careful not to burn ourselves out by over committing to too many things.
StreetArt360: For this 2018 edition what are you going to present?
Mathilde: we want to present new works created especially for the event. This year we are going to use 3 artists from the gallery: the German duo Herakut, the renowned French street artist Jace and the young Australian prodigy Fintan Magee. All 3 prepared exclusive works for the Urban Art Fair and entrusted us with some fantastic pieces. We are very much looking forward to presenting them to the public.
StreetArt360: Thanks a lot Mathilde and Gautier. See you soon at the Paris Urban Art Fair.
Useful Informations: Mathgoth Gallery Paris
Urban Art Fair Paris – Mathgoth Gallery