Muche is a French artist based in Barcelona who’s passionate about sculpture! Her expressive bronze artwork embraces the human form: nudes and dancers in motion depicting positive energy; faces expressing joy, kindness and compassion; and hands that describe empowerment and strength.
Muche’s bronze sculptures are made to generate emotions and reflection and she accomplishes this very well. Today we’re chatting with Muche about her creative process and her experience eliciting such strong feelings in the people who see her artwork.
First, can you tell us a bit about yourself and about how you came to be an artist?
I have always been an artist. I was drawing as soon as I was able to grab a pen. My grandfather also encouraged me and asked me for drawings each time he would visit.
I drew houses in the sand when I was six and asked an architect friend for his feedback. When I was eleven, I created high heel shoes with a toilet paper roll and rope (very sexy but not very comfortable or long-lasting). I made dresses for my sister’s doll as well as a carton car to take her around the house. Also, I made an entire wooden dollhouse with furniture, wallpaper, tiles and carpet. At sixteen, I was sewing my own clothes because I couldn't find what I wanted in the shops. All of this stopped when I started a business and became a mother. I started again with sculpture seven years ago, which was a great discovery.
Where do you find artistic inspiration?
Small, inconspicuous acts of kindness, eyes that light up at an unexpected visitor, the exhilaration of a leap into the air, expressions of contentment and joy. In short, everything that’s good in life! Whatever is going on in anyone’s life at any time, invariably, in some small corner, there is something good to shine a light on.
The characters that you sculpt- are they people known to you? People you’ve seen in dreams? Where do they come from?
I love faces. They reveal a lot about the person. Eyes are my favorite; they reflect personality (generous or egoist, good or bad, strong or weak) and feelings both good and bad, kind or wicked, happy or sad, as well as indifferent, fearful and many others. I focus on the positive ones for now.
If I am happy with the emotion I want to transmit, then the piece is worthy of a bronze casting. Bronze is an enduring material; a symbol of strength and resilience.
The Wise Old Man has a tricky smile, full of experience. His eyes show happiness, experience, positivism, spirituality and a passion for life. He is the one I want to have in my entrance at home. I am thinking about a support to have him with Kindness, welcoming people.
Where do they come from? Not from my dreams. My dreams have no faces. It starts with a face I see and I love. it starts as an image and then imagination and my hands create the final result.
My second favorite after eyes are wrinkles. They reflect our lives, experience and emotions. We should be proud of them instead of hiding or despising them.
Can you tell us what a new idea for a sculpture feels like for you? Does it come fully-formed or bit-by-bit?
New ideas inspire me all the time.
MUCHE stands for
Mindful - a connection with your inner self
Undiluted - Raw emotion captured in art
Curvaceous - Celebrating the human form
Human - our true nature, physically and spiritually
Exuberant or expressive - a passion for life
Each sculpture is a mix of some or all of these concepts. It comes from an emotion, a face, a movement that inspires me and then I make it bit-by-bit while sculpting.
“Cabaret”, “Sleeping Beauty” or “Fantasme” are a mix of Curvaceous, Human and Exuberant concepts. All the hands are a mix of Undiluted and Exuberant or Expressionism. Whereas faces are mixing Mindfulness and Human concepts.
How did you come to choose bronze as your medium?
First, I sculpt with clay and then cast it into bronze. Bronze is an enduring material, a symbol of strength and resilience. Bronze sculptures capture the feelings of a moment and transmit them forever to all those who see them.
I currently have 8 models in bronze (4 are available now and are 4 in the foundry and will be ready soon). Each bronze sculpture is numbered with limited series of 12 sculptures available.
On your webpage you mention that your work has provoked strong emotions in others– both enthusiasm and repulsion– Can you describe what it’s like to elicit such strong feelings in others?
“Energy” is a word people always mention when they talk about me. “Expressive” is the word frequently mentioned on my work. I never stop, always on the move, always thinking … It can be quite tiring for people around me and myself actually!
“Emotional” is my worse defect and best quality as I transmit authenticity, transparency and trust. I am very easy to read whether happy or sad, enthusiastic or skeptical, in love, displeased, or even repulsed as you mention… This energy inspires me all the time.
My sculptures are a reflection of this energy, which is why it inspires the same gut feelings in others!
You’re originally from France and you chose to settle down in Barcelona. What do you find attractive about the city and how does it impact your work?
Barcelona has been my home city for more than 20 years now. It is the place where I have spent the most time in my life. I love the people, their determination, pride and pacifism. Family and children are welcomed everywhere in the city even in restaurants and bars. All generations get mixed up: you can see young people but also “abuelos” and “niños” late at night, when it is party time. There is fun and respect for all. This is so great! I love it!
I started sculpture in Barcelona. Hands were my first models and tools at the same time. Being in this wonderful ambiance, inspired feelings: sensuality (Caresse by Muche Sculpture), determination (Prouesse or L’Ultime by Muche Sculpture), pacifism (Paix by Muche Sculpture), the art of enjoying life (Tchin by Muche Sculpture)
And lastly, where can people find your sculptures?
I can also meet people where I work, at 137 Degrees Artistic Studio in Poblenou. It is very important to see the original piece before buying art. Especially because you should move around the sculpture to see it from different angles and heights to feel all the emotions. Then you can decide where to put it in your home according to the emotions you want to generate.
Faces are a typical example: The Anonymous Mysterious Man can smile, be a bit ironic or be very serious depending where you see it from. Kindness can also generate different feelings: sweetness and generosity but also sadness or love.
In the future I plan to exhibit in galleries; both in Barcelona and Paris and wherever I find some Muche lovers. I will keep you posted!