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Article: OCEAN LOVER #1: SupaKitch

supakitch artiste surfeur engagé sud ocean lover maillot de bain collaboration
ocean lover

OCEAN LOVER #1: SupaKitch

Those who have already had the opportunity to stop by our Pop-Up Store in the Marais have been able to discover the paintings of Guillaume Grando, aka SupaKitch. Celebrating “the form of matter” in all its forms via wall painting, canvas painting, sculpture, illustration and more recently tattooing, the painter divides his time between his studio… and the sea A source of daily inspiration for this seasoned surfer, who explains that he has become particularly sensitive to the environment and the protection of the oceans.

 

A talent and concern that Apnée wanted to highlight by devoting a portrait to him, the first in our series dedicated to “Ocean lovers”.

Can you tell us a little about your beginnings?

 Being a painter with a background in graffiti, I originally come from a rather urban environment. Then over time and my different experiences, my work evolved towards something more plastic. From painting on walls, I moved on to painting on canvas, especially after meeting my wife, Koralie, also an artist. At the same time, I began to do sculpture, then illustration and even a little tattooing... If painting remains my main means of expression, I am what we call today a multidisciplinary artist.

Where did this fascination with the “form of materials” come from?

Alongside graffiti, I started doing a lot of skateboarding. Then from skateboarding, I then moved on to surfing, which gradually made me leave the metropolises for the beaches. There, I not only fell in love with surfing but also with the environment that goes with it. Today, the shapes created by Nature have become my main source of inspiration, whether it is the shapes that the wind draws in the sand, the strata that time hollows out in the rock or the reflections of water that creates the sun when it crosses the ocean…

The reflection of light through water is what inspired the pattern of the swimsuit that I designed in collaboration with Apnée. 

Can you describe to us the feeling that animates you when you paint?

Usually, when I travel or go surfing, I end up in beautiful places. By contemplating them, I realize that Nature is the best designer. I am fascinated by its shapes and materials. So, when I arrive at the workshop, I often try to interpret and play with the feelings that I felt while observing it. My paintings are in a way landscapes which become abstract thanks to this interpretation.

Who are the artists who inspire you?

Even if I am more inspired by Nature than by people, I must admit that I am particularly touched by two artists. The first is the painter Pierre Soulages for his work on light. A subject to which I am very sensitive. That's why I started using gold leaf in my paintings: to recreate the golden light at sunrise and sunset, the best times of day for surfing.

The second artist is the American painter Mark Rothko. Every time I find myself in front of a Rothko, I have only wanted since I was little, and that is to dive into these flat areas of color as if it were a big swimming pool.

What does a typical day look like for you?

At the moment there is very little routine, but in general it starts with a good breakfast, a surf session if there are waves and then I go to the workshop, where I like lock myself away to paint. Then the end of the day very often ends with an aperitif and family life.

Where would you like to be and what would you like to be doing in 5 years?

 In 5 years, I will possibly still be in Biarritz and for the rest, if I already knew it, I wouldn't wait all these years to do it. I think it's good to leave yourself with some surprises. Far from me the desire to relate everything to surfing, but it is a discipline which instills a certain philosophy of life, in particular that of knowing how to be patient and wait for life to bring you waves to catch them, surf them and go even further.

Any Instagram accounts that you particularly like?

 That of my wife, Koralie , and that of Pierre Soulages

What place does the ocean play in your life?

A primordial place that I couldn't even quantify. In fact, I realized that I always needed to go to places where there was the sea. I can spend hours contemplating it, or surfing and swimming in it. Water is really my element... Besides, I love painting with resin, a liquid material that allows me to create random shapes. I like the fact that she decides where she wants to go, thus drawing effects similar to the marbling of the ocean once the foam has erupted.

What does your favorite sport look like?

I love the Ilbarritz spot because it has the ocean, sand, rocks, cliffs, a hill and even beautiful architecture, thanks to its castle and its magnificent houses. Also a very important aspect for me, knowing that I started working on the street.

What are your favorite beaches in all countries?

Trestlesen Beach, California and Bakuach, Costa Rica. A magical place that I discovered thanks to a friend who owns a house there.

A memory in the water that you will never forget?

Every time I've managed to tube – which is rare enough that it sticks in my memory – or every time I go surfing with my 16-year-old daughter. I love helping her catch a wave and seeing her ride off standing on her board.

What was the trigger that made you want to get involved in protecting the oceans?

There's no particular trigger... I've always been naturally concerned about the environment, even if surfing and spending time in the water must have accentuated things.

Concretely, how does your commitment translate?

Through a series of small daily actions, such as picking up waste when I walk on the beach or raising awareness among my children by regularly reminding them of the importance of the environment.

Are you optimistic for the future of the planet?

I am more of an optimistic nature but here I must admit that I don't know if I should be... In my opinion, the future is precisely those brands like Apnée which manage to create by recycling. I hope this process will quickly become common throughout the fashion industry. In any case, it is urgent that this becomes so. Unfortunately, this effort must also come from large groups for it to have a real impact on the world. They are so powerful that it would almost be enough for them alone to change their policies to bring about a profound change in our societies.

In your opinion, what would be the solutions to preserve the oceans?

I often read articles that mention promising inventions, like machines that can clean the oceans without using energy. However, I don't understand why the researchers who develop them are not more encouraged. It's a shame because a lot of good ideas are mentioned but ultimately, very few are brought to fruition.

We should also change the way we consume in order to stop the problem of overfishing. At the moment, for example, poké bowls are all the rage in France, in which tuna and salmon are mainly offered. It's pretty and colorful but in the long term, fishing them in too large quantities is creating a real imbalance in the food chain. I have the impression that there is still a great lack of communication and education on this subject. In fact, when it comes to the environment, people often have a distorted image of reality.

An artist linked to the sea to introduce us to?

I really like the work of artist Jason deCaires Taylor who makes huge concrete sculptures which he then places at the bottom of the oceans. His works have a real ecological dimension because they allow the coral to regenerate by growing on their surface.

Do you have a practical tip to pollute the beach less?

When I go surfing, I often have a plastic bag or a trash bag in the car, so I can pick up the trash I find in the dunes and the forest. It's not much, but if everyone did it, things would be better. Besides, once I have thrown the plastics in the trash, I always wonder what happens to it and if it is really recycled. So, now that I know that Apnée uses technology that recycles plastic bottles to make swimsuits, I feel like we've come full circle. Maybe the swimsuit I'm wearing is even made from a plastic bottle I picked up on the beach!

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