Wonderland.

EMERGING: ANTONIO MARGUET

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Surreal, plastic and really rather fantastic: that’s Antonio Marguet‘s photography to a tee. Ahead of his solo show at Hirst-owned gallery Other Criteria, we talk to the Saatchi Gallery New Sensations shortlist-er about his hyper-glossy art.

What defines your work?

I use photography to think about more abstract ideas. My photographs are artefacts that point to questions in a kind of phantasmagorica and fantasy way; a dose of gimmicky tragedy that mirrors a notion of ‘possible beings’, always masked with a sense of lightness.

Tell us more about your show this week.

I’m presenting Deodorants Games, a series of images that bring into question some of the ideas that fascinate me. More than ever, odor is a matter of concern, but my starting point was the ‘allure’ of fragrances that has spanned domains and which has become a key element of self-branding. Fragrances help to project in others a personal desire according to that DIY sense of ourselves.

Your work has an almost plastic, hyper-artificial feel to it – what interests you about portraying that?

I’ve always had difficulty accepting things as ‘they are’. The ‘natural’ is alien to me or at least is not where I feel most comfortable. Essentially, we have to make do with what is available. In general, my work reflects on certain meditation available to us in our everyday, the way we reinvent ourselves as fetishes through media activities. Maybe the unnatural sight of how we present ourselves infuses my practice.

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What’s your background in art and photography?

After finishing my Fine Art studies over a decade ago, I came to London with the idea of pursuing a career in photography. I have always been doing bits and pieces, and photography offered me the chance to bring together some of my interests and skills. Photography has always provided a tool in my hand for me to deal with my curiosity and anxiety. It was really instinctive for me.

What’s your process from idea to finished place?

There is a great deal of satisfaction when I develop a piece. Although I tend to start with strong ideas, experimentation always shapes the end result. A gap for improvision is always common; I aim to surprise with the end result.

What’s currently inspiring you?

I think more is more. Earlier this summer I saw an overwhelming sample of ethereal Rococo architecture in the Cartuja of Granada, it really stuck in my mind.

What are you currently working on?

I’m working on a new series… extending some ideas I have been exploring in Deodorants Games. I’m working on notions connected to a sense of self-absorption.

Have you ever seen a piece of art that changed your life?

In a certain sense, yes. I mean, it is easier dealing through art to face everyday issues, and to have insights that would be difficult to have in any other way.

What’s the first thing that comes to mind when you think of Wonderland?

Malibu syndrome as a permanent state of mind.

Deodorants Games opens at Other Criteria from 6 September to 4 October, 14 Hinde Street, W1U 3BG. www.antoniomarguet.com

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EMERGING: ANTONIO MARGUET

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