TO CREATE IS TO DARE !
A long-time friend of Christian Astuguevieille, Patrick Frey had always wanted to create a collection with him. He appreciates his personality, his originality and his rigor. He also admires the constancy in his work and the original way in which he appropriates traditional French culture, purifying it to modernize it while preserving its soul. Christian Astuguevieille made a name for himself as artistic director of perfume and fashion houses; Molinard, Rochas, Nina Ricci or the famous japan brand Comme des Garçons, for whom he created about sixty perfumes and invented such smells as clothes drying in the sun or overheated photocopiers! Mr. Astuguevieille is above all known for the objects and furniture developed around his own imagination, and that are now exhibited in museums and galleries around the world. By bringing up to date the classical motifs of previous centuries, with an obvious modernity, Christian Astuguevieille has succeeded in diverting all the French art of living dear to Maison Pierre Frey from its original use... The artist’s leitmotif is to play with codes and periods.
Patrick Frey & Christian Astuguevieille
HOW DID YOU TWO COME TO COLLABORATE ?
PF: With Christian we have known each other for several decades and I have always admired his work very much. Life lead us our own ways and we have not crossed many paths. I am very happy, honoured and proud to have been able to create this collection with him. It was something that was missing, very different from what has already been done in the House. This collection combines modernity, talent and culture. We agreed on everything that was done. Everything looks simple, but the collection is very well thought-out and reflects the right balance between total freedom and dialogue between two creative people.
C.A.: Very happily! It was obvious, easy and natural to work together. I had the madness to show Patrick some very bold things and he had the madness to accept them to my greatest happiness!
IN ALL THE MODELS IN THE COLLECTION, WE FIND YOUR ARTISTIC CODES BUT WE ALSO FEEL A PARTICULAR LINK WITH THE MAISON PIERRE FREY. CAN YOU TELL US ABOUT IT ?
C.A.: This collection is entirely linked to my designs, to all my work during the different periods of my life.
At the beginning, for the Toile de Jouy, I started to do a very concentrated job, very close to mine, very serious. Over time, I became more interested in working on an idea of «scribbling», that is, a brush, a can of paint, and the freedom to paint what I wanted. It gave birth to what you see now.
The idea was to update the 18th century drawings, to take them over with freedom. This has resulted in strong, different designs, which can also be mixed together or combined with more sober things. The idea of the gesture, the brush, the ink, was interesting on these backgrounds. At first I was nervous. I didn’t dare paint on Jouy’s canvas motifs, I didn’t dare touch them. I left the fabric panels free for a while before I managed to take them over.
P.F. : The collaboration between Christian and I, our passion for history and the love of our culture has led us to create a very French collection based on French documents of the 18th century, carefully preserved in our archives. Christian completely revisited this classicism, which he enlarged, transposed, recoloured, so that it became something else. The spirit is very French: the mixture, through these drawings, of an obvious modernity and the French Art de Vivre. The roots and the French culture were close to my heart, but I was also firmly convinced that it would be powerful to dare to go far. I have been running the House for more than 45 years by instilling this audacity and I am very attached to it.
C.A. : Despite the diversity of this collection, there is a great coherence between all the motifs and colours, which makes it all work very well together. It is a challenge to mix Jouy’s paintings, large stripes and imaginary writings... however the whole thing works. In the staging of the collections, I deliberately added many elements of my daily life and work and it became, I believe, a real place, an inhabited house.