Valentino’s new act
In collaboration with Italian powerhouse Valentino and Nataal, the media platform dedicated to global African fashion, art, music and culture, we celebrate a new generation of Black visual artists in Paris. The work of these young, agenda-setting talents speaks to diverse themes of identity, the environment and spirituality. Here, wearing runway looks from Valentino’s Act collection, they speak to Nataal’s editorial director Helen Jennings (@hellojennings) about how their art practices reflect the brand’s new direction.
Fabien Conti, painter
Trained at École des Beaux-Arts, Paris, @fab_ecks focuses on still life as well as hypnotic large-scale landscapes.
‘My main theme is nature — I question the responsibility of humans for global warming. I hope they are meditative works reflecting a human tragedy, creating landscapes with an atmosphere that is tempestuous yet calm.’
‘It's a very rich scene in Paris [of Black artists]; there are lots of great talents here. We're pretty close and united — we try to do joint exhibitions and share each other’s work on social media to help each other.’
‘I like fashion and I appreciate wearing these beautiful pieces. I have a few Valentino items in my wardrobe and what I love about them is that they’re simple, artistic and have great details.’
Josué Comoe, painter
Trained in photography at the L'École nationale supérieure des Arts Décoratifs in Paris in Paris, @comoe_josue is a self-taught painter and drawer whose work focuses on people of African descent.
‘My work is about transcendence through space and time — the spiritual path. I believe that spirituality is what brings us together, so my works are very geometric as a way to find a visual code that speaks better than words.’
‘Sometimes people say, 'Your work is for the Black community'. You have to educate people, explain that because they were taught art history from a Western perspective, it’s time to deconstruct how they see Black artists.’
‘I usually wear black. Even though it's not a color, there is everything in black. It can be political. Black makes you feel strong, but in this look, I also feel vulnerable because of the duality with white. It’s like art.’
Elladj Lincy Deloumeaux, painter
A student of Les Beaux-Arts de Paris, Guadeloupe-born painter and visual artist @elladjlincy explores his relationship with Africa in his works.
‘[When I work] I listen to Nigerian afrobeat. It gives me energy. My Caribbean heritage and African roots inspire me. My paintings combine cultural and historical references: familial, matrimonial, spiritual and symbolic.’
‘There's a very ebullient youth in Paris. It’s important for me to make connections with other artists here. It brings richness and experience, and feeds into the great energy of the city.’
‘I like to wear simple and sober clothes, and I like minimalism, so I feel comfortable in the Valentino looks I’m wearing today. The use of pattern and texture is beautiful.’