Samuel François: From Surrealism to Camp

“Inspiration is the spice of my life,” explains Samuel François, a seasoned fashion stylist who exuberantly broke into the jewelry industry, bringing unique and fascinating imagery along with him

«A little surreal, graceful, dramatic, paying homage to nature, something personal; a clanging sound; the presence of my hand; a bit camp as well, joyful but melancholy (or the other way around).» Asking Samuel François what the keywords of his artistic style are, was the best way to understand his complex aesthetic imagery. He is French and is a skilled stylist who works with well- known fashion brands and celebrities like Kate Moss, Arizona Muse, and Gisele Bündchen. In July 2018, he presented his first jewelry collection and immediately set himself apart for his style and originality: a true revelation! «Working mainly as a fash- ion editor and stylist, I couldn’t fully express my creativity. I felt a need to use my hands, to show another side of my personality,» he explains.
And while his massive experience in the fashion industry contributes to giving his jewels a cutting-edge flair, the use of artisanal techniques and metals, such as bronze and silver, add ancient touches. «I am very interested in metals and artisanal processes in general. I make my models using the lost-wax technique, then I melt them in metal and sometimes use a mold. I usually don’t start with an original sketch; I prefer to discover the shape of a piece while I am assembling it. I also work with enamel, to add a bit of brio to some pieces.» Everything happens thanks to an impetuous flow of inspiration: «Italian Pasolini and Fellini films of the 1970s, museums, cities like Naples and Venice, history, some architectural details (doors, graffiti), books, other cultures (Berber women, Turkish harems), obscure references like slave chains and torture weapons, arms, still life, memento mori, funerary art, flowers...» Samuel’s creativity leads us to a boundless land, where rationality and irrationality find a delicate but powerful balance, reminding us of the foundation of surrealism, introduced by French writer Andre Berton, in 1924: «Free your imagination and find your sense of wonder, in the absence of any control exercised by reason, exempt from any aesthetic or moral concern.»

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