WILD Profile: Livia Coullias-Blanc

Who: Livia Coullias-Blanc Where she was born: Marseilles, France
Where she lives now: New York and France
What she does: Photography, Film

Portrait of the Artist by Timothée Arene

Livia Coullias-Blanc’s first photo exhibition, Skins, recently ended its run. In celebration of the young artist’s show, we bring a few photographs from her collection, as well as a small WILD profile.

Skins goes beyond mere representations of physical forms: they are reflections on the artist’s awareness that at a young age, she has yet to understand what goes on at a deeper level of oneself. Looking in the mirror, she only sees the skin of a naked body, something that she can touch and is relatable across genders. There is no pretense in the exercise. Livia fully acknowledges her limits as someone in her early twenties, and as an artist that has just begun to question the essence of her creative and inquisitive mind. When asked about it, she referred to the process of self discovery through time as sculpting a block of ice. Hard enough to chip away and shape, but ultimately fragile and finite.

The series consists of three nude portraits of young men and six of young women. Aside from the 2:1 ratio, there are clear differences in technique and approach to each gender. The portraits of young men are more controlled, approached in a more careful way. The portraits of young women are freer and more of a snapshot in the life of someone. The idea of Skins is gender neutral, but the artist’s comfort with it is not.

Where she is from: I was born in Marseille, I grew up in Martigues, I moved to Tahiti when I was 13, in middle school. So I grew up in Tahiti, did high school there, and I went back to France for college, in Nice. Then when I got my degree in cinema, I moved to NY for a year, sort of an exchange, but then I found myself here, and I decided not to leave. I shot my first short film here.

What she is currently working on: I’ve been writing both a feature and a short film. So, I’d say I’ve been working on my writing.

Where she gets her ideas from: I steal them. I steal what’s around me, but I only realize it when it’s in front of me, on paper.

What good energy means to her: Good energy comes with places, it could come from culture, architecture… But mostly good energy comes from the people that surround me, positive energy, positive thinking. It makes me go forward. My dad and my mom, they push me to the limit, they create good energy, good vibes.

What she thinks there is too much of and too little of: There is too much hypocrisy, and not enough sharing.

With whom she would like most to go on a “ tête à tête”: With George Méliès, that would be fun. But if I wanted to have a nice time, I’d go to lunch with Coluche, a french humorist. He was hilarious.

With whom she would like most to go on a “ tête à tête”, still alive: Jude Law, I wouldn’t say no. Just for the view.

What she would be doing if she weren’t doing what she’s doing now: I would die. I couldn’t do anything else. I fell into art when I was a baby, I was always meant to do that. But I guess if I wasn’t doing art, I would probably be an architect. I really love architecture. I’m a lazy person though, that’s why art is more my thing.

On her life to do list: I want to go to the moon.

A real list. I could if I had a hundred million dollars.

I don’t think there are flight to the moon yet, just space. I would go to space then, that’s cool too. I love stars, I’ve always been fascinated by stars. Actually if I wasn’t an artist I would have liked to be an astronomer. Just thinking that we’re a little piece in the universe makes me wanna… And I like the astronaut outfit. So, not an architect, an astronaut.

Her earliest memory: Not my earliest memory, but a nice one is when I was in primary school, I was like 9, every night I would put on a show for my parents. I would write them, draw them, and hire my two baby sisters to perform in them. I would do costumes, and paint on the walls, play music, and of course I was the real star of the show. My mom would get crazy that I painted the walls. I was always putting myself into it, I wanted to be an actress.

And you don’t anymore? No. I’ve never met anybody that makes me comfortable enough for me to leave my persona in their hands, and say “direct me, I’ll be yours, and you do whatever you want with me, give you all my emotions.”

What she considers a fashion faux pas: I don’t think there is faux pax, it’s all how you wear things.

But do you ever see someone wearing something that makes you cringe? Oh yeah. People who wear flip flops with socks. That’s a definite fashion faux pas, a big one. The ultimate one.

What cracks her up: I’m really ticklish. Like, I can pee my pants. But, let me see, what really cracks me up? I don’t know, dogs with shoes?

The wildest situation she ever experienced: Jumping from an airplane.

What she can’t live without: Music. And it’s bothering me that we haven’t been listening to music during this interview.

Who she wants to grow old with: Hopefully the love of my life. And my sisters.

What she would like to leave to future generations: The opportunity to do whatever they want.

What her next challenge is: To direct a feature before I’m 26. Actually, 27.

Her hero is: My mom, she is really tough. And Elvis.

Livia’s WILD wish: To travel in a heartbeat, lunch in Manhattan, dinner in Marseille, dessert on the Moon.

Don't yet have an account? now!