Interview with Jean Motell, French underground icon: from party crashing to the artist life

Interview with Jean Motell, French underground icon: from party crashing to the artist life
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Please tell us about yourself.

I’m French, born in Paris. I was a party crasher for 10 years in Paris and London (mainly for fashion weeks and cocktail receptions). Only because I loved Champagne and wanted to see the privileges of the jet set, without any invitation.

I made a book about what I saw during cocktail receptions and the jet-set world “How To Make It When You’re Broke And Nobody”. Now I take photographs, still write books, make music and also experimental short films. Always with my same lo-fi and alternative touch. I’m a kind of “art tourist”, totally independent.

Who are your main influences?

Four main influences: Piero Manzoni, Giacomo Leopardi, Erik Satie & Jean-Edern Hallier. Sometimes I’m affiliated to Yael Kanarek. I love her work. For his approach of style, I’m also a fan of Olivier Zahm of Purple Magazine and Tommy Hilfiger, whom I had the chance to photograph.

But I don’t really care about fashion, except when Champagne is free! I must confess that I’m also fan of Lindsay Lohan. I still wear the Casio watch she gave me at a party. But I don’t know if she remembers me 😉

Please tell us about your work.

Humor is a master key in my work, plus lo-fi and my singular point of view about life: in my books, music, or films, you can find this mix of lo-fi, alternative references & humor.

For instance one of my last single is a kind of joke about prick faces of famous DJs. I was fed up with these DJs. Same gigs. Same sounds and attitude. I made a track about it “Le DJ A Une Tête De Con” with a dirt electro / lo-fi dance vibe and it’s almost a hit for me on youtube.

What are your next challenges?

I’m convinced that underground artists like me can bring alternative references & new ideas to major artists, to maybe produce even better songs or movies and surprise fans in a positive way. That’s why I took contact with Katy Perry and an american director but I can’t say his name!

I also want to write books to expand creativity. So far I wrote nearly ten books, recorded three albums, but it was a long hard road. Fifteen years ago I was surrounded by people with privileges but with no access to these privileges. Now I manage my own art gallery in Los Angeles, I’m the creative director of a magazine based in Bangkok. My mojo is: “If I can make it, you’ll make it”. Let’s find the artist inside you. This is the tagline of the artistic movement I’m affiliated to: Poetic Resistance.

You can follow Jean Motell on instagram, listen to his music on spotify and discover his books on amazon.