Weekly Wonder Woman - Michèle-Louise Frei
Perceiving, empathizing, understanding and wanting to pass it on in a new form, this motivation is characteristic for me as an artist and as a person, then as now. I finished regular school and used my great interest in the development of our society, economy and law to work for the municipal system and later for a degree in land register and property law, worked as a notary for this specific area.
The experiences and encounters with so many different people, target groups and demanding confrontations in addition to the otherwise very abstract work, shape my artistic work to this day. Even after resigning from office, the knowledge I gathered had an impact on my perspective, especially with regard toprevailing social structures.
In addition to my thirst for knowledge, my interest in art also developed very early on when I was a child. As an introverted only child and the typical observer, I used artistic expression as an outlet to process the mass of impressions I received, but above all to reproduce them. This was expressed in my free time in poetry and music, many years as a flutist in the regional orchestra later gave way to the fine arts, in which I found the right tools for my artistic work and which have been my greatest passion for almost a decade now. I have remained a passionate, inquisitive observer with a childlike curiosity and now actively use my strength as a highly sensitive person and the associated ability of empathy to consciously perceive everyday life and the small and large things that happen in it, to deal with them with the key question in mind of why things are the way they are.
Since the beginning of 2019, I have therefore been dealing in my work with inconspicuous processes and events that have receded into the background, mostly about human feelings and perceptions, the psychological and sociological processes behind them or philosophical approaches, to name a few examples.
There is always more about a subject we categorize as normal and take for granted, than we consciously notice. The aim of my work is to find complexity in this everyday, often inconspicuous things. I retranslate them through abstraction to present them in a new visual context and combine semi-realistic stylistic components with abstract, sometimes expressionistic or even cubic elements, as a representation of the interplay of perception and reality. Symbols, shapes and colours are used specifically to convey emotions. The abstract elements are also partly an expression of my rational thinking, which encounters a strong empathy and tendency to romanticize.
The focal point of my work lies on re-presenting topics and the motifs that are already associated with them, while creating more space than usual for overlooked details and thus giving the viewer a visual incentive to focus on the marginalia that do not appear so relevant at first glance.
In which style and with which media I create my artworks depends strongly on the topic. I make a new decision for each subject, I collect the motifs I am already familiar and let them tell me in which form ithey would like their story to be retold. This is also the reason why a variety of styles, stylistic means and media can be found in my work.
Who are you (tell us briefly about yourself)?
Milou is the short name for Michèle-Louise, and I’m a 25-year-old, self-taught artist based in the East of Switzerland. I’m working in various media and have a strong passion for relating everything to art, even if it doesn’t seem related at first glance.
What inspires your art practice?
Relating to the subjects of my work, my inspiration is all about impressions, feelings and the correlations between these two, which either I experience myself or observe in others. I like to translate that into colours and shapes to create impressions and feelings for the viewer.
As for my art practice, I'm inspired by other artists who follow their path and show their passion for their art. The work, ideas and dedication of other artists inspire me immensely.
What drives you to keep going every day?
I always say I kept my curiosity from childhood in my heart to this day and live it out to the fullest. I guess that’s where my drive comes from. I am very open to the little miracles we can experience daily. I get fascinated by them, look deeper into their values for our lives and ask myself why we perceive things the way we do. I take nothing for granted, so the amount of incoming impressions is, as it were, endless.
What's the number one advice to fellow women artists?
There is no setting of time standards we should have to keep up to. Speaking to other artists, I hear a lot about pressure on how fast we should be building up our art careers. Especially we as women have more than our art we have to think about. We are busy running the household on the side, a lot of us have day jobs etc., and I think it’s important to remember that these things may have a legitimate place in our time management, too, while we should take care of our health as well. Everyone should do their thing at their own pace, which provides room for our creativity and what comes out of this is worth waiting for.