Betty Mariani: Artists Inside The Industry

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We are delighted to welcome the self-taught artist Betty Mariani from France. Residing and working in Paris, Mariani draws her inspiration from the punk culture of the 1970s, literature, cinema, and street art. Her artistic journey commenced in 2016, marked by her first solo exhibition at L’Escala in Vanves in March of that year. Betty quickly made an impression with her distinctive works, characterized by paint layers, collage elements, and textured, stylized writing.

This unique style led her to collaborate with the renowned fashion house Christian Dior in 2017. She was invited to reimagine one of Dior’s signature bags for a limited edition collection. Additionally, Betty completed live paintings at London’s Selfridges and Christian Dior’s headquarters in Milan as part of the Dior Lady Art project. In her current series of works, Mariani employs the method of storyboarding to highlight narratives inspired by her environment.

Betty Mariani: Artists Inside The Industry
Betty Mariani

I start with an image that inspired me and that I can’t forget.

Betty Mariani

Her art probes our relationship with images, the dynamics of identification, and the concept of intimacy in a hyper-connected, overstimulated world. She reinterprets these narratives through storyboard scenes, styled with pop culture aesthetics, drawing from posters and magazine covers. In this interview, Art Plugged will delve deeper into the life of the artist behind these creations, exploring Betty Mariani’s creative process, her sources of inspiration, and much more.

Q: First things first, why do you do what you do ?

Betty Mariani: Because that’s all I’m good for. At least, I hope so.

Q: What is your inspiration?

Betty Mariani: My environment, my surroundings, the music, especially the punk culture of the 70s and its visual language with album covers, flyers, show posters, music magazines and fanzines. The cinema and street art also influenced me a lot.  Then there are artists too who continually inspire me: Basquiat, Toulouse Lautrec, Barbara Kruger, Linder Sterling, Tracey Emin, Banksy…and many others.

Q: What is your creative process when you’re creating?

Betty Mariani: I always start by putting a good record on first, then I can start ! ahaha Usually I start with an image that inspired me and that I can’t forget. Very quickly, I build a specific narration and staging according to the direction I want to give to the painting. I don’t really do sketches before, but I write a lot. I take notes on feelings in different situations, I write dialogues, short scenarios, which will help me to develop the story I want to paint.

Betty Mariani: Artists Inside The Industry
Q: Which is your preferred surface for working on?

Betty Mariani: A simple canvas. I’m not very complicated.

Q: What would you say is an integral part of the work of an Artist?

Betty Mariani: Innovate, experiment, don’t follow trends.

Betty Mariani: Artists Inside The Industry
Q: What is the reason behind your use of storyboarding in your works?

Betty Mariani: The storyboarding method helps me a lot to structure my painting and my ideas, to develop the storyline I have in mind, and to highlight the details and themes that are important to me in my narration. The frames are for me the equivalent of the important words you will highlight in a text. 

Q: How do you know when a piece is finished?

Betty Mariani: It’s exactly the same feeling when you’ve eaten well and you’re not hungry anymore. It’s the same thing.

Q: What is your favourite piece from your collection?

Betty Mariani: Oh, tough question! There are two to be honest: “As long we are ugliness”, because it’s a concentrate of the recurring techniques I use in my work (oil painting, collage, mirrors) and “Meet me at The 100 Club” which is a reference to the music club The 100 Club of London.

Q: How did you feel when you did your first solo exhibition?

Betty Mariani: I was proud and nervous as hell. Next October I will be exhibiting in Paris for the very first time. I’m excited and terrified at the same time, it’s a feeling I’ll keep from my first to my last exhibition. 

Q: What is the most rewarding thing for you about being a part of the Art Industry?

Betty Mariani: Meetings, collaborations and travels. 

Q: Is there anything that worries you about how social media is affecting the promotion of artists?

Betty Mariani: Social networks are now necessary for the promotion of your work, that’s for sure. I’ve met great people through it, it’s a beautiful opportunity to share and connect with others artists. It’s a very useful tool because it’s your first place to show your work. But I deplore this race to followers and the dictates of the trend, which can corrupt your artistic approach.

Betty Mariani: Artists Inside The Industry
Q: In your opinion, do you have any advice for artists on how to manage their social media image? Or does it even need managing?

Betty Mariani: Of course you have to manage your image, I’m still learning how to manage mine, it was difficult at the beginning because I didn’t take it seriously. But I understood that it was an integral part of my work as an artist and I try to adapt.

Q: Do you have any advice for artists starting and don’t know where to begin?

A: Be passionate. Passion can take you very far. And don’t be afraid to propose something different, something that doesn’t follow the trend. 

Q: What would you say is the best way of getting your art noticed in the age of the internet?

Betty Mariani: Propose something different, something unique, be proud of it, and promote it intelligently. And be as active in « real life », not just on the networks, exposing your work, exhibit where you can.

Q: Are there any places where you feel Art and Technology really shouldn’t overlap? 

Betty Mariani: I think combining the two can be very interesting. You have to evolve with the times, technology is an integral part of our society now, we might as well use it. But it’s always good to see works in flesh, so don’t flout your artwork under the pretext that it will look good on Instagram because otherwise it will be a disillusionment. 

Upcoming Exhibtions

Solo show, Storytelling, à la Galerie du Pop UP, Octobre 2020, Paris (75), France.

This was Betty Mariani for Art Plugged’s Artists inside the industry; you can follow Betty on Instagram and head over to her website for news about her latest works, exhibitions and more.

©2020 Betty Mariani, Dior