Richard Orlinski: Artist, Sculptor, DJ
You are one of France’s best-selling contemporary artists. How did your journey in the art world begin?
I remember very well the moment I had a kind of love at first sight for creation. At school, when the other little boys used to play the brawl, I would prefer to create small terracotta animals. I was only 4 years old when my teacher called a local TV to come and discover my little sculptures. But growing up I ended up choosing a more steady job before I dropped it off to become an artist.
Tell us about the first piece of artwork you created. What inspired you in doing so?
The first piece of artwork I created was a red resin crocodile. This mysterious animal has always fascinated me and humans in general. It’s had been on earth for a hundred million years old. It is witness of mankind. My creations are a reflection on the animal instinct and human nature. I have always been attracted to wild animals.
A hallmark of your pieces is their precise attention to detail and craftsmanship. Generally, how long does a piece take you to create?
The time to create a piece of artwork varies from one piece to another. It depends a lot on the material, the size of the sculpture and the requirements. I had crazy request from some clients, and this can sometimes take longer.
When did your solid colored pieces become so colorful and what mediums to you use to create such a colorful palette?
The first piece I ever made was red. I love very colorful palette. All of my resin pieces are so pop and joyful. The pop colors give an immediate feeling especially with children. From one color to another, the emotions could be different. We’re all time thinking about new colors and we always want to work with new matters, which can change the sculpture’s color.
You’re partnering with The Kooples on an upcoming, limited-edition capsule collection of menswear, launching late October at select US and European stores, as well as online at thekooples.com. Why did you decide to partner with this prestigious French fashion house?
I have known the Elicha brothers for a long time. They are amazing guys ! Very professional, full of ideas and I enjoy spending time with them. Their brand is a huge success and I love it. When they came to me with the idea of this collaboration I instantly go very excited. I love fashion and I love building bridges between different types of art.
The Elicha brothers founded the house several years ago, and are the creative masterminds behind The Kooples sophisticated and edgy fashion. You worked closely with Alexandre Elicha to bring the collection to life. What was the experience like working with him, and had you had previous experiences designing men’s fashion before?
This collaboration It’s a mix between two complementary DNAs. It was a real collaboration “ in details “. We really wanted the collection to be imbued with my artistic universe. It wasn’t just about signing “ ORLINSKI “ on a piece of clothes. It was about creating hand to hand a collection that a perfect mix between our two artistic universes.
To celebrate your partnership, you created an exclusive piece of artwork that represents the heart and soul of The Kooples — it is large sculpture of their iconic skull logo! Explain this to us — how long did it take, and why did you choose to include so much fun color and graffiti on the piece? (Also, where can we see it in person?)
Yes, I imagine a skull sculpture for them. It’s an important symbol for The Kooples, for Alexandre Elicha and for me. For me the death’s head means eternity … To create this sculpture, I was inspired by the personal collection of Alexandra Elicha’s skull. I developed a world very pop, colorful and graphic. The Skull is actually in the The Kooples’ showroom in Paris.
So many celebrities have shown adoration and appreciation for your work. Why do you feel that they’ve flocked to your art and supported you for so many years?
My goal is to make art that speaks to the greatest number. I like to provoke an ”immediate emotion “, both adults and children. I attach great importance to popularizing my art by making it accessible. I like to exhibit my sculptures for free and open air. It’s very important for me.
If our readers are interested in learning more about your work — or even purchasing a piece — where can they find your art in the U.S. market?
I work with Bernard Markowicz’s Gallery in Miami. We will exhibit my work during The Miami Art Basel, I love the USA and I’m very happy to get more and more requests from there. To learn more about my work, readers can go online at richardorlinski.fr