Half Portuguese and Swiss-German, Lia Rochas-Pàris grew up in the Parisian art world as the daughter of an artist and a contemporary dancer. She lives in Chinatown with her daughter, Liv, in Paris’ 13th arrondissement where they both enjoy the lively art, costumes and dance. “I grew up in a very unconventional mind frame and a lot of creative freedom,” She remembers. “Which allowed me to develop my own creative process, mainly focusing on collages,” while also keeping up with her studies. Lia started with a master’s degree in Art’s Aesthetic, and then a second one in Design and Digital Art. She is a multifaceted artist who doesn’t hide her need to constantly research, learn and understand. “I always needed some kind of theoretical aspect to challenge my mind.” She defines another reality, from different elements while keeping some kind of duality as a motor of creation. Lia mentions art from the middle of the 20th century, movements like Dadaism and surrealism, as her major inspirations; as well as contemporary dance, literature, music and cinema. “My influences are pretty varied, from Jean Cocteau, Marcel Duchamp, Hans Arp, Sophie Taueber-Arp, Jean Hugo, Meret Oppenheim or Barbara Hepworth to Eric Rohmer, Atom Egoyan, Hal Hartley, Jim Jarmush, Wim Wenders, and so many people I’ll think about tomorrow or in a year’s time.”
In her home studio, Lia Rochas-Pàris created a space of infinite creation. A mix of abstract and realism made of visual compositions, collages and drawings of her daughter Liv. In the middle of this oasis of brightness stands a small garden–so nature isn’t too far away–, and Lia can focus on her different projects. “My home looks like me. Some days it’s messy and other days it’s squeaky clean. I work and live in the same space, both are tangled together obviously. Everything that comes into my creative process has a space in the room. There are a lot of books where I go looking for inspiration, day to day objects, work tools, and some projects I’m currently working on as well as others are frozen in time.” Lia reveals that her routine has been radically changed since the pandemic broke. Every morning, she tries to take some time for herself. She wakes up at dawn to take in the silence and drink her usual morning coffee. She writes her thoughts in her journal, reads through her emails and then she’s ready to start the day when her daughter wakes up, completely free to spend time with her. “With what’s happening in the world right now, my work/life balance has been challenged. I have to take care of my daughter's classes, as well as making time to work on my own projects.”
“When you’re an artist, you’re often alone. A form of loneliness, essential to creation, that I like to counterbalance with shared experiences, usually around a coffee.”
At the core of her work is the collage. Amidst the various forms of her expression, it is the technique she refers to consistently, putting together distinctive collage works out of snippets from magazines, brochures and sheets of paper she stumbles upon in everyday life. Compiled to easy yet complex arrangements, she builds small parallel universes where time, gravity, and proportions are suspended. The unusual and surreal becomes common, the trivial becomes hyper-trivial, unfolding unseen substance.
“Collages integrate a huge part of accidents. I can’t see beforehand what I’m going to put together. All the elements are here and I work with them by following what I see. Once everything fits together, something quite magical happens. All the elements balance each other out, it’s almost like alchemy. There’s empty space that shares edges with the positive space, thereby creating the outline of the shape. This in-between space is very interesting to me, it’s called ‘Ma’ in Japan.”
Based on the idea of the collage, in her project Comme Un Roman-Photo, Lia assembles words to tell the essence of a conversation. Parisians often say ‘Let’s meet soon for a coffee’ instead of ‘Goodbye’. Coffee shops are also kind of an office to work and meet people. “When you’re an artist, you’re often alone. A form of loneliness, essential to creation, that I like to counterbalance with shared experiences, usually around a coffee.” The result is fascinating photo stories of talks she had with artists and creatives about their works, projects and expertise. Through the synergy of the visual and contextual appeal, her interviews accumulate to immediate experiences. Beyond her fascination for the two-dimensional, where she operates as an artist and editorialist with found images and words, Lia also works as a curator. Founded in 2015, her curatorial Instagram platform Shelves is dedicated to objects and their context. It takes place in her living room where she offers creatives one shelf to showcase items of their inventory and portfolio. “Both projects question different creative process, through conversations and shared ideas, or through objects displayed in my private space.” “Parties prises” is a publishing house but also a laboratory for new concepts and ideas. A curated platform and a creative studio that gathers all Lia’s collaborative side projects. “It’s very important to me to surround myself with people I trust, know, and with whom I can share and create. I consider the creation process like a puzzle in which each piece would bring something new to the whole project – it’s also funny because we published some actual artists puzzle as well.” Lia Rochàs-Paris is now working on an independent magazine called “Femmes & Objets”, about female artists and their relation with objects. Again, Lia knows how to surround herself with talented friends who helped her bring this new project to life at “Parties Prises”.