Foufounart, the artist who sublimates the female gender in public space

Behind the stage name Foufounart there is a piece of mystery that she wants to preserve. “I have enough lives on the side”, immediately smiles the dear Marion, mother and collaborator in the cultural milieu of Lyon. Her “little secret garden” that she likes to cultivate in her free time, her passion is to “represent the female gender in public space”. Create vulvas without complexion. Without taboo. But always with great delicacy.

“I don’t work on eroticism,” explains the one who never had any artistic training. Instead, Marion prefers to sublimate the female genitals by redirecting symbols, obsolete objects or ancient materials. Her vulvas – a “one-of-a-kind” piece made with clay and modeled by hand – are usually covered in a country pattern. They are then hung in the middle of a porcelain plate, placed on the bottom of a vase, sometimes placed under a dome or often surrounded by a baroque frame painted with gold leaf. The result is astonishing, captivating.

Create a “surprise effect”

The goal is to create a contrast, a “surprise effect” to bring a different look, she continues. “In the distance we see a work, we guess colors or small flowers. And when we get closer, we discover that it is a vulva in relief,” describes the artist who wanted to “depict the female gender where we don’t expect it. It’s a beautiful thing that we don’t have to hide. Today it is still a taboo for many women, but there is no reason to be ashamed of it,” she says.

The series “discreet”. – Foufoun art

Feminist but “not militant”, Marion takes pride in her approach, that of “returning to the female gender her place and her legitimacy”. Which is annoying sometimes. His first work, pasted in April 2021 on a square in Croix-Rousse – his “heart district” – was “slaughtered”, “cruelly destroyed” after three days. Not enough to discourage the artist.

“The goal is not to shock”

“The aim is not to shock, but to raise questions about the way we perceive the female body,” she replies. In art, in society in general, the male gender is widely represented. On the other hand, it wasn’t until 2017 that the clitoris appeared in textbooks. It’s pretty crazy if half the souls populating this planet have one. Little girls know what a penis looks like faster than their own sex”.

The Lyonnaise, who is “early forties”, belongs to “this generation that discovered itself late”. “At home, the subject was mostly taboo. We didn’t talk about sexuality, I was never told about menstruation. I didn’t know what it was, she says. I learned about it in the schoolyard through urban legends. »

Behind the artistic approach lies the desire to educate and raise awareness. Invited to exhibit her latest creations at the Fresh Painting street art festival, Marion was able to confront the public. Sometimes with a lot of humour. “A gentleman came up to me to congratulate me,” she recalls. He said to me: “How beautiful, but what is it?” I replied that it was a vulva, he was quite surprised and almost embarrassed,” she concludes with a laugh.

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