- 13 FEBRUARY 2023
- MIRA WANDERLUST
- Image by
Judas Companion label aims to unite art+fashion through wearable structures
Judas Companion is a London based artist and is the alter ego she created in 2016. Her works revolve around metamorphosis in the wildest sense.
‘’I paint, create masks, photograph and ﬁlm myself, visualizing transformation processes. I transform my inner world outward and give voice to emotional turmoil. By wearing masks I express myself on a deeper level and develop works that come directly from my subconscious.’’
Tell us a little bit about your background and when was your ﬁrst approach with art?
I grew up with making art. My dad was an artist himself and worked as a graphic designer for a company. We had all sorts of art materials around in the house. I never knew myself not making art. Aged 21 I joined the Art Academy in Düsseldorf and later on Central Saint Martins in London to study ﬁne art.
Do you remember your ﬁrst art piece? When did this happen and how old were you? What about your ﬁrst mask?
No, but I remember my ﬁrst mask. I was about 18 and had just seen Eyes Wide Shut which fascinated me so much that I instantly thought: “this is what I want to do” and made my ﬁrst beak from a paper mache. It was the relentlessness that fascinated me. How people could dress up so that they became invincible but at the same time deliver a clear message. In the case of the movie its message was “death”. In my practice I ﬁnd it interesting to remain see through, just so that I am not completely powerful and transformed. The transformation hasn't worked out properly - that's what I like, the failure in me.
How vulnerability is related to art and how important is this for you?
All my art is about vulnerability and showing my inside on the outside. When people meet me in person, they never perceive me as fragile or emotional. I come across as though. But that's just my surface. I somehow never learned how to express my feelings in a “normal” way. Therefore I make art, I show my vulnerability through art. People could know me very well if they studied my artworks, haha.
Tell us more about your collaboration with Alexander McQueen. What were the visual references for the FW22 collection?
The reference was a dress from the Alexander McQueen collection. I had to pick a dress and make artwork in response to it. I loved the project so much! McQueen is just nice to work with, they are super professional, open minded and they take the artists serious. I have worked for half a year on various masks in both London and Germany. The pieces were combinations of knitwear and glazed ceramics, sitting on concrete busts of my own face.
How would you describe the independent art scene? What are some of the biggest challenges that you are facing right now?
Making living from art has always been my biggest challenge. This is also what can frustrate me sometimes. If I detach from the expectation to HAVE to make money, then things are ﬁne and the work ﬂows. As an independent artist I can choose whatever I like to make and there is nobody who could tell me off. That is more freedom than you get anywhere else.
How do you approach the process of creating a sculpture or a mask?
I let it ﬂow. I work on many pieces at the same time, let's say on 15 masks and on 30 paintings at once. I bounce from one to another and back. That's how I work. When I am stuck, I go to the next and come back when ideas ﬂow again. This way, every artwork inﬂuences the other and everything is connected to another.
Can you describe your style as an artist creating wearable sculptures?
I guess my style is fashionable, horrible, funny, dirty, absurd. I hope so at least. I always mention that the ambivalence of fun/bright colors and screams/nudity/scary faces is important to me, as it describes my inner world accurately. I am not on the bright side but I am also not as dark minded.
What is your favorite place where you feel more inspired?
That's usually my studio, where I have peace and quiet. Funnily, it's a long time ago that I had a studio which was really peaceful and quiet. It's mostly loud, dirty and shared with others. Still, being surrounded by my artworks gives me inspiration.
What makes you stand out as an artist and tell us your favorite project that you’ve worked on?
The masks make me stand out. The knitwear which positions my work between art and fashion. That's where I always wanted to be. My favorite piece is a mask I just made, which has new elements that give me some new ideas on how to move forward (I will attach it). I am always satisﬁed if I ﬁnd a direction to move towards.
A letter to your future self. What would you write?
Oh, just be careful, look after yourself.
Interview by @mirawanderlust