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Portrait #2 IN THE WOUP : Mario et ses centaines de

Portrait #2 IN THE WOUP: Mario and his hundreds of “costumes”

Hello IN THE WOUP, could you tell us more about the person behind this pseudonym? And on the choice of the latter?

I was born before Google and after the release of Nintendo's NES, and I grew up with the Dorothée club.

Concerning my Blaz, I took the name of the folder “Woup” in which I stored the photos of my works when I started on Nancy. A fellow street artist kept telling me “You have to find a name, that’s the basis”. In the file “Woup” became IN THE WOUP.

What was your first contact with urban art? What made you want to get into this?

I started mosaicing in 2009 in Nancy, if memory serves me correctly. Previously, I had tried my hand at stenciling, collage and drawing mainly. My first mosaics were inspired by video game sprites from the 80s/90s like Tetris, Mario Bros or Zelda.

I then refined my technique and my creative universe through the MARIO WORLDZ PROJECT: crossovers between Mario Bros and other universes. I have almost 400 crossovers on the tablet and have installed around 200 mosaics in 12 countries (the latest: Sultanate of Oman). Years of practice, research and exchanges with other artists have shaped my style and technique. For example, I no longer paint my tiles anymore, it lasts longer even if my color palette is smaller. When I started, I went out at night for fear of getting caught ( laughs ). That time seems far away to me today.

Why did you choose this technique?

Why the mosaic in particular? I'm not going to lie, I don't remember exactly... Love of old-fashioned video games, I guess. I grew up with the NES/SNES and Game Boy at a time when pixels were king. A few pixels were enough to tell a story and the imagination took care of the rest. Street art brings me a feeling of freedom that I can't find anywhere else. An idea which transforms into creation and which, once installed in the public space, resonates with thousands of strangers to arouse positive feelings in them. I find it both crazy and magical.

If you had to define your style in 3 words, what would they be?

Pixel. Pixel. Pixel ( laughs ). If I had to dig a little deeper, I would say: minimalist, colorful and flashback. Because my work takes the public back to a specific moment in their lives, often childhood and always to pleasant moments.

Can you tell us more about your creative process?

The mosaics that I create measure approximately 70 cm by 50 cm depending on the characters and require several hours of work in the workshop. The creation stages are as follows: graphic design on tablet, assembly of tiles, installation of plastic film with “handle”, jointing and drying time. Then, all that's left to do is find the right spot!

What are your main sources of inspiration?

I'm a real sponge. Each story, universe, game, etc. who has ever touched me is likely to find himself pixelated by me. That is, if I can do it! ( laughs )

Sometimes the result doesn't satisfy me so I put the creation aside and try again a few months or years later. Generally speaking, my characters are inspired by literature, manga, video games, comics, TV series and cinema.

What is the ideal spot for you to stick your works?

Very high to prevent passers-by from damaging the work and with a lot of traffic. Ideally, a wall that is not damaged so that the mosaic is well highlighted and in an original setting.

Can you tell us about your first mosaic (from the idea to its installation)?

Like artist Pwixel.art , I searched for random pixel art on Google. A Luigi holding a pint of beer, installed in 2009 on Nancy.

What cities and countries have you invaded?

I have 171 mosaics installed in 52 cities in 12 countries: France, Spain, Italy, Slovenia, Kyrgyzstan, Kazakhstan, Mexico, USA, India, Canada, Croatia and more recently in the Sultanate of Oman. For your information, I did my first French tour in April 2022, the MARIO WORLDZ TOUR. A crazy bet: 10 cities visited in 7 days, 40 mosaics installed and 2224 km traveled! For the curious, a documentary series retracing the journey is available on YouTube.

A favorite mosaic?

Being an artist is like being a parent, they say you don't have a favorite but that's not true ( laughs ). I have a few that actually thrill me more: R2D2, Charizard, Michelangelo, Link and Jiraiya to name just five.

Do you have a bad experience to tell us?

None !

I have always received an excellent welcome from passers-by and the public in general. I regularly receive messages via Instagram thanking me and it touches me every time.

What are your artistic projects and your desires for this year?

For 2024, I'm aiming big! I have just started a collaboration with a gallery in Lyon and Paris and I am currently working on my new collection which will consist of ten mosaics (available in April). I will continue to release Prints and capsule collections (embroidered clothing) in limited series on an occasional basis.

There will also be collaborations with other artists, but not only that, as well as the creation of gigantic works (several meters high).

Without forgetting my art book which will compile 400 creations and numerous anecdotes about my artistic project.

You're going to hear from me this year!

Your wildest dream?

Discovering that I am a wizard, or a Jedi... my heart is swinging.

Artistically, it would be to create a major solo exhibition. The project is ready on paper, all that's missing is the space to accommodate it! Notice to gallery owners or others.

And finally, which artist would you like me to interview for the next portrait?

Go see MifaMosa, he’s very nice!

How to obtain a work by IN THE WOUP?

The easiest way is to go to my website ( www.inthewoup.com ) in the SHOP section. You will find limited edition Prints at €60 as well as unique mosaic works from €2,500. Otherwise, you can also find works at my current partner, the Art Génération gallery (LYON - PARIS).

How to follow you (site, Instagram account, Flasher nickname, etc.)?

Web: www.inthewoup.com

Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/@inthewoup

Instagram / Twitter / TikTok : @inthewoup

Artsper: https://www.artsper.com/fr/artistes-contemporains/france/75849/in-the-woup

NOVA Radio: https://www. nova .fr/news/in-the-woup-woup-182260-13-04-2022/

A big thank you to IN THE WOUP for its participation 🙏

And we end with the official bio of the artist

IN THE WOUP is a French street artist based in Lyon. He has been using mosaic for his creations for around ten years. The concept of his artistic project MARIO WORLDZ PROJECT is to answer this question: “What if Mario Bros had more costumes?” Like a lot more…”.
He creates crossovers with the universes he likes. Each work is unique and pays homage to characters from literature, manga, video games, comics, TV series and cinema. So far, around 400 characters have been created.

You can find his creations in many countries: France, Spain, Italy, Slovenia, Kyrgyzstan, Kazakhstan, Mexico, USA, India, Canada, Croatia and more recently in the Sultanate of Oman.

He carried out his first French tour in April 2022, the MARIO WORLDZ TOUR. A crazy bet: 10 cities visited in 7 days, 40 mosaics installed and 2224 km traveled! A documentary series retracing the journey is available on YouTube.

Photo credits INTHEWOUP

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