Interview with Dasha Mas Love and her Last Tango in Paris

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Dasha Mas Love has an artistic soul. She is an architect with a passion for one the most beautiful and sensual dances – tango…

Last Tango in Paris

In our interview Dasha talks about her projects, inspirations and love for dance and painting.

Originally you are from Moscow, what brought you to Paris? Tell us a little bit about yourself. 

First I came to France to finish my studies in architecture. After getting the Master degree in Toulouse Architecture Higher School, in the South of France, I got a job in a parisian architecture agency and moved here.

Dasha Mas Love

How would you describe your style and your technique? Tell us about your creative process. How long does it take to complete a painting, what materials do you use, etc?

I think that my technique is very much influenced by the education I got, i.e. it is quite «academic» and «architectural» and I put a lot of attention to the construction of the drawing, whether I draw a building, a flower or a human body.

Last Tango in Paris

I stay loyal to a simple crayon and I can spend hours stroking a nice shadow; then I like adding some watercolor accents without going too much into detail.

Tell us about the central characters and objects of your works. What inspired you to create them?

I am lucky enough to combine my two passions: drawing and tango. Therefore I always have my models in front of my eyes.

Parisian tango scene is amazingly rich and beautiful, behind every person there is a story to tell which would be worth an entire book.

Then, and there is no need to repeat it, the beauty of the city itself is stunning and there is always a plot for a nice scenery. I also love going to the South of France, and paint all these colourful façades and flowers.

Tell us about your Parisian projects. Where can we see your works?

I am considering myself as architect in the first place, so speaking about my projects, I will always point out the buildings first. As a young specialist, I took part in some international teams working on different projects, from Paris but not necessarily in Paris.

Thus, the very first project I took part in in Paris was an architectural competition for the Olympic Park in Rio de Janeiro; then, it was the construction of a parental school in French Alps and after, a scientific laboratories building in Paris outskirt.

What is your artistic background? How did you start painting and creating your works?

I started drawing as a kid and spent a lot of time in an Art school for children, which was quite usual for kids back then in Moscow.

Last Tango in Paris
Then, I must say that the artistic part of the architectural education in Russia is veeeery present (in any case much more than in France) and I’ve learned a lot during my architecture studies : drawing techniques, colour theories etc. But I only started drawing for pleasure when I moved to France.

Do you remember your very first creation as a child and afterwards your first painting as an artist?

My first drawing as a child was a drawing of an Olympic bear (mascot of Moscow 1980 Olympics) and I still find it cool :) Then, my first real command was the design for the perfume bottles for the perfumer Anna Agurina, based in Nice.

Perfume for Anna Agurina
She created a serie of 5 original fragrances with a strong imaginary identity, which I had to reflect in my illustrations.

Is there any work in particular that you are mostly proud of?

Again, I am an architect first of all, and if asked of the work I am the most proud of, I would say it is the first building I followed from A to Z.

It was a reconstruction of a building of the beginning of the XX century into a parental school; the site was situated in an awesome location in the French Alps and we went there regularly from Paris with my colleague.

Dasha Mas Love

I participated from the very first analysis of the existing site right to the photoshooting of the finished building, after one year and a half of working on the project documentation and following the construction process.

Who would you like to collaborate with from the art world?

Before speaking about collaboration, I just would give a lot to have a cup of coffee with Peter Zumthor.

What inspires you in general, in your everyday life? Who would you call your personal inspiration?

I love seeing beautiful people, both men and women, it nevers turns me jealous but admiring – I think my mom taught me so. I have amazing friends, who speak several languages, who are extremely creative, who can see inner meaning of things.

Last Tango in Paris
Sometimes you don’t need much to get inspired – some fresh air, nice music and sweet company is enough. My latest discovery in terms of personal inspiration is a young spanish artist Adara Sanchez Anguiano – her sensual sketches just can’t leave you indifferent.

Tell us about your upcoming projects. What would be your dream goal as a painter?

I don’t have any illusions about my goals as an artist, as I am definitely too «academic» to pretend to be somehow related to what they call «contemporary art».

I hang out with some artists in the past, and the number of theories and beliefs in this environment just scares me too much.

Last Tango in Paris
I prefer relying my artistic life on the architecture, where all these metaphysical reflections, still very present, are however highly limited by very simple things such as gravity or rain.

How would you describe the city of Paris? 

Expensive, busy, tight and extremely charming.

Dasha Mas Love

As an artist what creative places in Paris would you advise for our readers to visit?

I like a lot the area of the canal Saint Martin, with all these bars and design boutiques around. There is La Gaîté Lyrique, the numeric design museum, a little bit deeper in the city.

Last Tango in Paris

Village de Bercy has also a nice selection of hand-made and design stuff, and they hold a vintage furniture exhibition annually. And then there is a whole area of Montreuil, what they call a new Montmarte (there are 2 or 3 areas in Paris which they call so, though), where all trendiest things normally go on.

If you are interested to see what would it feel like to find yourself in the center of the cult movie Last Tango in Paris, you should visit a wonderful exhibition of her works at Les Frigos, a place that for one night on the 18th of July will become a dancefloor for best tango dancers in Paris! For more works of Dasha Mas Love, you can also visit her Instagram page.

Milonga Les Frigos

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