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Borgo de Nor
Muses

Meet Our Muse

Artist & Model
Sofia Fanego

Anyone seeking inspiration should spend time in the company of Sofia Fanego. The multidisciplinary artist and model lives between Normandy and Paris, conjuring beautiful, botanically inspired artworks in the former and fronting high profile photoshoots in the latter. The Argentina native’s surrealist collages synthesise dried flowers with vintage pictures of the female body or photos taken on her analogue camera. She is a keen collaborator and recently created a photography book called Mono (out this September) with Japanese artist Hiroko Matsubara that compares the body to sculpture. We joined Fanego in the stunning garden that surrounds her Normandy home to shoot our summer 2021 Muses collection, and here, spoke with her via video call from her lush, flower-filled atelier to discuss her inspirations, exciting new projects and how she finds balance in her busy life.

Tell me about the Borgo de Nor shoot in your garden in Normandy?

When Raquel [Franco, the photographer] proposed to do this collaboration, I really wanted to do the shoot at my place, in my atelier and my garden, because the brand is so floral and has lots of texture, it feels like there is this connection with nature. As an artist, I like to collaborate with brands that I like. We spent the whole day here, walking around the garden. The idea of the shoot was to have this connection of wearing a floral dress and being in the flowers and abundant nature; it’s this link of being immersed in nature.

Do the images reflect back to your artwork?

Yes, it was almost like I was making the collage - dressing the dress with flowers and being in nature - so I felt like I was being the collage.

Would you describe your work as sustainable as you use vintage pictures, plant-based Japanese washi paper and dried flowers?

I can say my work is sustainable, yes. I have a beautiful and deep connection with nature, and I really take care of it. Also, since I’m working with nature, I truly respect everything around me. We are part of nature, we are nature. The French sculptor Auguste Rodin said, “The artist is the confidant of nature, flowers carry on dialogues with him through the graceful bending of their stems and the harmoniously tinted nuances of their blossoms. Every flower has a cordial word which nature directs towards him.”

Where did your love of flowers come from?

It came from when I was a child watching my mother working in the garden. I grew up on a farm that had a lot of roses and I remember the colours. Also, my father had peach trees, so I remember their texture… All my life I’ve loved flowers and now I realise I'm obsessed with colours and textures. That was why I started to study landscape design because of the creation of colours, textures, compositions and tonality of the flowers.

Does working in the fashion industry inspire you?

Yes, totally. In my career over the past 8 years, I have met beautiful, inspirational people. I’m also learnt about lighting, shadows and movement. I feel so inspired by a lot of the people that I work with - hair stylists, makeup artists, stylists, photographers...

What have been some of your favourite catwalk moments and photoshoots?

For catwalk, Yohji Yamamoto who had chosen tango for the show - Argentinian music! His talent is timeless. For photoshoots, I’ve done so many! I love working in remote places with beautiful humans who inspire my artwork. I loved working with Raquel on the Borgo de Nor shoot, immersed in nature in Normandy.

Describe your typical day.

When I’m in Normandy, I get up early at 6am and I do some breathing. Then, I go straight out for a walk. I like to walk without music; it's just me and the forest. I have mate tea for breakfast and around 8/8:30am, I work in the garden, or I draw. In the afternoon, when I’m here, I work in the garden some more or on my dried flowers, or I’ll read one of my botanic books… I do yoga with my husband in the afternoon. There are three gardens here, so I wait for sunset and then we do yoga in a spot on the grass watching it. Then I take a bath. I feel so grateful to be where I am.

What are your summer plans?

My husband, Philippe Bemberg, who is an artist - he also works with nature - will do an installation in Switzerland at the beginning of August, so I’ll spend a few days there, and after that go to wild Corsica to swim in the sea. In mid-August, I will be back to Normandy to make the final touches to my next project which will exhibit in Paris. Stay tuned...

Sofia Fanego is a keen collaborator and recently created a photography book called Mono (out this September) with Japanese artist Hiroko Matsubara that compares the body to sculpture. We joined Fanego in the stunning garden that surrounds her Normandy home to shoot our Summer 2021 Muses collection.

Photography and Art Direction: Raquel Franco
Muse: Sofia Fanego
Art: Sofia Fanego
sofiafanego.com
Location: Normandy, France