Artist spotlight: MISS VAN… April 15, 2011

Since I was young, I’ve been drawing characters and animals. In the early 1990s, I started discovering graffiti with friends of mine, tagging a little bit and following them, taking photos and stuff. Then I wanted to be a part of it. The characters came out spontaneously. I chose to use acrylic paint because I was using it while studying, and I found it more comfortable than spray cans, even if it wasn’t a graffiti style. Then I continued painting. I didn’t really choose it, it came naturally. Painting on walls was a way to show that I was boycotting the conventional art world. At my beginnings, I had a rebel mind. I also find this more exciting to paint in the street because it is forbidden. Painting on walls allows me to keep my freedom; as it is illegal, there is no censorship. It is also a challenge, since each time I paint on a wall there is the risk of seeing my work erased. Since I like moving around and meeting people, so I prefer painting in the street. It also enables me to make my art accessible to a larger public audience.
At the beginnings, my dolls were self-portraits. Graffiti has a very megalomaniac side; instead of writing my name, I chose to represent myself through my dolls. I felt a real need to affirm myself, maybe because I have a twin sister and I had to show my difference.Later on when I didn’t feel as much this need to mark my identity, my work became.The idea of provocativeness has also a part in my conception of my work. I have always liked painting a sexy doll in an inappropriate place. I want to provoke strong reactions.

My dolls convey a provocative image, sometimes a bit erotic. I wish they disturbed and provoked fantaisies. I want them to make the viewer react, no matter the reaction. I would like them to make people forget their daily lives.”


Miss Van started wall-painting in the streets at the age of 18, initiating the feminine movement in street art. Miss Van’s sultry female characters began to pop up on city center walls in the mid 1990s, they instantly possessed a timeless quality, as if women had always painted such graffiti in the streets. She is now exhibiting all around the world from NY to LA, Europe (France, Switzerland, Germnay, Spain, Italy, UK, etc.), and Asia. She has shown in art centers and museums as the city gallery of Schwaz in Austria (curator : Karin Perrnegger), the Baltic Art Center in the UK or the Von der Heydt Museum, Kunsthalle in Wuppertal, Germany. She has shown with some of the greatest artists now as Os Gemeos, Mike Giant, Banksy, Faile, Shepard Fairey, Barry Mcgee, Ryan McGinness, Takashi Murakami, Ed Templeton, and many others.
An artist’s impact is truly felt when their work becomes so familiar that it’s hard to remember what the world was like without it. When the Toulouse native and current Barcelona resident. As Caleb Neelon puts it “An artist’s impact is truly felt when their work becomes so familiar that it’s hard to remember what the world was like without it. When the Toulouse native and current Barcelona resident Miss Van’s sultry female characters began to pop up on city center walls in the mid 1990s, they instantly possessed a timeless quality, as if women had always painted such graffiti in the streets. (…) Since then her characters kept evolving, becoming less cute and more dangerously alluring-their sexy aura made all the more complex by their increasingly ambiguous facial expressions. The more she moved into gallery work and could work with the nuances of more fragile media than the streets would allow (pencil, for one), her characters grew even more sensitive, subtle, and delicately rendered.”


My favorite artist