“When all the information’s there, it’s not as fun”: artist Jasmine Monsegue on the intriguing effect of airbrush
Having a penchant for horror and all-things freaky, the artist also explains why they have no desire to create conventionally beautiful work.
- Olivia Hingley
- 13 May 2022
When discussing why their works have a surreal, uneasy edge to them, artist Jasmine Monsegue responds quite simply: “I love horror movies and freaky shit.” Having no desire to create visually superficial or run-of-the-mill art, their body of work spans from glowing babies in a graveyard, dragons playing the keyboard and a sinister looking Jack In The Box. Quite frankly, they’re not something you see everyday. And this is what makes them so brilliant. “I think my boredom inspires the bizarre, eerie feeling, because painting something conventionally beautiful would put me to sleep in the end," Jasmine expands. But, whilst all Jasmine’s pieces seemingly come from very distinct, disparate ideas and subject matters, they’re all unified by the artist’s instantly recognisable style.
Alongside its ability to be “super calming”, Jasmine observes the airbrush effect that they apply as “giving the desire to see more”. They add, “Sometimes, when all the information is there, it’s not as fun”. It’s this element of stylistic mystery and intrigue that shines through in Jasmine’s piece, Forreign Affair. A lily flower overlaying a face, with the eyes, nose and some hair still visible through the the petals; it’s impossible to tell the emotions or facial expression of the subject, which produces an uneasy, unpredictable sensation. The subtle glow, also offered by the airbrush effect and present throughout Jasmine work, gives it a supernatural feel, as though their paintings have come from a different planet entirely.
With how thematically complex and unusual Jasmine’s pieces are, it’s no surprise to hear that they can often be hard to conceptualise. The moment when the pieces begin to “click” has become the artist’s favourite part of their practise. “Most of my creative process can be difficult at times but, when the piece starts to communicate with me, the conversation can be addictive and fun. The process can feel super tedious but it keeps me sane,” the artist shares.
Interestingly, whilst Jasmine’s work may explore disquieting themes and situations, their primary artistic influence comes from the natural world, and the people closest to their heart. “Being in nature inspires me the most because when I’m in that environment I have the most clarity.” And, powerfully, Jasmine shares that “my family also inspired me, seeing them come from different countries and build a life as immigrants gives me the confidence that I can do anything”.
Jasmine sees the restorative potential of art as also existing within their use of other mediums and materials. Prior to even touching a canvas, Jasmine worked primarily with clothing, making items and screen printing them, before beginning the airbrush process. “I really love sewing,” they say. “Using my hands and building something that you can wear or use is therapeutic”. And, not only offering a moment of calm, this particular approach has also proved pretty fruitful for the artist. “I love to make clothes that I wish I had. So I just try to make something I've never really seen before,” the artist concludes. “It sounds cliche, but you feel enlightened when you're wearing something you look good in. Everyone should flex more often.”
Jasmine Monsegue: Devils Playground (Copyright © Jasmine Monsegue, 2021)
About the Author
Olivia joined the It’s Nice That team as an editorial assistant in November 2021. A graduate of the University of Edinburgh with a degree in English literature and history, she’s particularly interested in illustration, photography, ceramic design and platforming creativity from the north of England.