We had the good fortune of connecting with Dimitri Milbrun and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Dimitri, where are your from? We’d love to hear about how your background has played a role in who you are today?
I live in Paris, I grew up in a multicultural district, the 18th arrondissement. My parents are from Haiti and I was raised in the Caribbean culture. Today I use images from different mediums to translate different trauma of the black community and also and especially mine. My inspirations are just as different, ranging from comics, to the punk movement, to hip-hop, black panthers, to manga and Caribbean folklore.
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
I have always been passionate about comics, the idea of creating and telling a story. I see my work as comics or as film rolls where I scroll elements, associated or not. I also like to work on the motif and repetition and thus create movement, like a cartoon. My images are quite violent and I have often been criticized. Why don’t I draw happy moments? On the one hand I like epic battles, clashes and climaxes. Then there are already enough artists dealing with happy subjects, this is not where I want to go. I am talking about the violence that transforms things.
I didn’t grow up in a family where art was really important. The references I have, I went looking for them out of curiosity. I was fortunate to have had a teacher who helped steer me into art studies and my mom never saw anything wrong with it. Afterwards, this is not a place where there are a lot of blacks and that can make you uncomfortable. It’s medium that is mostly white and rich. the majority of art students that I have met do not have money problems and their families are often a well of culture.
I think I’m still learning, I’m still learning, I’m very curious and today I can brag about having acquired a certain culture by force of circumstances, through meetings for example. I learned not to let myself be walked on, not to be intimidated by the work of others. Mine is unique for what I bring to it, I don’t compare myself, it’s useless.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
We start by going to the Flea Market in St Ouen. I spent a lot of time there when I was little, my parents took me there often, that’s where I got lots of comics. today it is still going strong. Then when we’re hungry, I’ll take him to Best Africa, an African restaurant in Chateau-Rouge (still in the 18th district). For € 5 we are served super well and it’s really good. For digestion we would walk slowly towards Montmartre and we would drink a pint there. This is the attraction of the 18th. There is the Sacré Coeur, which overlooks the 18th arrondissement and all around it is a sort of small village with cobbled streets, street musicians, artist workshops, cool bars, etc … we could also visit Ménilmontant, in the 20th arrondissement. it’s a neighborhood that moves a lot. Like in the 18th it’s very multicultural. There are some very cool bars down there that also offer scenes for musicians of all kinds.
The truth is that at the moment it is very difficult to imagine all this since we are at this very moment confined and all the bars are closed
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
yes I would like to shoutout my friends artist Thomas Chauzy and photographer Carl Klagba. I really admire their work, their relationship to image and the inspirations and their approach . Thomas has a very meticulous job, he mainly does huge formats where he associates a lot of details. Carl photographs the human, the individual, and the relationship with his space, time. The two create a universe with their images and that’s what I like
Facebook: Dimitri Milbrun