This Artist Creates the Animal Crossbreeds from your Wildest Dreams

Ever heard of the “Lupus Tigris Qiils Paradeisos”? How about the “Equus Pirassouppi Phalacrocoracidae Nirvana”? Unless you already know the work of Paris-based illustrator and photographer André Sanchez, you most likely don’t know these unusual species. This is down to the fact that he has made them up – and visualised them in colourful, fascinating collages in his current project The Day I Visited Eden.

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André has a knack for collages. After leaving his hometown Bordeaux for the French capital in 2005, he fell in love with the metropolis’ architecture and started taking pictures of it. A decade later he’s become an expert on combining photography and illustration in his collages: “I like to mix things to create something new. The possibilities of combinations are endless.”

Following projects like SACRED and Renaissance Animal Portrait in which he touches on his like of the renaissance era, he now explores the rich diversity of nature’s creations.

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We asked Andre some quick questions.

THE PLUS: What was your idea behind The Day I Visited Eden?
Andre Sanchez:
It’s been a long time I wanted to create a series of hybrid animals. When I had a few, the idea of a name for this series sprouted. All these colours, this fantasy of plants and flowers – it could look like Eden, the garden of delights. And so it became The Day I Visited Eden. As if I had taken pictures of the animals in this fabulous garden.

TP: How was the process of putting together the different species in The Day I Visited Eden?
AS:
The idea comes from the cabinets of curiosities in which one can find common stuffed hybrid animals. I took the principle and mixed two, three or four animals to create a new, fanciful version. It was by looking at different animals that I found the best way to assemble them according to my sensitivity.

TP: What do you like about collage art?
AS:
I like to mix things to create something new. The possibilities of combinations are endless and I think it’s a very fun game that gives liberty to all fantasies.

TP: Day or night?
AS:
Both. I love my job, so I love to work all the day and dream all the night… or the other way around!

TP: Pet or roommate?
AS:
Pet, a lovely cat named Mimosa. She is the “Lady Cat” in my Renaissance Animal Portrait project.

TP: Colour or monochrome?
AS:
Colour, even though I also like monochrome or black and white photography. But recently I did my first black and white analogue collage series – it’s coming out soon.

TP: Print or online?
AS:
Print, especially for analogue collage. All my digital artworks are printable.

TP: What do you like about darker colours?
AS:
I think I like them because they seem more mysterious to me.

TP: You reference renaissance elements in the Renaissance Animal Portrait series. What fascinates you about this period?
AS:
I really like the very rich representations of the paintings of the renaissance and the impact of the symbols they use. Also, I like the references they take from ancient history, the mixture of biblical representations and all the beauty and the exultation that emanates from it.

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