For 15 years now, Sophie Lepetit has been keeping a blog on contemporary art, unique in France, called “Les Grigris de Sophie”. Artistes Actuels highlights artists but also art activists. Institutions and the media play an important role as art activators. But so do the humble pilgrims who cover the ground to bring living creativity to light.
ArtistesActuels met her so that she could tell us about her adventure which allows her to highlight several hundred artists.
Art and artists at the heart of "Sophie's Grigris"
Sophie has always been passionate about art. As a child, she grew up in a family in love with art. She was first attracted to so-called classical art before discovering art brut and singular art thanks to the art critic Laurent Danchin. French art critic and essayist Laurent Danchin died in 2017. He leaves us notable writings : “L’Art contemporain et après…” published by Phénix and “Pour un art postcontemporain” published by LE LIVRE D’ART.
How Sophie Lepetit became an art activist
In November 2007, Sophie Lepetit, who was making textile creations at the time, decided to create a blog to showcase them. Very quickly, this blog took a completely different direction. Thus began the adventure of “Sophie’s Grigris”!
“I already had a fascination for artists… and if I wasn’t really one myself, I decided to talk about them.”
From the beginning, her guideline was simple : to highlight the artists she loves in order to keep track of their creations. Today, her blog is the rhythm of her life as well as that of many Internet users.
“I try to post one article a day. There are readers who start their day by reading my blog. I have to be there !”
The wonder of art as a life force
When Sophie talks about an artist, she always does some research and provides various links at the end of the article. Her blog keeps her busy for a long time to come.
“I feel like I’ll never stop because it’s my life.”
Of course, she has her moments of doubt. Is it really worth it? But these moments remain fleeting because Sophie receives so much positive feedback. So she quickly leaves full of confidence.
There are the internet users, but there are also the artists, some of whom have been able to launch themselves thanks to “Sophie’s Grigris”. This was the case for the Iranian artist Samaneh Atef who was able to start exhibiting her work after being featured on Sophie’s blog.
No culture no future : a nurturing slogan that veins her passion as an art activist
Sophie’s blog is illustrated with a red-orange image. It shows a baby’s face on a leaf of trees. Sophie Lepetit’s daughter Apolline made this photomontage from a baby photo of Sophie’s grandmother.
“My grandmother had a difficult and sad life whereas I was lucky enough to have the life I wanted. With this photo, I pay tribute to her.”
Sophie's world : dreams and visits to art brut sites
In 2015, Sophie participated in a symposium in Sicily which allowed her to visit four art brut environments. A few years later, she travelled to Spain where she again visited some exceptional art brut environments. Then it was on to Finland, where she visited some thirty environments!
“It was breathtaking! I managed to communicate with artists only through passion, without knowing their language.”
For several years, Sophie and her daughter Apolline made memorable Art Brut journeys of 3 weeks and several thousand kilometres in Europe.
These trips also allow Sophie to meet artists who inspire her with their life lessons. She remembers an old artist, over 90 years old, who told her : “last night I woke up to do what I had seen in my dreams”.
Sophie is also doing what she saw in her dreams : introducing the artists she loves to her community.