“Harumi Klossowska de Rola”

Harumi Klossowska de Rola: “I’m an artisan who’s still learning”

Harumi Klossowska de Rola could easily be the name of a heroine from a novel, with its poetic, dreamlike air… Just like the creations by this artist. As daughter of the painter Balthus and Japanese artist Setsuko Ikeda, Harumi has inherited talent while carving out a path for herself in the universe of jewellery and art objects.   She spent her early years in Rome, in no less than the Villa Médicis, occupying its famous Turkish bedroom, when her father was director of the prestigious institution, from 1961 to 1967. Later, the family left Italy for Switzerland. And from there, she’d go onto London, Los Angeles, with increasingly frequent returns to Switzerland where she ended up settling, immersed in the heart of nature. Indeed, nature is what drives her and underlies her universe that draws inspiration from various sources: antiquity, mythology, feline creatures. Harumi Klossowska de Rola received us in her work smock in a studio close to Paris, where she is preparing her next round of works.   What was your childhood like, with such famous parents? My father directed the Villa Médicis in Rome, where I was lucky enough to grow up. Very early on, I was surrounded by sculptures. The majestic lions that stand around the villa’s entrance left a deep impression on me, for example. I loved stone so much when I was little that I’d go off for hours to look for small pieces, as well as mosaic elements, in the gardens. Turquoise-coloured ones were big finds in my eyes, treasures… I also remember – but this was much later – conversations between my parents, my father coming back from his studio and talking about colours, shades, Renaissance painters like Masaccio. Much later I understood the influence that this had on me. I was...

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