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The Questionnaire : Vincent Collin by Carole Schmitz


Vincent Collin : Jack of all trades.

Thanks to his father, an advertising professional, Vincent Collin developed an early sensitivity to decorative arts. With him, he frequented the flea markets of St Ouen and other antique fairs, allowing him to meet passionate people and discover unique objects. Captivated by this world, he began researching ornamentation. In 1991, he met Olivier Gagnère and learned from him. In 1995, he designed his first collection of ceramics, furniture, and lighting, supported by VIA and produced by Prisunic and later by Limited Edition. The designer quickly made a name for himself.

His creations are far from minimalist despite their incredible simplicity. He loves the purification of lines, values shapes, and omits the superfluous. He works with bronze, forged or beaten metal, and ceramics. Each of his creations combines roundness and offset elements in a search for forms that defy the laws of balance. His work is distinguished by pieces with unusual dimensions and a reimagining of materials (ceramic sideboards, concrete lighting, etc.).

Over time, his creations have charmed embassies, hotels, and private residences, and are featured in numerous collections. In a constant quest for new challenges, he embarked in 2000 on the rescue of the Virebent porcelain factory with his longtime collaborator, Frédérique Caillet. Thanks to their tenacity, they have allowed this prestigious house to become one of the jewels of the arts and design professions once again.

On the occasion of the factory’s centenary, Vincent Collin, also a photography enthusiast, had the idea to showcase the daily work done by his teams. Thus, a selection of over 600 photos, grouped by themes (such as hands, the workshop, details, life at the company, tools, portraits…) and captured by past and present employees, reflect their experience in the company. These images, with a strong emotional impact, evoke both nostalgia and fascination, highlighting a “humanity” united by the same passion. A must-see!


Instagram : collin_vincent
Actually: Exhibition « Regard Ouvrier » at Musée Virebent, Rue de l’usine 46700 PUY-L’EVEQUE. Until September 23rd, 2024


Your first photographic trigger ?
Vincent Collin: The small square black-and-white photos with scalloped edges where you are the same age as your father.

The image person who inspired you?
Vincent Collin: The portrait of Che.

The image you wish you had taken?
Vincent Collin: Jesus Christ.

The one that moved you the most?
Vincent Collin: The Napalm Girl by Nick Ut.

And the one that made you angry?
Vincent Collin: The picture of Jean-Marie Le Pen in 2002.

Which photo changed the world?
Vincent Collin: The first photo by Nicéphore.

And which photo changed your world?
Vincent Collin: My ultrasound.

What interests you the most in an image?
Vincent Collin: The light.

What is the last photo you took?
Vincent Collin: A 1830 griffon signed Virebent.

A key image in your personal pantheon?
Vincent Collin: Doisneau’s Graffiti.

A photographic memory from your childhood?
Vincent Collin: School photographs with combed hair and an orange turtleneck.

In your opinion, what is the necessary quality to be a good photographer?
Vincent Collin: Empathy.

What makes a good photo?
Vincent Collin: Suspended time.

The person you would like to photograph?
Vincent Collin: The laughter of an anonymous child.

An indispensable photo book?
Vincent Collin: The Encyclopedia of Photography.

The camera from your childhood?
Vincent Collin: The Kodak Brownie.

The one you use today?
Vincent Collin: This Thursday, June 13, 2024, a Sony RX 100.

How do you choose your projects?
Vincent Collin: You don’t choose, you are called.

How would you describe your creative process?
Vincent Collin: Improving yesterday’s idea.

An upcoming project that is close to your heart?
Vincent Collin: The exhibition “Regard Ouvrier”.

Your favorite drug?
Vincent Collin: Movement.

The best way to disconnect for you?
Vincent Collin: Venice.

What is your relationship with images?
Vincent Collin: They replace reading.

Who would you like or have liked to be photographed by?
Vincent Collin: A child.

Your latest extravagance?
Vincent Collin: Rings and bracelets signed by Serge Thoraval.

An image to illustrate a new banknote?
Vincent Collin: Abbé Pierre.

The job you would not have liked to do?
Vincent Collin: Proctologist.

Your greatest professional extravagance?
Vincent Collin: The Virebent centenary project.

What is the question that makes you go off track?
Vincent Collin: The question about the republic.

What is the last thing you did for the first time?
Vincent Collin: Creating a museum.

The city, country, or culture you dream of discovering?
Vincent Collin: India.

The place you never get tired of?
Vincent Collin: Venice.

Your biggest regret?
Vincent Collin: Not being able to save the people you love.

Color or black and white?
Vincent Collin: Black and white.

Daylight or studio light?
Vincent Collin: Daylight.

Which city do you think is the most photogenic?
Vincent Collin: Paris.

If God existed, would you ask him to pose for you or opt for a selfie with him?
Vincent Collin: Neither.

If I could organize your ideal dinner, who would be at the table?
Vincent Collin: My loved one and my friends.

The image that represents the current state of the world to you?
Vincent Collin: A black smoke.

In your opinion, what is missing in today’s world?
Vincent Collin: Water for the poorest.

If you had to start all over again?
Vincent Collin: So what?

What would you like people to say about you?
Vincent Collin: After my departure, I suppose?… It’s unfair.

The thing people must absolutely know about you?
Vincent Collin: I am a hedonist.

A final word
Vincent Collin: Everything starts today.

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