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Visual Vanguard: A Conversation with Marine Tanguy, Shaping Art’s Future
Artful Women: Conversations with Leading Female Authors in the Art World
Art Stuff 26 Mar 2024

Today’s installment of our series ‘Artful Women: Conversations with Leading Female Authors in the Art World‘ features Marine Tanguy, a towering presence in the art realm. As the CEO of MTArt Agency, acclaimed author of “The Visual Detox” published by Penguin UK Books, and a distinguished member of Forbes’ “30 Under 30,” Marine embodies a commitment to transforming our perception of the visual landscape. Her ardor for democratizing visual language propels her mission to redefine our interaction with the visual realm. Through her agency and her latest publication, Marine endeavors to empower individuals in navigating the deluge of visual stimuli saturating modern society.

As someone deeply involved in the art world, the founder of an art agency, and now an author, you’ve dedicated your career to making the visual language accessible to all. What inspired you to write “The Visual Detox”?
I was a visual thinker before I was a verbal thinker and with our work at MTArt Agency, I have seen how powerful this language is, not only in appreciating the world around us but also in imagining new visual stories in the form of public art projects that include people from all walks of life and can inspire us all. I believe that if we want an inclusive society, imagining new visual stories created with wide audiences and artists is one of the keys to doing it. The art world remains a tiny sector in our visual culture and one that speaks to just a few people, I wanted to speak with everyone and empower all audiences to speak visually with this book. It’s a dream to see 14 year olds loving this book up to 80 years old and people from all political parties and social classes. That’s exactly what I wanted, to welcome everyone in the room. 

In “The Visual Detox,” you discuss the overwhelming amount of visual stimuli we encounter daily. Could you share a personal anecdote or experience that made you realise the importance of managing this visual overload?
I am really sensitive visually so I have always been attuned to the impact of my visual environment on me. I find airports challenging, especially as you walk through them with the intense lighting and endless adverts on screens. I much prefer traveling via train stations instead and I hope we can change the visual experience of airports with MTArt Agency. 

Your book aims to empower readers to reclaim their focus, peace of mind, and sense of wonder in an increasingly visually overwhelming world. Can you share some tiny hacks from your book that individuals can implement to achieve these goals in their daily lives?
Absolutely! There are so many. First and foremost, it’s important to do a visual audit, that is to fully understand the visual environment we evolve in and how we feel about it. The book explains the best way to do it. Only then can you decide which hack is relevant for you. It’s not a solution for all, it’s very much for each of us to take back control of our visual environment and input our vision of the world in the visuals we see daily. 

Exploring Hegra, AlUla with artist David Popa x MTArt team. Joining forces for the #ICare campaign, blending art and heritage conservation for a creative future.

In your book, you discuss the importance of creating soothing visual environments. Could you provide some personal insights into how you curate your own surroundings to promote a sense of calm and focus amidst the constant barrage of visual stimuli?
I am an introvert (which may not sound obvious if you see me today running across events and public speaking opportunities) so designing visual cocoons and finding solace in them was a core need I had when growing up. Deep blues mixed with in-depth visual narratives help me calm down and that’s why my lounge was imagined around deep blue furniture and striking portraits by artists I admire: Lynette Yiadom-Boakye, Asiko, and Delphine Diallo. I also cycle everywhere and take the back streets of London rather than the main commercial streets.

MTArt x Delphine Diallo, ‘One Love’, Public Art Exhibit: Commissioned by The Crown Estate, 2021

With the rise of social media and digital platforms, how do you envision the future of visual literacy and its impact on society?
The recent news with the deep fake of Taylor Swift and the doctored image of Kate Middleton shows that we are starting to wake up to the ultimate urgency to learn to challenge what we see. Traditionally we trust what we see and this has lead us to being visually misinformed, manipulated, or lied to. With the increase of visuals, we get exposed and AI generating 75% of the images we see in 2050, understanding what we are looking at, who made it, and why becomes essential. 

Lastly, what advice would you give to aspiring authors who are passionate about sharing their unique perspectives with the world?
It’s a long journey with highs and lows and very long nights writing away but it’s so rewarding. Hang in there : ) 

You can find out more about Marine Tanguy and her latest projects by following her Instagram accounts: @marinetanguyart / @mtartagency

You can purchase her book via ‘Penguin Books’ here

Images courtesy of Marine Tanguy.

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