Q&A: Palefroi Print Studio

Screen Shot 2014-05-07 at 20.22.58All images by Palefroi

Damien Tran and Marion Jdanoff set up their Berlin based print studio after they discovered a mutual love of screenprinting and their involvement in the music-art scene. They produce their prints and publications together and separately to create an ever evolving aesthetic. Often abstract, figurative drawings, using layers of texture and colour, their work is exciting, hungry and hedonistic.

Why screenprinting?
We both discovered screen printing because we were one way or another involved in the independent music scene and it’s an affordable way to print gigposters, Lp covers, tee-shirts.

When we met, we realised it was also an amazing collaborative tool. It allows us to confront our two really different approach to images (to make it simple: abstract / figurative) on the same paper with some good results.

Your studio is producing some of the coolest books and prints we’ve seen grouped together in a long time. New York Hard Core was one of our faves. What is about your approach to design that means you get it so right?
Thank you ! We don’t know if we get it right, but we try.

NYHC is a book made by Damien. He wanted to develop further ideas that he was using in posters. The book format allows to push forward some experimentations in the coherent form of a book. It’s easier than to do a series of posters, because of pagination and the obvious fact that pages are bounded together: there is order.

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There seems to be so much work coming out of your studio,  how do you keep momentum with your work ?
Most of our work is self-initiated, so, basically, we do what we want. As we’re two, in Palefroi, and we do individual projects as well as collaborative ones, it’s quite easy to appear producing a lot. We will work together on something for a week, be bored of each other, take some time to work on our own, and so on.

How do you balance personal projects with the costs of keeping the studio running ?
We live in Berlin, and so far, thank you Berlin, it’s not too expensive to run the studio. Sharing the place with 7 other printers makes the rent affordable for each of us. By selling our posters in different galleries, silkscreen-oriented, over Europe, we have a little income out of non-commissioned work. And, if we may put it so, we also choose life comfort over material comfort. It’s a choice that we can make, and it’s a great chance. Most of the time, people have neither.

Berlin seems to be a hub of creativity, what’s the community like around your studio ?
On a strict geographical sense, our studio is based in an old printing factory, rehabilitated in a lot of different studio and workspace. There is woodworkers, architects, a comics publishing house, a german learning school, etc. A very diverse community.

We’re working sometimes with other printers, musicians, concert promoters.

Where do you see things heading for your studio in the next year or so?
This year should be ‘big format’ year. That’s our next goal. One step at a time.

For more from Palefroi visit palefroi.net

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