Featured Artist, Illustration, Prints & Posters

Sanithna | La Petite Mort Revisitée

Blush, Vibrate, and Dissolve

Written by

Sanithna La Petite Mort Revisitée

La Petite Mort Revisitée by Sanithna
18″x24″ Screen Print  |  Edition of 30 / 30 / 20
Shipping March 2019
$40 / $40 / $50

We’ve had the honor and privilege of working with Atlanta fine artist Sanithna Phansavanh for over seven years now. We’ve witnessed his growth firsthand, and throughout his creative journey, we’ve collaborated on a number of projects from t-shirts to limited edition prints. Our collaborative efforts go back to 2012, when we first released “La Petite Mort,” a beautiful piece that depicts a feeling of ecstasy entering the female body. Because of its unique vertical shape and aesthetic appeal, the print activated any given space. The piece also demonstrated the artist’s early interest in exploring and examining the human condition via the human figure.

Since 2012, Sanithna has evolved and reinvented himself. “La Petite Mort” heavily depended on line and geometric shapes to depict the female figure. Today, Sanithna employs fewer lines and shapes to equally convey the female figure, thus demonstrating the growth of his technical abilities but, most importantly, his growth as an artist.

In honor of our collaborative history, we are happy to announce the release of “La Petite Mort Revisitée,” featuring three unique prints that revisit the original release of 2012. “La Petite Mort Revisitée” maintains the same feeling of ecstasy as the original release but takes on a different path of exploration through color and line simplicity. The result is three beautiful and intriguing prints that depict the artist’s creative growth and his continued exploration of the human figure.

We caught up with the artist to learn more about his approach and inspiration behind “La Petite Mort Revisitée.” You can find the interview below as well as process shots of the limited edition prints releasing on Friday, March the 8th. 

“La Petite Mort” was a big success. How do you feel about revisiting this piece seven years later?

The first print is a clear marker of where I was, technically and stylistically, and using it to visually track the evolution of my work, to where I am now, felt like a fun and intriguing exercise. Being able to compare the two pieces, to see the different approaches to composition, color, and mark-making, gives me really valuable insight. It’s kind of like being around a kid that’s growing. If you’re constantly around the growth, it’s not a dramatic thing. But, if you haven’t seen the kid for a few years, that growth is going to be surprising.

Could you tell us about the inspiration behind this new interpretation of “La Petite Mort”?

“La Petite Mort” is a French phrase that translates to “The Little Death.” It’s an expression which describes the feeling you have after an orgasm, that brief moment where your existence seems to disintegrate and you experience transcendence — spiritual release through physical release. So, I tried to express that idea with the visual elements: the brushwork is sparse, fragmented, and imbued with energy, and the palettes describe the arc of the experience. The pink colorway, “Blush,” corresponds to the initial spread, the blue/magenta/black colorway, “Vibrate,” maps to the intense highpoint, and the red/black/gold colorway, “Dissolve,” represents the final melting away of body and mind.

Blush

Vibrate

Dissolve

How do you think your work has evolved throughout the years?

I think the biggest evolution has been in why I create art in the first place. Starting out, it was rooted in this need to show art as proof that I existed. Now, I’m much more interested in the process of creating art, of losing myself in the flow-state that art inherently provides. Beyond that, my skillset has been refined and expanded, which means that my mark-making is more confident. I think there’s a familiar DNA in my aesthetics, but how I apply it is determined by what I’m trying to achieve conceptually (instead of leading with a visual or stylistic goal). From a conceptual standpoint, I find myself wanting to simplify and reduce elements to only what’s necessary, to distill an idea to its essence.

Why do you choose screen printing when it comes to making limited edition prints? Considering the other printing options available such as giclée, etc?

There’s a certain quality to screen printing that can’t be rivaled. Prints just feel more crisp, saturated, and rich. And, as someone who loves the process of making art, I really enjoy the development of screen prints. From separating the art to burning the screens to figuring out how different inks lay together, it’s such a fun way to explore creative problem-solving. With this piece, in particular, I learned so much more about the process, of what to do and what not to do. Also, shout out to Danger Press for being such amazing partners. I’ve always held y’all in high esteem for your professionalism and the quality of work, but I got an even deeper appreciation for your expertise and character with this project. Everyone involved (Ed remembering some of my previous printing preferences, J giving great creative feedback, Dan working out the separations and the ink, and José doing damn near everything) prioritized making the art as good as possible and that I was pleased with what was being created.

Favorite creative tool?

A Bic #2 pencil with 0.7mm lead is my favorite tool; it’s ubiquitous and humble, but it can achieve some pretty amazing results. Graphite will always be my first and favorite love.

Any advice for up-and-coming artists in Atlanta?

Work as much as you can. Work, work, work. Constantly working allows you to establish a unique perspective, to develop your skills, to build a strong portfolio, and to gain exposure. Also, don’t be a jackass. Be productive and be a decent human being (which, I guess, is just generally good life advice) and Atlanta will show you love.

What projects are you currently working on?

I’m working on a couple of painting commissions, prepping for some murals, and doing a fair amount of brand identity projects. It’s the ideal balance for me: I need the gallery work to balance the public art work to balance the design work to balance the gallery work. They’re all related enough for me to stay creative, but the variety helps to mitigate burnout.

Any shows in the works?

I’ll be a part of ABV Gallery’s Spring Invitational Show, which is always an amazing exhibition (Greg Mike consistently brings in amazing international artists to Atlanta). I have a few other things that I’m also cooking, but I’m not ready to speak on them just yet, haha.

La Petite Mort Revisitée” releases Friday, March 8th at 12:00 PM EST at dangerprints.com

La Petite Mort Revisitée by Sanithna
18″x24″ Screen Print  |  Edition of 30 / 30 / 20
Shipping March 2019
$40 / $40 /$50

Get a closer look into the making of La Petite Mort Rivisitée in the video below.

@sanithna
6,209 followers