Magali Cazo, a French artist whose work bridges the realms of painting and illustration, has captured the art world’s attention with her adept use of ink. Residing between the serene landscapes of Ardèche and the vibrant streets of Paris, Cazo’s journey is one of continuous evolution, marked by a deep connection to her medium. Her work is a harmonious blend of spontaneity and control, where the fluidity of ink meets the precision of her touch, creating ethereal landscapes and figures that resonate with a quiet beauty.

Magali Cazo, Deux solitudes inclinées.
Magali Cazo,
Deux solitudes inclinées.
Ink and vinyl paint on paper,
59 1/4 × 50 inches, 2023.

For over a decade, Cazo has seamlessly intertwined her visual creations with thoughtful, poetic text, using social media as a platform to share her artistic process. This approach has not only broadened her audience but has also provided a more resounding understanding of her work’s emotional and philosophical underpinnings. In this interview, Cazo shares her creative path, discussing the transformative power of ink, the joys of conveying her process, and the ongoing exploration of themes such as identity, nature, and the human condition. Through her words and works, Cazo invites us into a world where ink becomes a conduit for connection, reflection, and inspiration.

Your work is poetic. You’re not afraid. You embrace social media and write thoughtful captions in French, your mother tongue. One example: “I feel comfortable, in the middle of the subject. Something inside me just chills when the fakes fall. I am often quiet but I love to talk. I think this is one of the most essential ways for me to feel connected to others.” (Je me sens à mon aise, dans le vif du sujet. Quelque chose se détend en moi quand les faux-semblants tombent. Je suis souvent silencieuse mais j’adore parler. Je crois que c’est une des manières les plus essentielles pour moi de me sentir en lien avec les autres.)

Tell us how you think about sharing your work. 

Magali Cazo: It’s been about ten years now that I’ve been associating my images with text on social media. I needed to bring people to my drawings through words and create a bridge so they could access my work through what I say about it. What revolves around the process and my life as an artist reaches a wider audience, and it turns out that this is what I enjoy sharing the most. I don’t have much to say about my images; they are a language whose mystery I like to preserve, even for myself. But writing about the creative process is different, and it allows me to connect with others. My own need to have inspiring female role models pushes me to make myself visible, perhaps to help other women find their place.

Magali Cazo, La petite veste en mousse.
Magali Cazo,
La petite veste en mousse.
Ink on paper,
26 ½ × 19 inches, 2023.
Magali Cazo, Vers le bleu
Magali Cazo,
Vers le bleu.
Pigmented ink on cotton paper,
framed with regular glass,
33 ¼ × 25 ½ inches, 2023.

Is performing innate to your personality? Or, is working in front of an audience and sharing videos of how your works emerge before our eyes something you learned over time?

Magali Cazo: When I started painting with ink on wet paper, I immediately saw the beauty of what happened on the paper between my first brushstroke and the last. So, I began filming short videos for Instagram, adhering to the network’s constraint at the time of not exceeding one minute. As I had imagined, it captivated people, and I was offered live performances. It was new for me to “stage myself” and show what I usually reserve for the intimacy of the studio. But I found a certain pleasure in it.

With ink, I discovered that pleasure could be my guide, that I could trust it. … My tubes of paint have been sleeping in a drawer ever since.

You’ve explored multiple techniques such as engraving, oil painting, traditional fresco, and lithography in the past. What made you choose ink as your primary medium? Was there a particular influence that led you to this choice?

Magali Cazo: I had a love affair with ink, and it has lasted for seven years (I’m the faithful and exclusive type!). With ink, I discovered that pleasure could be my guide, that I could trust it. Ink came to me at a time when I was bored with oil painting; I believe I had chosen the wrong path. After taking a break from creating for several months, I wanted to start again with a lighter, more playful technique: paper, water, fluid colors … And there was no turning back! My tubes of paint have been sleeping in a drawer ever since.

What aspect of your artistic practice do you find most fulfilling?

Magali Cazo: For the past two years, I have had the privilege of dedicating all my time to drawing every day. Focusing on seeing beauty and communicating it to those who will be receptive to it is very fulfilling. Color can have a powerful effect on our emotions and bodies; I take as much pleasure in bringing them to life for myself as I do in sharing them with others.

I sometimes feel like I am sending wishes of tenderness to the world.

What are you working on next?

Magali Cazo: I continue to pursue both my series on landscapes and on human figures. Recently, I’ve created volcanic shapes and eruptions. I had a craving for fire! Additionally, I am exploring the notion of “consolation,” using the color pink and drawings that depict two or three characters in contact. With these images, I sometimes feel like I am sending wishes of tenderness to the world.

Magali Cazo’s Studio
Magali Cazo’s Studio.
Photo courtesy of the artist.
Magali Cazo’s Studio.
Magali Cazo’s Studio.
Photo courtesy of the artist.
Wishbone Gallery Booth, Future Fair 2024
Magali Cazo at
Wishbone Gallery Booth,
Future Fair 2024.

Portrait of Magali Cazo.
Courtesy of Cazo and the
Wishbone Gallery.