The Stories Behind the Designs
Each of our designs is uniquely created by Brisbane-based Artist, Monique Baqués and produced in limited editions. Keep scrolling to find out what inspired each print.
Manet exhibited his painting Olympia in 1865 in Paris. At the time painters were supposed to depict women in historical, mythical or biblical themes. But Manet decided to paint a real naked woman, in a mundane context and free from any idealisation of her body. Olympia was a challenge for the viewers not only because of her name, which at that moment people would associate with prostitution, but also because she is staring directly at the viewer. She was perceived to have an imperfect body at the time. Manet was very brave at the time to show this kind of painting. He faced a lot of criticism, nevertheless he continued working and ended up being one of the most famous artists in the history of art. As for myself, I too felt the need to be brave in my creations, so I made my own humorous version of Olympia, with unique and wonderful tights, ready to go out, exercise and feel empowered!
In the year 2010, I exhibited an art show in Kuala Lumpur under the name “De Colores”, in which I explored the effect that colour and the female figure had on the viewers of the art pieces. In hindsight, I can tell that in reality, it was the story of women in desperate need of acceptance, to be seen and to be loved by others, but mainly by themselves. Looking back at this experience, I designed a pattern which I named “Freedom”. It tells us the story of transformation of women who once felt invisible, into a new feeling of being outstanding and unique. In this case, I chose the Lilac colour to express this spiritual journey that many of us go through. I added the leaves to express transformation and change. Lilac Freedom is a journey out of a feeling of entrapment. My wish is that every woman who wears it will feel beautiful and better with themselves.
Sandro Botticelli painted between 1485 and 1486, “The birth of Venus” in tempera. This painting is at the Uffizi Gallery in Florence, Italy. It depicts the Greek goddess Venus arriving at the shore after her birth, emerging from the sea, oddly fully grown up. Venus’ body is quite elongated, and she doesn’t look happy, my guess is because she wants to cover herself?.. so I did! She has an ethereal look, as if she was daydreaming… Like me, I have been dreaming, for a long time, of create a project that unites my passion for exercise and my career in art. Finally, this year 2020, Art2go was launched in earnest. I decided to create a pattern full of joy and celebration. It’s a creation that was born during a pandemic with the simple intent to remind ourselves about the beauty of being alive.
Brushstrokes is a spontaneous and expressive design. I created it out of an impulse, choosing some of my favourite colours without thinking it twice. After a few strokes it was done! and the result was fresh and delightful. It came out of a need to add more colour to my life, a feeling of creating my own destiny. Brushstrokes is informal, emotive and fun!
Every time I witness a rainbow I feel very privileged, like being a part of a magical, special moment. I created this design to share this experience with you, the sense of freedom, of being full of life and energised with such natural beauty. I would love you to sense a bit of this magic yourselves too!
When I was young and studying Fine Art at Uni, I came across a photo of a magnificent sculpture by Romanian artist Constantin Brancusi. Carved out of limestone, and called the kiss, it depicts 2 intertwined figures hugging and kissing.
Years later, when I was living in France, I visited the Montparnasse Cemetery and witnessed one of the several versions of The Kiss. I liked it even more. This version is placed on Tatiana’s Rachewskaïa ‘s tomb, a Russian girl who fell deeply in love and committed suicide at a very young age in 1910. Her lover, a Romanian doctor named Solomon Marbais, was a friend of Brancusi’s and purchased the sculpture directly from the artist to place on Rachewskaïa’s grave.
Why I keep finding it so fascinating? I guess because of the simplicity of the piece, its primitive form and the geometrical approach. How can such a simple piece of art, be able to express a powerful feeling of union and love? Love is all we need, and we sadly tend to forget it easily. So I thought, what a great idea to design my own version of the kiss to remind us daily when we exercise, a pure and powerful emotion of love. I hope you enjoy it!
Over time, I came to realize that life is simpler than we sometimes believe it to be… Geo is a design made with a handful of shapes, a sphere, a square, rectangles… and what makes them stand out is simply their colour and relative arrangement.
In life, we don’t need much, just the ability to combine and arrange what we possess to make of it an extraordinary experience!
Oda In Love
This pattern is based on a painting called Une Odalisque or La Grand Odalisque from 1814 by Jean Auguste Dominique Ingres. The painting was exhibited in 1819 at the Grand Salon in Paris. This woman is depicted with a strong eroticism and seduction. I decided to create my own version with a slightly playful attitude. She is wearing a pattern that has the words love and amor (love in Spanish), with love hearts everywhere. The main colour is green with bits of pink, black and white. Green is generally associated with the concept of hope. So again, my desire is to spread love to the world with my activewear.
Flow is inspired by the need to be outdoors, the yearn for adventure and pushing boundaries. The day that I created this design, I was feeling strong, full of energy and ready to take on any battle or challenge that I came across. Feeling powerful!