Nicola Formichetti & Roxanne Gatt on the Diesel Reboot

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Roxanne Gatt
Roxanne Gatt

As the latest installment of Diesel's Reboot Campaign launches, we talk to artist Roxanne Gatt about her contribution to the project

As the new artistic director of Diesel, Nicola Formichetti is starting from scratch, kicking off his stint with an all encompassing Reboot campaign. Aiming to "reiginite the primary particles of its DNA", Diesel is celebrating freedom, creation, originality and bravery by setting a series of interactive "missions" via YouTube videos. In the latest installment, entitled Show Me Your Art, Formichetti asked the public to submit their artwork to the Diesel Tumblr for a chance to be exhibited at the Galeries Lafayette in Paris. He said of the most recent mission, "We had a crazy amount of submissions. It was the fastest growing Tumblr ever, they told me, and that's incredible."

One of Formichetti's selected winners was former Central St Martins student Roxanne Gatt. "She's very representative of what I like to call Tumblr Art," Formichetti said of his choice. "It's this new feeling of early technology, like when the computer first started. Basically, it's very old school, like retro technology, super colourful and super cool. I also chose her because I see a potential in her artwork that could work with clothing, t-shirt prints or something like that." We caught up with Gatt, prior to the unveiling of the Paris exhibition, to find out her thoughts on the impact of Tumblr in industry and the Diesel Reboot campaign.

What do you do?
I’ve just graduated from Graphic Design, on the Illustration pathway at Central St Martins and now I’m doing an MA at RCA in visual communications.

When did you start your personal Tumblr? 
I don't even remember! I've been posting work and processes on it since last year, really getting into it.

Why did you start using it? 
I think it's a very rich library for visuals. I do my research in the library or in magazines, but on Tumblr you have a free, very rich area of artwork which is really inspiring. Great artists post and you see their work because they're famous, but you get to see other people's work too, those who are less established. It's a good way of networking, sharing ideas and getting to be known.

What are your key inspirations? 
My work revolves around things such as social norms, gender, taboos and also the internet. Then there are papers and artists, writers and philosophers, it’s a bit broad I guess.

Can you describe the aesthetic of your Tumblr in five words?
Vibrant, mundane, mixed, weird, personal.

How did you come across Nicola?
I didn't really know much about him except for his work with Lady Gaga, but when I started reading about the Reboot campaign I really thought he was doing something amazing. This campaign is such a wonderful way of working, people often wouldn't consider working with less known artists or creatives, and he's giving us an opportunity to exhibit in such beautiful places. I would have never, ever thought I'd have the chance to exhibit in Galeries Lafayette! It's thought provoking as well. He's choosing models who were never models and excluding perfection in the industry, that's what made me interested in the whole project.

Were you aware of the other artists involved before? 
I didn't know much about them so I checked them out. I thought, I'm so lucky to be exhibiting with these people because they make such interesting work and now I'm getting to meet them and exhibit alongside them.

Find out more about the Diesel Reboot Campaign here. Follow Roxanne on Tumblr here.

Text by Rhiannon Wastell