Paris-born, London-based Julia Bancilhon is no stranger to the concept of Cult.

As a collage artist, her maximalist style indulges in the grotesque and the surreal, and represents the kind of disruptive creativity that we admire, both in and out of football. So naturally we asked her to translate her vision to football and create a #JOINTHECULT collage for us. 

We gave her carte blanche to cherry pick whatever players she felt captured the essence of The Cult. She may have toned-down her trademark surrealism this time, but we couldn’t be more thrilled with her expression: a raucous smorgasbord of Cult heroes, each in their own moment of Cult glory. Although perhaps not in Marco Materazzi’s case...

The best part? She’s made a limited amount of prints that you can buy through our website. 

We caught up with Julia to find out more about her influences, her vision, and how football can serve as rich inspiration for a collage artist like her:


CK: You describe yourself as a “maximalist” collage artist. As lovers of all things Cult, we certainly appreciate the loud, abstract nature of your work. How did you develop this particular style?

JB: Coming from a graphic design background, collage was always the first step towards finding a concept for a project. The very fact of throwing images together to then shape an idea has always come quite naturally to me. 

I started doing more and more collages first as illustrations and then as a fun way to express myself and now it has almost become a spiritual experience for me. Maximalism is more about the process than the outcome, it's about the artist’s journey beyond the artwork itself, which is really what I am most interested in.



CK: It’s hard for us not to imagine how football shirt design could be influenced by maximalist collage. What do you think?

JB: I think it is a really good idea. Watching more and more football over the past years has really taught me how to appreciate a well-designed football shirt. To become as “Cult” as they are, footballers have dedicated their lives to the game and need to have faith in ‘process’.

So I would say football and collage art are more similar than you think! José Mourinho may disagree but both come down to the same belief that satisfaction does not necessarily just reside in the outcome (which is often a plus) but in the process too. And I think it would be fantastic to express this ethos into a design for a shirt. 

CK: The collage you made for us is essentially a collection of some of the most iconic footballers in highly emotional moments. Because football is only ever emotional. What do you think the medium of collage can say about football?

JB: I think it can say whatever you want about football.

The very essence of collage is that one can pick whatever they like and stick it onto a composition, allowing it to create the narrative it wants. Any moment in football you’d like to relive, collage can provide it to you. All religions have some sort of iconography telling the great and most memorable stories. I like to think that collage in the same way can be used as a sort of iconography. Maybe I’m saying  football is like a religion? Or a Cult!



CK: Well, we were drawn to your work because we saw a bit of The Cult in it. It has the same irreverence and sense of humour that we appreciate. Would you agree?

JB: Definitely. I like the grotesque and the dramatic, and I feel that mocking (nicely) is a really big part of my work DNA and personality. Maybe like The Cult, it enables me to not take myself too seriously and often come up with really funny titles. 

CK: You were born in Paris and have lived in London for the last decade. Have you noticed football becoming more fashionable in either of these places? It feels like PSG has played a big part in it.

JB: Oh yes! I noticed football jerseys becoming more fashionable, and I can think of several reasons why that is. 

For starters, football is inherently tribal, and the shirts are wearable signifiers of your tribe and the memories that go with them. It also goes without saying that football is so huge now that football players aren’t just iconic in football terms but in fashion terms too. It’s hard not to be drawn to their lifestyles, not just their talent on the pitch.

And there is a third reason which is only aesthetic, where Pop icons, like rappers, men and women, wear football jerseys because they appreciate the streetwear. One example which comes to my mind, is this video clip by Caballero and JeanJass for the Colour Show (watch here) where JeanJass wears a classic Parma Champion era shirt. I don’t think there is necessarily any emotional connection there, but just an appreciation for good design. 



Buy the print here.


CK: The collage-making process looks very therapeutic, like watching Spain circa 2010. Is the process as rewarding as seeing the finished work?

JB: In all fairness, it really depends. Sometimes, everything that I cut out assembles really well and then the production flows well, but some other time it’s just a long and painful process, where I never seem to be happy with what I see and I keep changing the composition… Which i feel is quite similar to watching football. Sometimes, like Spain in 2010, it just flows and everything seems to be falling in the right place, and some other time your team can struggle, and seem to be constantly battling to barely survive, however they can still end up winning the game, in the same way that a collage that is painful to make can still end up being perfectly harmonious 

CK: After this collaboration, what’s coming up next for you? Anything we should keep an eye out for?

JB: I am currently working on a new exhibition which will take place in Paris in the spring, based on a new collection of work that I am about to produce over the next three months. But the thing I am most excited about,is that I am about to launch my very own collage inspired wall paper brand, focused on sustainability, art and design. 

Stay tuned!



CK: Finally, do you see yourself as someone who is in The Cult?

JB: I must say that I ended up in the Cult not by choice, but some of the people that are dearest to me are ultra fans, and so over the years I have learnt to appreciate football with all its drama. And I am now definitely sensitive to a well designed football shirt.


You can see more of Julia's work here.





Back to blog

Leave a comment