Artwork’s Title: Friends (II)
Materials Used: Soft Pastel on canvas
Studio Based: Poush Manifesto (Paris)
Can you tell us about the process of making your work?
The way I work is very simple and intuitive. I can identify three steps on the construction of my work : the first step is the drawing. For example, at the moment, I’m in a « dog obsession », so before starting my first canvas about this subject, I have drawn dogs again and again on everything I could find – mostly paper – until I found the most simplified forms of dogs. I love the way that cartoonists – like Otto Messmer – work because they try to show their subject as simplified as possible. I mean in the barest way as possible like some Cubists artists – Vilhelm Lundstrom is one of my favorite – paint their subjects. Once I’ve found these forms, that I call « modules », I play with it and assemble them directly on the canvas without composing the picture before. That’s the second step. In the third step, I just work on lights and shadows, which I think is a huge part of the process.
How would you define your work in a few words (ideally in 3 words)?
I try to paint meticulously stupid things or characters.
Could you share with us some insights on your painting ‘Friends (II)‘? Is there any particular story behind this artwork?
I don’t really start a piece after a precise idea or insight but the funniest things I can tell about my work is what I heard about it : some people told me that my characters look like me, I mean my face ! But it is not intentional !
Could you provide us some more information about your participation at the Chevaline Corporation? What is this about?
Chevaline Corporation is a collective project born from the meeting of four artists : Armand de Benoist, Caroline Chauvelot, Théodore Dumas and me. We’ve met in art school, and decided to collaborate, working on mixed media and performatives installations. The four of us work as creative directors on a level position, and everyone is touching to all medias, trying to leave our personal comfort zone. In our performances, we are acting as the employees of a fictive company named Chevaline Corporation, doing absurds actions with viscous pink material.
Do specific artworks have been created by random experiments in your studio or do you always come up with a particular concept or narrative in the very beginning?
The subject area of my work is the art history itself, so every subjects present in my paintings come directly from pieces of art; mostly paintings but also comic books, movies, video games or graphic design.
When I find a subject that interest me, I draw it again and again, trying to go away from my references and not to think about what I’m doing as much as possible. Sometimes it fails, sometimes it works !
Has this corona virus pandemic offered you any inspiration somehow during all these long lockdowns? Do you think people should learn something from this worldwide tragedy?
Honestly, I don’t know what in my work could be connected to this crisis except maybe the fact that I started to paint « dancing dogs » in a moment where it was hard for us to dance, and difficult to be a human being !
Is there any particular theme that utterly triggers you to engage your art with?
I never talk about political aspects from reality in my work because I try to create imaginary worlds where our problems don’t exists.
What would be the best way to exhibit your work?
It won’t really answer the question but I dream about a painting exhibition where people laugh like in cinemas or theaters.
Can you mention any artists you, lately or generally, take inspiration from?
At the moment, I try to orient my work on a grotesque way, including some dirty materials as organic liquids and cartoons distorsions like you can see in Garbage pail kids for example, but trying also to put an industrial and smooth aspect in it, like you can find in Konrad Klapheck’s mechanical subjects. But I also could mentioned Domenico Gnoli, Félix Labisse, H.R. Giger, Victor Moscoso as huge influences.
Do you wonder if additional work was needed, when an artwork’s making process is finished?
The way I work is very empiric, I don’t really make plans, so when a piece is finished, I just feel it.
What about the place where you work? What’s your studio space look like?
I share a studio with friends including artists and designers. We all know each other since the art school so our studio is not only a place were we are working but also a place where we leave in a way. We are based in the 15th floor of a Parisian suburban tower called Poush, were a company was implanted in the past years. The building is now run by Manifesto and full of artists studios but in a very corporate decorum, with carpet and false ceiling ! Otherwise, it’s a very stimulating place to work and to connect with other people.
What do your mum and dad think about your art?
I would not talk at their own place but they’re supporting me for everything I do !
Which are your plans for the near future?
I’ll keep no thinking about what I’m doing, just work try new things and see what will happen !
All images courtesy of the artist