1 – Can you tell me about your background?
It’ll be twelve years that I expose. My first exhibition was at the Fnac Forum des Halles, and there went a series of exhibitions, this is concatenated with the galleries at first in France and then abroad.
I took classes at a school decoration, illustration and graphic design at a time. The first year we followed the two formations “decoration and illustration” and the next two years we will be specialized in one or the other.
Later during my first steps into working life that displeased me very quickly, because the illustration is largely confined to one area of the media world, at first I work for magazines, Management , Familie, Parents magazine … etc, but it does not interest me because the images the final result of the many changes that writing requires us not at all like our original idea, there are a bunch of symbol to add without count things that we can not show colors not to mention, in short it was for me whenever complicated experiments.
This is the reason that led me to offer my work as I felt so through exhibitions. I offered my work at Fnac Forum des Halles who invited me to exhibit for the first time in December 2000 and this adventure is renewed for more than 10 years.
2 – And before what was your curriculum?
I studied up to second. In fact during my last year in college, in the third I had heard of a French teacher who thought I was the hero of the film “Dead Poets Society” was an amazing teacher, my friends, older and I had really wanted to have. And lack of skin on my first day I note with dismay that it is not in the list of my teachers! Once out of class I head straight to the office of the facility and explained that if I come in second is only for the teacher, so I make the feet and hands to be in the threatening to leave school.
I got successful without knowing I was going to pay full price. Indeed she learned my desire to follow his progress and so used and abused the “glorification” I was the scapegoat.
That did not last long because after three months she has to go on sick leave due and that until the end of the year. So I left school and was enrolled in evening classes at the school in which I would spend the next three years (The IPMD). At the end of the year, in parallel during the evening I worked at McDonald’s to support these studies. Most art schools are private and therefore relatively expensive. I keep this job due over the next three years.
3 – How was your first exposure?
The first was at the Fnac. I was very scared I remember it well. The week just before the snap I still hesitated to put my characters heads, this was the first time I went to present my work and so my artistic vision to the public and I was very afraid that I be taken for a fool! Once the wall I slipped in the middle of the audience and pretended to look at the paintings while I was listening to public reaction … I confess I still do that today each exposure.
This first experiment was a success, I had a lot of comments from people who have found it very original, I was really relieved.
4 – What was the trigger for you that made you choose this profession?
The first job that dream boys when they are small is usually to be a fireman or teacher cook me it is the latter that made me dream. It was sure I would later cook! I remember that I spent hours and hours playing the dinette or going to community stoves my mother and my two grandmothers. Then I wanted to be a photographer. This passion has remained with me for a long time, also today I always do the photo. Over time the picture is transformed into a design which is closely related.
I am part of a family of artists, my grandmother painted mother, my grandfather painted and sculpted, my uncle was a stylist and photographer today. I soaked, drenched spirit of family creativity. I think everyone to a fiber art that is sufficient to flourish.
5 – Do they have helped, pushed in that direction?
Yes, they helped me a lot by encouraging me. My parents had their problems and climate at home was not conducive to this conversation. To be with my uncle and my grandparents the coup was a loophole. And when all is relative artistic professions can be scary. I do not remember that they have really encouraged me, but in any case they have not stopped me from doing my training.
6 – But is that your grandparents you ‘just gave you a taste or have they brought the technique too?
Not only the taste. It is I alone who experimented techniques many and varied creations and later that I alone have done the legwork to find my school.
7 – Exactly or did you find your style? What are your artistic references?
My first artistic references were found in magazines, I devoured all magazines that could be ready for me. I draw still photographs than paintings.
For the paintings there is Lucian Freud, Francis Bacon, Valerio Adami, Jean Rustin among others … in photography there is a lot to name a few there Jill Greenberg, David Lachapelle, Les Krims, Antony Crossfield, Garry Robert Doisneau Trinh, Erwin Olaf, Alexey Titarenko … I also really like a sculptor Jeff Koons, Erwin Wurm, Giacometti, Ron Mueck or Bottero.
There also in the movie that inspires me a lot.
8 – In cinematography? Rather Italians rather Americans, French …?
I’m not a fan of French cinema in fact, a time is teen I was enrolled at the French Cinematheque and I have seen a ton of movies with a lot of French and I had a kind of overdose French movie slow or it does not happen much, this is not a movie that attracts me a lot and even today I see very little French film but I recognize that there a few heads the work. By cons there are great things happening in Belgium, Spain, Italy or the United States. I love the humor of British cinema of course.
9 – Is it true when they say that those who turn to photography are those who have failed in the drawing?
A good you say that?
Can I learn to be because it is easier to press a button to hold a brush. I do not know! … For me were really two passions I always have a camera on me in my every move, for example if I have to leave 10 minutes for bread, I do not go without my camera for fear of missing some thing … It often pays.
One of my biggest gifts, so I was only 13 or 14 years it was a camera my parents knew that I loved it.
10 – Do you think you can express the same drawing and photo? For example, Renaissance painters as they were in some ways you photographers?
Excellent question! Of course at that time there was no photographer and thus forcing many more painters. Besides the realistic painters fascinate me, Ingre, David, Raphael … The emotions are not the same deal with two media although some things are similar as framing the subject, the speech, the colors … I think the you can have as much emotion through a photograph and a painting.
11 – Do you ever have t he order?
I currently few commands specific to my assets, I made a dozen is not huge. For me it is very hard to work on command because it amounts to a painting that is already sold in some ways and it gives me extra pressure that paralyzes me. It is easier to respond to a theme related to exposure as for my participation in an upcoming group exhibition organized by the workshop Z, Christiane Peugeot gallery. I will outline three paintings on the theme of animals suddenly it’s wide enough, I have a little more freedom.
12 – But do you collectors? The fans?
Yes I have regular collectors and also fans even if the word is a bit much, it is just the fans who become buyers thereafter. I remember an anecdote, a young woman, told me to have ordered for a Christmas table was his dream and it had been years she spoke to her parents, it really touched me. Otherwise every time I have to go with one of my collectors it bothers me a bit because I feel to be back in a museum “Special Baldocchi” (laughter)
13 – You exhibited in Spain, London, Rome, Belgium, soon to Seattle and even in Taiwan, we can say that you are an international artist?
Yes finally not exaggerate, I still have a long way to do it … Here in France, people are a little more cautious and abroad. I can not explain it, maybe the French dare least because one thing that is certain is that in Spain, Italy, Belgium and especially in London people are a little more open.
14 – So France is still a very traditional country?
France has a rich history of art and I am very proud to be French. But now I come back from London and I feel they are less “stuck” than we care is a personal opinion. Having worked with other foreign countries such as Spain, Italy, Belgium and now with the United States I think it is easier, less stressful, more “accessible” … but it is may be a coincidence. You know this year and even more broadly Paris France is once again the most visited destination in the world! It’s crazy that we can amaze French dream that other countries like America ….
15 – Tell me about your fans and your critics.
“Admirer”! … It’s a big word! There has to regularly attend regularly consult my news or send me messages of encouragement it’s nice to know that following what I do people, it is also bringing, because it is not easy every day we are often alone, alone in front of the canvas, only to canvass only to motivate, only to settle faces difficulties, it is too often short one and it’s not obvious, it’s really a business which is not easy, we wonder every other day if it will continue or drop everything, so fortunately there was these “fans”
16 – And the critics?
There are two kinds of criticism. Until now I have had many positive reviews, but I also received some negative, it is that it is important. Although safe when it is not free and without foundation or from people who just do not like my work because it is their rights. I talk about negative reviews from people who have taken the time to identify gaps or choices that they felt were inappropriate. They are extremely hard, but they are very constructive.
I remember well my first negative review, this is a person who told me that my work was sorely lacking in technique, at the time it hurt me and then over time those words were constantly dinged in a corner of my head and I think every time I start a new painting.
17 – Do you think your work is it in the spirit of the times? Does it fit in the trend?
I think my work is contemporary, I can say it is in the air. By cons regarding the trend should define accurately as characteristic of a trend that is changing regularly.
18 – What about your relationship to other artists, for example when you do a show.
I’m not a very sociable at the base, I’m not naturally turned to the others, I am very closed in on myself. I have a bit of trouble to go to the other artists in the group exhibitions. I avoid contact, I know it’s not good. In being made extremely sensitive and human, I focus too quickly and people and I suffer so much of non-reciprocity and selfishness of people. I left alone, I am less disappointed because I saw too bad disappointment.
19 – That you happen to find it does the same artists in group exhibitions?
Yes I meet some artists even though I do not view I see their name or their works, the way two days ago I went to see an artist who bought me a table and during the conversation we crossed we realized that we had two or three exhibitions together without knowing it.
20 – I’d like to talk about your workshop, he left your house or t is it elsewhere?
When I lived with my parents my room was necessarily default my studio later I left at the age of 20 years this cocoon with my boyfriend and moved into this house there was a room that was me dedicated workshop was cut off from the house. The advantage is that it was closed and I could isolate myself to work freely without disturbing my partner, but I spent more time in this room than in the rest of the house so it’s not at all clear when you live with someone.
When we left we I left the house for a smaller apartment my studio and my apartment suddenly become one now and I do what I want, there is paint everywhere, sketches and pasted on walls all images, I bathe in the atmosphere throughout the day, this is happiness …
21 – When you’re on the street or outside your home, and suddenly an idea comes to you, what do you do? You draw?
Not at all. If I have an idea I am pondering the whole day and the following to find the best way to write down days.
By cons when I find a place I’m interested in for future picture I sometimes indeed draw the following day. But usually when something interests me, I take a picture, I work a lot with photos, we still returned to photography, but it is a great way to keep these ideas aside.
22 – Are you able to live from your art?
Not at the moment I do not live fully, which is why I do the graphics in parallel.
Everything depends on the exhibitions, there are periods where I sell more than others, it’s not like when you have a steady job, every month we pay the fixed date. That’s also the difficulty of artistic professions.
At the moment I am preparing new works for the month of May I have three exhibitions simultaneously.
23 – You participate in the pre-Venice Biennale I think?
Yes I’m going to Venice, I also have a gallery in Brussels and gallery Atelier Z in Paris
24 – With regard to your budget how important is it for you to buy your materials?
As I explained my art is a priority in my life so I do not look at the cost, so what if I only have 30 euros on the account if I need to supply, I’m going to buy painting food.
This has not happened to me later that the last month, I had really nothing on the account and I need to buy the paint and acrylic, so I borrow due 50 euros.
There are 6 months or so near I had nothing to eat and it is a friend who surprised me by bringing me food, he went shopping especially for me, it’s great nice, I’ll never forget.
I do not want money hinders me in my artistic life so choose I prefer not to eat anything and continue to work, although sour to the extent possible.
25 – But having hungry still keep you inspired? The fact of suffering somewhere?
Yes the artist who suffers is not to create a myth, my life is a constant pain and it is a force that feeds my work. It’s a bit like the lack of money, I think it is also an engine that pushes to move forward.
Two things, among others, make this pain is still there: the acceptance of myself and my body is too heavy to bear weight. This is transcribed in my paintings and if I did not have to be this bad, I probably will not paint it the same way. Is it unconsciously I grow this malaise? What I know is that I still feel that I do not feel good in my body, I continuously this knot in my stomach.
26 – You do not look to your parents or your family when you really need money?
Not. My parents are divorced, my father very big financial problems and my mother has a small pension, I do not see myself asking them for money. I’m not family, I prefer to handle it myself and so I put every effort to take care of myself, and that way I can always find a solution, as long as it lasts!
27 – Can you tell me how to pass a sale in a gallery or personal?
For sale with a particular is very, very simple, the person contacted me, and we hope to meet you either at the workshop or at home .. There are a few times during exposure gives me a gentleman go to the place and told me that he needs two paintings at once, it was a diptych, I had to pick up her and her gives immediately because it was for a gift. I got to not call him the next day.
This kind of story is quite rare but it can happen indeed. Regarding sales in the galleries, it’s more formal, because often there is not this human contact between the artist and the buyer, but often we do not have the name of the client it’s a little frustrating. We are told at the end of the show here I sold this table, there is a slip with the amount and they keep 50% and now thank you and goodbye. Yes … well I summarizes and grows a little thing but I am not far from the truth.
28 – Do you have an agent?
I have an agent who cares only about my work for the English walk.
29 – How does it happen when you have an agent? There is a contract between you two?
Yes, a contract was made. Besides, it was more complicated that is either a foreign country because the legal terms are in English so I had to call a lawyer specializing in international law for artists.
And fortunately because his contract was made as an exclusive way she wanted not only my work but also my name! That is to say that I could do absolutely nothing without his consent I so I said no and then I was able to find an agreement it works this time with three tables. She will soon organize exhibitions. That’s all there is recent just three months.
30 – Do you think people or collectors who buy your paintings, do it to make an investment, ie hope your future fame and then sell you more expensive in the future? Or do you think they make purchases for personal pleasure because he really loves painting?
I can not say because I do not know what people are buying back of the head. I think everyone has the fantasy of making a good investment and sell more than they had. I dealt with an art dealer who bought my paintings to sell more to collectors but it was soon agreed departure.
31 – Feel the tensions, pressures at the walk of art?
I find that France is tight is to say that it is a bit stuck in the sense that they are not very open, less expressive. For example, I remember that in Spain the gallery was amazed it made me full of compliments, we spent hours talking about my art. She was genuinely interested in my work. In France we tend to be afraid of people who are successful ie it tends to depress rather than encourage them as if you were jealous. Warning, this is what I feel with my own experience, I do not say that it is a generality.
32 – This is what has inspired you to move abroad in Spain?
Indeed there five years I had the project to leave France to live in Spain for my work first, for the sun and especially for the lifestyle and the project fell through because I met a boy and it has been five years it lasts …
33 – Why does not this project together?
Well he did not want to leave Spain, for me it is clear that France I can not stand it when you have tasted in other countries it is hard to do with the French mentality, especially now I have a saturation can be because we are still in full winter. Okay well to sour social level and right was not much to complain about, France is not so bad but still, when life gives me the opportunity I leave this country for sure !
34 – However, I’ve read articles that say that the revival of contemporary art is located in Paris. Do you feel it?
Really? … It’s amazing! … No I do not côtois galleries enough, I’m not over the heart of the art market, so I do not have this feeling. By cons I saw what was happening in other countries, I saw the opening of minds and that artists do and dare. Maybe the problem in France, not just artists, but the public is not very adherent.
35 – Precisely speaking in public, what is the profile of people who move to your shows?
It is very varied, there collectors, used the “fans” who do nothing loupent my news and there are people crossing is very wide as public and all ages, from all walks Social is very cosmopolitan, there is really no standard profiles.
36 – Does the public is the same as before the crisis?
I think so. I do not like to talk of “crisis”, it annoys me. I prefer to say that the country is going through a sluggish period, I think that time will fade gradually. It’s like life is not saying every day that we have problems that we will get by.
What wronged everyone is internet because people are in their own little world and no longer at home they log on to their computer and leave longer want to discover things for themselves in “real life.” And the arrival of social networks did not help, people lock themselves more in their shells. I myself am a victim.
37 – Because you talk about internet is that it is a good tool for an artist? Are what you use it a lot?
Oh yes it is a huge way that I use a lot. This is useful to inform people who follow my news. This is a very good tool if it is not exclusive.
38 – Is there a spontaneous people who send you emails? I think you have a blog?
Yes I have a blog, and lots of people I do not know leave me messages because they fell on my website or blog, and wish they liked me know, yes it happens a lot.
39 – These are the people who become buyers?
Yes this is often what happens, I keep the mail and I send my news regularly and so year after year people are loyal and want to buy one day.
40 – Do you think that being an artist is to live in a world apart?
No, it’s a bit extreme as expression. Being an artist is like any other liberal profession is very complicated. The harder it is not to become an artist but to stay there. For example, three-quarters of people in my school and the various courses that I have completely abandoned this job because it’s really hard psychologically and financially. It recovers all the time in question, it must be motivated to continue to want to practice this profession, I liken it to a desert island, you are alone and you have to survive, so yes in the end it is in some ways a world apart.
41 – What makes you stand?
Inside my liver because I believe, I am convinced that it will work.
Even if it is after my death, it will work, so I still have a little room, at least I hope … (laughter)
I am not an artist to earn money, this is not a mantra, it’s why I work side to meet my daily needs. I paint because I like it and I tell myself that if I like it probably will appeal to others …
42 – Do you have plans for the future?
Continue to exhibit a maximum and in many countries as possible, because the important thing is to get to know more than sell. My dream is to exhibit in New York or even further …
43 – And in the longer term?
My art to be recognized this is what I ask, I do not want to be covered by the glory I do not want to be covered with diamonds I just want my art to be recognized.
I do not even want to be recognized in the street, the evidence is that my head is nowhere to be seen.
I would even say that I want the recognition of my line drawing, not necessarily my colors or my technique but the way I draw, the way I see things actually.
44 – But just now you said, “even after my death”?
Yes, admitted one day before or after my death. I think being an artist is also a stone mark our time on earth.
45 – So is painting until the last moment?
As Matisse in bed completely disabled with his brush? … Yes why not. But in any case I think that there is no retreat in this kind of business. Anyway I still contributes to the pension fund … (laughter)
46 – And if your art does not please anyone?
At some point, if the sauce does not take time, it must stop and ask questions about his work. Either you have to change artistic direction completely stop to become a teacher or I do not know … retrain in photography? … Or paint for sale in flea markets and attics empty (laughs) … not kidding. If at any time I feel that it does not really work I ask, then, the question will turn to me and, I think, to photography or spend more time doing graphics … but why think about defeat? It’s not my state of mind
47 – Your work as a painter takes you how long this week, approximately?
Even though I did not physically work on my paintings, I think 24h/24h. When I layer before closing his eyes, even though I’m very tired so I made a quick and short review of what I did in the day, and especially what I have to do the next day and in the majority of these mini projects are artistic natures.
I think all the time even when I’m on vacation, I would say especially when I’m on vacation because it is in these moments that I feel ten times more work.
Unfortunately I have a lot of administration, implementation of internet and application files, and it takes me a long time e, not to mention my work as a graphic designer. This is why I imposed strict rules: I do not sleep much for four or five hours a night, I have few friends …. very few friends, I hardly go out except to go to the movies or shows. I share my life with still a boy, but it is not obvious, I set myself times to be fully with him because it is important, I know how his presence is vital to me.
I can not afford at this time not to work, I have to give me one hundred percent in my work. I heard one day, one sentence: “Success is 1% inspiration and 99% work. “Many people do not agree with this sentence, they will tell you also need contacts, he should also know the right people, very sure this is obvious but I think that the work always pays , so it must work, work and work is no more secrets finally this is my way of seeing things.
48 – And for example, in practice, a table as the “Grand Bouffe” how long have you been on about?
The Big Feast took a lot of work.
Generally it starts with an idea and then I set the scene. For example the table the food was great kitchen, I had to know what kitchen? An ultra modern kitchen, more minimalist. ? And what colors? How many characters. Once I figured out what I really wanted, namely a woman who will make cans with a machine in her kitchen. Therefore will immerse myself in my sketches in search of character that can play this role, in some ways I organize a casting. I have about 5000 pages of sketches. I select thirty people. Once I made my selection it all together, character, kitchen machine and canned. Then comes the time to research materials and colors. The execution itself depends greatly on what I do next, the administration do if I have other jobs outside. This can vary between one and two weeks. But there are tables on which I’m stuck either at the stage of drawing, color or performance, it can take up to three weeks or even a month. Some tables are waiting for months as was the case for “I only think of you” he had to stay three months hang in the workshop.
49 – Thanks for all the answers and before finishing, there is another question I wanted to ask you, Jeremiah, how old are you?