Rotterdam : workshop

2014 - 2015

Artists Residence

Upon my arrival to Rotterdam for my collaboration with the studio Wieki Somers, I easily found a sanctuary for artists,  an apartment-studio-in-one to welcome me for the duration of my stay.            

It enabled me to create and live in the midst of my projects for a year, I was enchanted. Afterwards I realized it was fate to come to Rotterdam. 

Painting at night

Until 6pm, during the day, I was designing lamps,  and at night, I began to paint, oftentimes until very late in the night. The solitude and the energy of the night would help. On the vast walls of the new studio, I could work on multiple projects at the same time. I used canvas paper (which was much more practical to adapt the composition of my paintings), for collages and découpages. 

I was using an immense quantity of (cheap) oil paint that I would slather, splashing walls and floors. I went from one canvas to another, music pounding. Large trollies enabled me to easily move my paintings, often larger formats, and to face them, one against another, to see how they interacted and what they evoked.  It was reminiscent of the decor of the Opera. 

Specter

I had left Montreuil with the hopes of turning the page on Kiefer and his influence. I needed to paint, to grow my skills and become an artist. 

“ You are no longer an apprentice, it’s up to you to do the work” 

Going back to painting classical Art subjects was my intention which then allowed me to find my individuality. Back to basics. Comprehensive: Nature, flowers, birds, the Virgin, Japanese prints…, etc. 

As soon as I started painting, I found once again my reflexes and habits from Keifer’s studio. Again. What I thought had disappeared, was still there, more or less visible, coming back up to the surface like a ghost.

#Depression

atelier Rotterdam

Confronting one’s work

I couldn’t deny my journey and pretend like I wasn’t influenced. I had kept my work hidden from any prying eyes until then, the time had come, I had to take the leap. The artist housing and visual experimentation lab offered an opportunity to present to the public one’s work, completed or not, in a legitimate fashion — in full reassurance to the artist in what we call “open studios”. It was done immediately. For me it was a way to invite Others to my space of creation and present my work, which for me was peculiar as it was unfinished and still in evolution. Cathartic in a certain way, these exchanges released the pressure that I had been feeling specifically from myself. They also allowed me my first personal exhibition at the Hommes Gallery.

Les articles autour du projet

Containers, squelette géant de serpent, coiffe style empire de Monumenta Empire oeuvre de l'artiste Huang Yong Ping

Craft or Art

Not long ago, I was interviewed at the Gare de Nantes by a local journalist. The journalist asked me how to best describe my contribution to the concrete tree sculpture; as an artist or an artisan? Normally, this type of question would have left me speechless, had I not thankfully prepared a very polite, very vague answer:

“we are a bit of both”

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