Jean-Luc Verna

Posted: March 13th, 2012 | Author: | Filed under: interviews | Tags: , | No Comments »

Brice Dellsperger / Jean-Luc Verna, La Conservera (Salas Veronicas), Murcia, 2011

Though Jean-Luc Verna does collaborate on a regular basis with artists from different backgrounds (playing all the characters in Brice Dellsperger’s films, or dancing for Gisèle Vienne’s choreographies), drawing – a quite lonesome activity – is his favorite way of expressing himself. As he states, he has drawn for quite a long time. He also likes the great freedom drawing provides.
Verna’s world is influenced by High and Low Culture, art displayed in museums, the 19th century, the Renaissance, rock & roll, sex, the Old Masters…
His work focuses on the body, his own body precisely. He does not consider it as a work of art in itself – unlike the artist Orlan – but as a work in progress, that could be shaped, adorned, modified… It is Verna’s self-portrait under construction, taking various aspects: drawing, photography, music or performance.

I visited Jean-Luc Verna at his studio on a nice sunny afternoon. We had tea and he answered the Proust Questionnaire. Here are his quotes.

Si Jean-Luc Verna collabore régulièrement avec des artistes issus d’horizons variés (on l’a notamment vu acteur jouant tous les rôles dans les films de Brice Dellsperger, ou danseur pour Gisèle Vienne), son médium de prédilection, le dessin, est une activité solitaire. Il dit avoir toujours dessiné et apprécier la grande liberté que le dessin procure.
Son univers oscille entre ce que l’on nomme haute et basse culture, l’art des musées, le XIXe, la Renaissance, le rock, le sexe, les grands maîtres…
Au coeur de sa démarche : le corps, envisagé non pas comme une oeuvre d’art – à la différence d’Orlan – mais davantage comme un chantier permanent, que l’artiste façonne, décore, corrige… C’est un autoportrait en cours, qui se décline en diverses facettes, par le dessin, la photo, la musique ou la performance.

Jean-Luc Verna m’a ouvert les portes de son studio par un bel après-midi ensoleillé. Nous avons bu du thé et il a répondu au Questionnaire de Proust. Voici ses réponses.

What is your idea of perfect happiness?
achievement
Votre idée du bonheur absolu
l’accomplissement

What is your greatest fear?
oblivion / solitude
Votre plus grande crainte
l’oubli / la solitude

What is the trait you most deplore in yourself?
fear, social cowardliness
Votre principal défaut
la crainte, être peureux

What is the trait you most deplore in others?
narrow-mindedness
Quel trait de caractère avez-vous en horreur ?
l’étroitesse d’esprit

Which living person do you most admire?
Quelle personnalité vivante admirez-vous le plus ?
Siouxsie Sioux!

What is your greatest extravagance?
wasting time and energy
Votre plus grand luxe
perdre du temps et de l’énergie

What is your current state of mind?
fucking late
Votre état d’esprit du moment
en retard

What do you consider the most overrated virtue?
the way modernity is perceived nowadays
Une chose surestimée
la conception de la modernité de nos jours

On what occasion do you lie?
I lie about my age and my weight
A quelle occasion mentez-vous ?
je mens au sujet de mon âge et de mon poids

What do you most dislike about your appearance?
not enough muscle yet, not powerful enough
Ce qui vous déplait dans votre physique
pas assez de muscle, pas assez de puissance pour le moment

Which living person do you most despise?
my mother, right after Nicolas Sarkozy and also the Artist Pension Trust
Quelle est la personne que vous méprisez le plus ?
ma mère, juste après Nicolas Sarkozy, et l’Artist Pension Trust

What is the quality you most like in a man?
the acceptance of his own weakness
La qualité que vous préférez chez un homme
l’acceptation de ses propres faiblesses

What is the quality you most like in a woman?
strength
La qualité que vous préférez chez une femme
la force

Which words or phrases do you most overuse?
fuck! shit! every rude word I can use
Quels sont les mots que vous employez le plus souvent ?
putain ! merde ! tous les gros mots

What or who is the greatest love of your life?
Siouxsie Sioux, Florence Bonnefous, Gisèle Vienne and my man
Votre grand amour
Siouxsie Soiux, Florence Bonnefous, Gisèle Vienne et mon homme

When and where were you happiest?
every time I was on stage (even if it was difficult)
Quand et où étiez-vous le plus heureux ?
chaque fois que je suis sur scène (même si c’est très dur)

Which talent would you most like to have?
I’d like to play music, the guitar or the piano
Quel talent souhaiteriez-vous avoir ?
j’aimerais jouer d’un instrument, la guitare ou le piano

If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be?
my deplorable genetic heritage
Si vous pouviez changer une chose vous concernant, quelle serait-elle ?
mon déplorable héritage génétique

What do you consider your greatest achievement?
to be a working artist
Qu’avez-vous accompli de mieux ?
être un artiste qui travaille

If you were to die and come back as a person or a thing, what would it be?
the same!
Imaginons que vous vous réincarniez en une personne ou une chose. Quelle serait-elle ?
le même !

Where would you most like to live?
#1 New York
#2 Barcelona
#3 Paris (sadly, no other option for artists living in France)
Où souhaiteriez-vous vivre ?
#1 New York
#2 Barcelone
#3 Paris (pas d’autre choix malheureusement lorsqu’on est artiste en France)

What is your most treasured possession?
my tattoos
Ce que vous possédez de plus cher
mes tatouages

What do you regard as the lowest depth of misery?
tendencies
Qu’est ce qui est selon vous un marqueur de misère ?
les tendances

What is your favorite occupation?
be a working artist!
Votre activité préférée
être un artiste qui travaille !

What is your most marked characteristic?
my way of dealing with the world
Qu’est ce qui vous caractérise le plus ?
ma façon d’appréhender le monde qui m’entoure

What do you most value in your friends?
they are faithful to me and to themselves
Ce que vous appréciez le plus chez vos amis
qu’ils me soient fidèles, ainsi qu’à eux-mêmes

Who are your favorite writers?
Marguerite Duras and Georges Bataille are my favorite. There are also many others, such as Jean de Palacio and those from the ‘Bibliothèque décadente’, François Villon, Catulle Mendès, Jean Lorrain, Philip K. Dick, Dan Simmons…
Quels sont vos auteurs favoris ?
Mes préférés sont Marguerite Duras et Georges Bataille. Mais il y en a tellement d’autres, comme par exemple Jean de Palacio et les auteurs de la “Bibliothèque décadente”, François Villon, Catulle Mendès, Jean Lorrain, Philip K. Dick, Dan Simmons…

Who is your hero of fiction?
Havok, a rebellious member of the X-Men
Votre héros fictionnel
Havok, un X-Men renégat

Which historical figure do you most identify with?
I do not identify myself with the people who inspire me, I can’t do that
A quel personnage historique vous identifiez-vous le plus ?
je ne m’identifie pas aux gens qui m’inspirent, je suis incapable de le faire

Who are your heroes in real life?
the real anarchists
Vos héros dans la vraie vie
les vrais anarchistes

What are your favorite names?
Igor, Rolf, Siouxsie, Suzy, Violante, which is quite uncommon. But not mine!
Quels sont les noms que vous préférez ?
Igor, Rolf, Siouxsie, Suzy, Violante, qui est assez peu commun. Mais pas le mien !

What is it that you most dislike?
religions
Que détestez-vous par dessus-tout ?
les religions

What is your greatest regret?
I totally fucked up my sexuality. I never really made it, even though I tried so hard
Votre plus grand regret
J’ai vraiment merdé avec ma sexualité, même si je me suis donné beaucoup de mal pour que ça marche

How would you like to die?
in peace with myself
Comment voudriez-vous mourir ?
en paix avec moi-même

What is your motto?
too late to die
Votre devise
trop tard pour mourir

Les Tuileries, transfert sur papier ancien réhaussé de crayon de couleur, 36.5 x 46.2 cm, 2011

Réenchantement, Vent des Forêts, Meuse, 2010

http://jlverna.online.fr/

http://www.airdeparis.com/

 


Rob Pruitt

Posted: October 27th, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: no blah blah: one artist | Tags: , , , , , | 1 Comment »

Rob Pruitt makes art easy‘ Cris Moor, fashion photographer

In 1992, Rob Pruitt had a show at Leo Castelli Gallery in New York called Red, Black, Green, Red, White and Blue. At the time he was the toast of the NY art scene and he was working with fellow artist Jack Early. The show – which doesn’t seem to appear on the exhibition history section on the gallery website – was heavily lambasted. It featured golden sheets on the walls, with sprayed painting, totems with pictures of famous American black people such as Michael Jackson or Martin Luther King and criticized racial issues in the US.

Jack Early left the profession afterwards and Rob Pruitt did not have a solo exhibition in the USA for several years.

In 1998, he did what looked like a Minimalist sculpture with cocaine : Cocaine Buffet had a 16-foot mirror displayed on the floor with a line of coke stretching down on it. The piece, like its title said, was also a feast for anyone who happened to be there and agreed to get down on their knees to snort cocaine and be photographed while doing it.

Rob Pruitt promoting my blog, picture by the author

In 1999 he did 101 Art Ideas You Can Do Yourself which invites the audience to be part of easy art making in a funny way.

Idea No. 1 Tell the truth
Idea No. 2 Tell a lie
Idea No. 3 Change your name
Idea No. 4 Make someone happy!
Idea No. 5 Make someone cry
Idea No. 6 Fake laugh
Idea No. 7 Fake an orgasm
Idea No. 8 Fake your death
Idea No. 9 Get plastic surgery
Idea No. 10 Put make-up on body parts. Ear shadow, belly blush
Idea No. 11 Put make-up on your face
Idea No. 12 Make a painting with make-up
Idea No. 13 Stay in bed
Idea No. 14 Draw on your bedsheets
Idea No. 15 Make a baby
Idea No. 16 Kill yourself
Idea No. 17 Sell a collector the key to your house
Idea No. 18 Customize your refrigerator with paint, decals and locate in a place other than your kitchen
Idea No. 19 Customize storage boxes and display as sculpture
Idea No. 20 Make a painting on a lampshade
Idea No. 21 Vandalize your home with spray paint
Idea No. 22 Graffiti your bathroom
Idea No. 23 Use a magazine as a sketch book
Idea No. 24 Spread rumors
Idea No. 25 Draw something small, scan it, print it out big
Idea No. 26 Turn your TV upside down
Idea No. 27 Turn your TV on its side to watch while lying on your side
Idea No. 28 Watch TV without sound or listen to TV with the screen covered
Idea No. 29 Watch a DVD in fast forward, slow motion or reverse
Idea No. 30 Make a drawing by pressing pause and tracing the image off the TV screen
Idea No. 31 Spend the day in a costume
Idea No. 32 Sit on the toilets backwards
Idea No. 33 Make a sound composition when you pee by alternating the flow between the porcelain and the water
Idea No. 34 Do an interpretative dance to environmental sound. Baby crying, vaporetti, pigeon cooing
Idea No. 35 Wear diapers
Idea No. 36 Sprinkle glitter
Idea No. 37 Take drugs
Idea No. 38 Shoplift
Idea No. 39 Sneak your own merchandise into stores
Idea No. 40 Collect stuff
Idea No. 41 Curate a Youtube or Netflix festival
Idea No. 42 Make a mix tape
Idea No. 43 Take audio snapshots with a digital recorder
Idea No. 44 Arrange flowers in unexpected combinations. Baby’s breath & spring onions; buds, blooms & withered blossoms
Idea No. 45 Make a monochrome meal
Idea No. 46 Dress in monochrome
Idea No. 47 Live in a monochrome house
Idea No. 48 Be a photographer without a camera. Download images from the Internet
Idea No. 49 Buy something expensive and put it on a pedestal. Return it for your money back. Repeat
Idea No. 50. Make mud. 2 parts dirt, 1 part water. Use as paint or clay
Idea No. 51 Make a leaf out of paper and tape it to a tree
Idea No. 52 Make a tree and add it to a forest
Idea No. 53 Pour a glass of water to look at
Idea No. 54 Draw yourself into your favorite comic strip
Idea No. 55 Put everything inside outside
Idea No. 56 Bring everything outside inside
Idea No. 57 Fill a desk drawer with gravel and make a secret zen garden
Idea No. 58 Make a drawing by holding a marker in a place other than your hand, wherever you can. Toes, mouth, underarm, butt cheeks.
Idea No. 59 Make a drawing by highlighting as you read
Idea No. 60 Translate from one language to another
Idea No. 61 Frame a painting with a feather boa
Idea No. 62 Hang a painting crooked, sideways, upside down, or face to the wall
Idea No. 63 Go on an urban animal photo safari. Pigeons, rats, squirrels, cockroaches
Idea No. 64 Paparazzi your pet
Idea No. 65 Interior decorate your pet’s habitat
Idea No. 66 Make a valuable sculpture by adding a diamond
Idea No. 67 Put things on pedestals
Idea No. 68 Take things off pedestals
Idea No. 69 2 identical things side by side
Idea No. 70 10 identical things in a row
Idea No. 71 Something cut in half
Idea No. 72 Put googly eyes on things
Idea No. 73 Draw faces on Styrofoam wig heads, light bulbs and eggs
Idea No. 74 Point a treadmill at a painting
Idea No. 75 Name all the bricks that make up a wall
Idea No. 76 Make up drag queen names. Amber alert, Whitney Biennal
Idea No. 77 Make up band names
Idea No. 78 Name your plants
Idea No. 79 Name household pests. Bugs, mice
Idea No. 80 Invent a new color and name it François Pinot
Idea No. 81 Take things apart
Idea No. 82 Put things back together
Idea No. 83 Toss loose change into a pile on the floor
Idea No. 84 Make an aluminium foil death mask
Idea No. 85 An electric fan wearing a t-shirt becomes an easy figurative sculpture
Idea no. 86 Make a portrait of someone by printing their phone number poster-size
Idea No. 87 Make a portrait/self-portrait by captioning a mirror
Idea No. 88 Frame your credit card statement. I.E., the month of your trip to Paris
Idea No. 89 Stalk someone
Idea No. 90 Collect autographs, one per canvas or page. Think of as portraits
Idea No. 91 Make a photo album of all your worldly possessions
Idea No. 92 Record yourself talking for fifteen minutes, let your consciousness stream
Idea No. 93 Save and transcribe your voice mail. Publish your emails
Idea No. 94 Make a collage on an unopened wine bottle for the year of its vintage
Idea No. 95 Don’t clean your house and call it scatter art
Idea No. 96 Make a scent installation. A pine branch in a microwave, pour a glass of Cologne, fart
Idea No. 97 Write captions on the glass for the view outside your window
Idea No. 98 Write lyrics to a classical music composition
Idea No. 99 Title untitled paintings
Idea No. 100 Make a list
Idea No. 101 Title your life

He is currently exhibiting in FRESH HELL, show curated by artist Adam McEwen at the Palais de Tokyo. Esprit de Corps is a series he has been doing since 2006, which consists of several pairs of jeans filled with cement and laid out as a ballet choreography.

jeans

Esprit de Corps, 2006, installation view, Courtesy of Gavin Brown’s enterprise, NY

Rob Pruitt is represented by Gavin Brown’s enterprise and Air de Paris.
http://www.gavinbrown.biz/
http://www.airdeparis.com/

FRESH HELL, carte blanche à Adam McEwen, Palais de Tokyo, on view until Jan 16 2011.
http://www.palaisdetokyo.com/