mercoledì 30 marzo 2011

Arnaud Pagès, the Free Figuration Kid

Arnaud Pagès is a french illustrator based in Paris. Class 1971, his work is pretty inlfuenced by pop art and street-art and the massive use of fluorescent colors reminds us of the 80s. However, his début as a painter dates back to 90s.
Mao - traditional drawing colored with photoshop, 2011.

Hi Arnaud, you defined your work as a ‘cultural crossover’. What do you mean with this?

As a painter, i’ve been influenced by a lot of things. Music, movies, fashion, graffiti, classic paintings, modern paintings, tribal paintings, street-art, books, magazines, comics, cartoons, advertisings etc… And i guess that all these influences have shaped the way i’m making art. I have respect and admiraton for painters who died 400 years ago as much as for graffiti artists. So when i say « cultural crossover » i mean that my art is made of all these elements. It’s not only street art or pop art. It’s much more than this.

Artists (of all the times) you admire.

Well, there's a lot but i think that if i really had to make a choice, i would say Michelangelo, Matisse, Picasso, Fernand Léger, Warhol, Keith Haring !

Bad Gaga - traditional drawing colored with photoshop, 2011.

Who are the main characters of your work?

I don’t have specific characters… I prefer to make exhibitions that are telling stories… Like what i did with the « Fifteen Most Corrupted  project » . It was an exhibition about the fifteen guys the most corrupted of the 20th century, as Nixon or Mobutu. It’s much more the idea or the concept that i use to create my artworks.

How much importance do you give to shape, space and colors in your artworks? 

Color is definitivly very very important ! I use color as a « signature ». The way you put colors togethers can create something very strong. That’s what i do. Space is not so important for me… In fact i don’t do a specific work about space…  I always use the same, or similar,  spaces on my canvas. And shape is my drawing style. Shape and colors togethers, it’s 90% of my art.

Kennedy Was King - traditional drawing colored with photoshop, 2010.

What’s the Figuration Libre and why do you define yourself a ‘free figuration kid’ ?

Free figuration, also called "Figuration Libre" has been very important for me and for a lot painters from the 90's generation. It's a real mix beetween classical influences, pop art, graffiti, rock'n'roll, comics... It was created by guys like Haring, Basquiat or Ben. It's a link between pop art and graffiti art, and it's really the next episode of the pop art adventure. In France, we have Combas and Di Rosa. They are great painters. So, as i say i'm a free figuration kid. Cause i've been deeply influenced by all these great painters.

Marylin Was F***** - traditional drawing colored with photoshop, 2010.

Something you do when you’re procrastinating?

I do my best for never procrastinating. Cause as i’m always very busy on several projects at the same time, so when i’m late on one project, it makes me late on all the others ! Sometimes i’m too tired to make good work, so i make a break, sleep a few, drink cofee and eat something. And when i feel it’s ok i go back working hard.

Which International art galleries have you exhibited your work at? 

I’ve been showing my work in Hong Kong at G999 gallery and Kapok gallery. And also in London at the OFR gallery. But i’ve been mostly exhibiting my work in France. Of course, i would love making more exhibitions outside of my country.

Milosevic Is Corrupted - traditional drawing colored with photoshop, 2009.

What’s your most dreamed art gallery ever?

Léo Castelli ! Definitively, the most influent curator of the 20th century !

One reason you make art. 

Because it's my life. It's not a job, not a passion, not a way to make my name famous, it's just my life. It's just me. I'm a natural born painter !
And it’s really like a drug. I can’t live without painting or draiwing.

What are you working on right now?

Actualy i'm working on my next collaboration with the french brand Kulte. The "Eighties Kid Academy" will be released in june. Stay tuned. More projects are arriving from now until the end of the year… And i've launched "Art to Sell" : it’s my « limited editions » project. Feel free to check the website. You can buy a limited edition eaven if you’re not in France. All are numereoted and signed and very exclusive. There’s just a few number of copy for each drawing.  
Feel free to have a look:

Suharto Is Corrupted - traditional drawing colored with photoshop, 2009.


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