I am very glad to introduce you to Charlelie Couture, a French artist who moved to New York. Well-known in France, Charlelie is a singer, a painter, a photographer… whom I met for the first time last year, through a friend of mine. Our first meeting was in his studio, which is full of sculptures, paintings, photographs… There are so many works of art everywhere, no one knows in which direction to look!!
The first time we met you told me about a very interesting subject: the polymorphism of the wit; subject of your thesis at the “Ecole des Beaux-Arts”. You are a musician, a painter, a photographer… Could you please explain us what is your theory and your approach that you define as “total art”?
Creation is virtuality. I choose the mode of expression that matches with what I mean instead of reducing everything to only one medium. “Multism” is to consider that being an artist is above all “a state of being”. The technique that is chosen is only a way to go straight to the point. What is important is what we want to say. Words speak to the conscious, music elates soul and art questions the subconscious. Art is the only creation made by men and which comes from a trip in the halos of the subconscious. All other creations are born from a reflection of a conscious analysis. Art is the intervention of an issue; craft is the invention of responses.
I guess it’s different to be on stage with your musicians or to host an exhibition. Is there any medium with which one you feel more comfortable or are they all equal?
When I play my music on stage, people come to see me playing. They attend to the realization of something. We share a moment together as if they visited my studio while I am working. An exhibition would be more comparable to the listening of a record, work is done viewers can enjoy it for themselves, intimately. I’m involved in one as in the other but I am an artist who makes music.
According to you, what would be your definition of the artist and for those who may don’t know, what is the difference between formalist and fundamentalist? On which side would you position yourself and do you belong to any particular art movement?
A work of art is the result of two variables: what to do (subject) and how to do (way). Some fundamentalist artists think more about the subject (often they work on the taboos which define the functioning of the society in which they live) and some other focus their research on the formal aspect (which turn out the appearances). Fundamentalists talk about the idea, the concept to which they give a shape; formalists talk about the shape to which they give a sense. Fundamentalists don’t care about appearance which is only, according to them, the result of a goal, a mind. Most often they chose provocation as a way to awaken consciences. Formalists want to be developers ahead of their time.
My work as a artist is first formalist. If I want to express “fundamentalist things”, I write. Formalist doesn’t mean superficial. It only means that the shape promotes an ideological or symbolic content.
Well-known in France, you decided to move to New York a long time ago. Why did you make that choice and is it easier to be an artist here in New York? Do you think that more liberty and creativity is given to the artist?
New York is the town of the contemporary art, open minded to new ideas. I knew the city and I needed to live here and becoming soaked with its energy. New York loves contemporary art and new experiences. I brought my life into play and I kept returning here because I fell that everything was possible in New York.
New York loves challenges. The city is in lag compared to the rest of the world and lives outside of time as if the future was more important than the past. For us, contemporary artists, it’s easier to live in a city which lets you express yourself and which follows your projects than to live in a city which points up the weight of the past. And in my case, in New York city, I am still a young artist.
Would you like to tell us about your new projects, concerts, exhibitions…?
My “photo-grafs” tarpaulins are exhibited for a show focused on the Street Art in Angers in France. Another one is exhibited in Barbizon for an exhibition in the honor of “l’Angelus de Millet”, still in France. In September, some of my photographs will be shown at the Biennale in Lyon and some paintings and drawings at the Antonio Nardone gallery in Brussels in Belgium. Next fall, the book “Follow the line” which gives a good idea of my work will be published. And on the music side, with a few years late, I will play on stage next year.
Thank you so much Charlelie! Ii was a real pleasure for me to do this interview and I wish you all the best…