Saturday, 2 December 2006

Interview with Jonathan Delachaux

Q)So, can you tell me a little about yourself? Full name, age, some background info, etc?

A)Jonathan Delachaux, (1976), born in the Val-de-Travers (Ne Switzerland), studied in Geneva visual art school.

Q)How did you get started making art?

A)I've never stopped drawing and painting since I was a little child, then, very naturally, while being 13 years old, I had enough paintings to make my first exhibition. Since that time, I make about two or three exhibition a year.

Q)How would you describe your art?

A)I've been painting the every-day life of three imaginary characters since 1996.

Q)Who is your biggest influence, both art and non-art related

A)At the beginning of this project of imaginary characters, I was influenced by Roman Opalka, who gave me this desire to use the time as a colour. That's why my imaginary characters are getting older and older like human beings. I was also influenced by Sartre, but now, my biggest sources of influences are musicians, performers and writer : for example Jean-Louis Costes, Murakami Ryu, John Zorn...

Q) How do you approach the creation of a new piece... how does everything come together?

A)When I'm finishing a painting, I'm getting new ideas that I want to try directly after. Then in the same time, I have a global idea of what's happening in the life of my 3 characters, and I combine in my head the new technical ideas with the scenario. Sometimes, I can think about a painting for monthes, wait half a year before to paint it, and spend half a week to realize it.

Q) What's your favorite medium to work in, and why?

A)Acrylic painting, mostly the transparent one. I use about 5 kilos of it a month. It is very usefull, it's like a liquid plastic that gets dry and becomes very strong. You can mix all what you want in this material ; pigments, sand, little objects...

Q) What is your favourite art related web site?
A)Sorry, I don't know... my gallerist showed me a lot of interesting web sites, and my wife too, but I never enjoy going alone on the web. By chance I get many e-mails of artists announcing their coming exhibitions, I like going on their websites... But I really dislike, now, everybody talks only about myspace and they forget to watch real websites.

Q) Is your work all hand done? Or do you use any computer tools to help out?

A)I make all my projects on computer first. Sometimes I make a little drawing before all, but, very soon, I use digital photographies and I work on them before to start any paintings.

Q) What, in your opinion, are the best and worst places to exhibit artwork?

A)I like site specificity. I make all my paintings in close relation with the place it will be shown. Then, the place is not important, it could be a museum, a Chelsea gallery, a cave, the moon or the Vatican...

Q) I'm always interested in where an artist find their inspiration. Where do you find yours?
A)I find it anywhere, everything can be a source of inspiration. The source of my work is the imaginary life of Vassili, Johan & Naïma, then, of course, I'm very inspired by real experiences, storries, movies...

Q) How are the reactions on your work in general?

A)People who like realistic painting usually like my work, but, when they come to know about the whole storry, they become more enthusiastic. Some people like the concept of these imaginary characters, but they hate my painting. Some people are very close to my work, they appear in some painting, and they forget that Vassili, Johan & Naïma are unreal.

Q) What are you doing when you are not creating art?

A)I'm playing music with my bands (Les Legroup & What?s Wrong With us ?) and I do some graphic design for my living. But, when I'm not painting for too long (like a week or two) I go crazy. I think I'm a bit addicted...

Q)What are some of the greatest challenges that you think artists face today?

A)Trying to find a small place in this huge pot of artistic propositions

Q) Do you believe that a person is born with a talent to produce art or can anyone can be taught?
A)Sometimes, it can be better not to be talentuous. My teacher (Olivier Mosset) told me once that I was too talentuous... He really was feeling that this was my main problem.

Q) Are there any particular works you've done that stand out as your favorites?

A)Yes, for example a painting called "La reaction de Paul Auster", and some other ones. A collectioner use to tell me these few paintings are masterpieces...

Q) What are some current/upcoming projects you are working on or excited about?

A)My next painting is a portrait of Johan, but, in the dark, it is a luminescent selfportrait. In a half obscurity, it will be a morphing between Johan & me.I'm alo excited about a musical piece that John Menoud is writing for Vassili, Johan & Naïma. They will perform this music piece in a total darkness. I guess I was influenced by these restaurants in the dark in Berlin.

Q) What advice would you give to younger up and coming artist?

A)Join all the art competition you can find.

Q) Who are your favourite artists & Your favourite galleries?

A)Paul Mc Carthy, Roman Opalka, Anselm Kiefer... Favorite gallery ? Haas und Fisher in Zürich, of course !

Q) Do you need others to tell you they like it before you feel validated?
A)Of course, I always ask my wife if a project is good before to go further.And when it is finished, I like to have a critic of a friend, the drummer of my band, he always see the works with a totally different point of vue than me .If the three of us entirely like a work, then it is a" masterpiece", but this happened only two or three time, out of more than 200 paintings...

Q)Your contacts?.E-mail?links

A) Jonathan Delachaux
Geneva - Switzerland
+41 78 656 02 65


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