Brice Gelot Artist Interview

Tell us a bit about yourself, your background and your work

I was born in France, a self-taught artist, I began as a photographer for a few years, black and white always, for a skateboarding magazine. Street photography was part of my everyday life, I traveled the world with my camera, I used to live in Australia and the USA. Then I moved on, changing the medium I used, becoming more involved in graffiti culture. Today I work with a variety of processes: painting, sculpture, limited edition skateboards, mural...

What set you off as an artist?

I have always been creative, It's hard to describe yourself as “artist” today, galleries define me as visual contemporary artist, I quite like that. The difference between being an amateur and professional has nothing to do with money and everything to do with mind-set, it’s having the mental resilience to continue down that winding road no matter how many roadblocks you hit. And it’s not easy, it takes determination, persistence and an unbending will.

Tell us about the themes you pursue in your work

My work focuses on exploring the dark side of life, mixing vanitas and calligraphy script style of lettering like black bold letters. For me using vanitas as subject and signature it serves to remind us of our own mortality, our own mistakes and failures of the inevitable transformation of life into death. My everyday moto would be “memento mori” (in latin 'remember you have to die') Most of us have two lives. The life we live and the unlived life within us. Between the two stands resistance.

What art do you most identify with? any specific influences or research areas?

New styles emerge all the time, I would identify myself with modern art, a mix of calligraphy and abstract. I take my influences and inspirations from our past, present or future, our generation and our world.

Is there something you couldn't live without in your studio? what is your most essential tool?

Music 100%, before creating new artworks I like to put my headphones in, doing some quick sketches in my notebook, writing some ideas and get myself inspired.

Tell us how you organise, plan, and prioritise your work

With my paintings I start by putting down ideas from my head in my notebook, and a quick sketch of the artworks with some notes. It's important to remember that this is the drafting and brainstorming. After that I will choose the size and the composition of my painting. Build my support, I don't use canvases anymore, I paint on museum standard wood panel with aluminium extrusion using acrylic painting. For my sculptures, I use the same process, drawing ideas, a few sketches, then design everything in 3D on my computer. Sculpting with wax or clay, creating moulds are really a fascinating processes.

How do you navigate the art world?

I don't really know how to be honest, I just do what I love and keep doing it, I feel pretty confident in the various interactions I have as I pursue a career in the arts. I think the most important thing is to always create whatever we’re excited to try or what we’re curious to explore. That’s how we discover our unique artistic voice and create work that only we could make.

Describe the trajectory of your career as an artist so far

I have never been to any art school, no one has taught me how to do it. I taught myself and I love it, I make mistakes and start again till I'm happy with the result. This is still new for me as I just really began to paint in 2017/2018, I started making bronze sculptures in 2019, so the best will come, this is just an introduction.

Professionally, what is your goal?

I think I will always keep making paintings and sculptures, I might enjoy more sculpting bronze at the moment, maybe because I have a lot of ideas and projects in mind. Professionally working with more art galleries and doing more exhibitions, meeting more people, future collaborations and projects.

Are there any upcoming exhibitions or projects in the works?

At the moment I have one exhibition coming at the end of this year for the Art Basel art week in Miami (Wynwood), 2nd - 8th of December 2019. I also recently moved art studio from London to Manchester and I'm working on a new solo show, so future dates will be added to the list, stay tuned.

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