THE 15′ DEGREES CLOCKWISE TURN
SHE WEARS OWERSIZED WOOL GREEN COAT, THE NUDE LONDON, BLACK LEATHER HIGH HEELS, SAINT LAURENT.
After my ballet career i was writing, playing sax, trying different arts, and i`ve always make things out of junk. I started sculpting from wire 15-20 years ago.
Yes. To do this in three hours i need a lifetime experience. There is no way to make it without my ballet past.
It was very large as well
I work with large aluminum wire, so i can do a very very large works, the portrait in 7th feet, but there i do in rough for three hours if it`s nude maybe, more if it`s clothed and to do in 3 hours i work in a sketch mode. This (A4) is my prefered size for doing portrait of a person i know. I work in three hours for a reason… Because i have only 3 hours of creative focus in me. I suggest that any good artist has only 3 hrs of strong creative energy a day. After that it`s all downhill. I try to capture the portrait in three hours in the same way like Van Gogh do a painting in a day. I want to do one scene to capture the movement we find in life. If it works — it moves. Art is movement. I was a ballet dancer so everything i do is consequently influenced by dance. Hazel Honeysuckle, burlesque dancer She arrived in my Paris apartment and i`ve never seen her without stage make-up. She wore her cat retro glasses. In person she is really very bookish and nerdy, very different from her stage persona, which is like total bombshell. I said, “Keep your glasses on.”
My fav model Yaelle, she`s French. She interdicted me to turn lights on while it`s getting darker. Insisted that we go back like in a time mashine, and use only candlelight to create a portrait. Hot wax dripped between her legs. It was really distracting, but i love her, she always gives me a great story. And french models it`s always defiance, challenge, they do everything to keep me from being professional. I have to do 30 portraits in 30 days, no exceptions. My hands are bleeding, and if i have to work in a candlelight or with model`s foot between my legs during a creative process — i have to do it.
I work with skinny fashion models too. I love form. Sometimes big model is amazing: when they take clothes off, it`s like a landscape, it`s an abstract. You don`t know where you are in her skins, it`s an absraction. It`s like curly hair.
I appreciate his works, but, no, I definitely more inspired by dance.
No, i inspired by people i work with, performers in NY, artists of neo-burlesque movement. This is not the same as in Europe. In NY its pro-female, subversive, political performance art. We were doing a show in NY with these women who`s having a 10 000 $ a night side job. When they`re naked — they becoming very sincere, it`s just talking and nudity go together. She revealed to me about this 10 K side job and offered to sell her portrait to one of her client. I`d really rather give to her 50 percent than to some gallery. And a week later she brings me 5 K. Then she started introducing me to her friends. So turning a model into an agent it`s like getting the best of both world. As a working artist i`ve done gallery shows, exhibitions for years. Solo, group. After the economic collapse of 2009 i stop doing lot of gallery shows: it`s too much of the risk. I have major expences in New York, i have a daughter. I need to make sales immediately. So i started doing private cocktail party shows in rich people`s apartments, working with my burlesque friends, performing live jazz. And we did like 15 — 20 000 $ in each coacktail party for 3 hours. So, when i discovered the opportunity of model turning agent if it`s possible, i didn`t hesitate. To be with certain gallery is to be exclusive with it, is to give a show for few years. As a working class artist, i can`t afford it, i need to sell tomorrow to pay the rent.
There is basically 3 types of artists
That`s why i wear this costume. It keeps me professional. And the second reason: i am exposed to temptation, so this costume helps me playing my role. I am the sculptor in this costume, now (removes neckerchief) — i am a man!
It`s all about the story, i want people to know. It`s not sculpture alone.
The most famous painting in the world — Mona Lisa — was not really known until 1911 when it was stolen from Louvre. For one year the international headlines about the thieft of Mona Lisa was a big story, so people found out what Gioconda was. It was fairly known painting back then but not super famous. And guess who was wrongly arrested for the thieft? — Pablo Picasso! Who was known in an art world, but not world famous. So that`s the story what made Mona Lisa and Picasso most famous. It`s story that created value.
My works takes 3 hours to create, but it`s 3 hours, and a lifetime to create this story. Because sculpture is a way to finally combine a writer and artist in me.
In my scedule, when i get back to NY, i have a portrait of Amanda Palmer from Dresden Dolls to accomplish. I`ve done a portrait of President Obama. He didn`t pose for me, but i was given him by one Jazz musician so now it`s up in his collection.
I work with line, i capture movement in line and i do want to see nude lines even if they`re clothed. Because in wire you see behind the clothes, but i do clothed portrait. I have people that commissioned me all the time to do clothed portrait. I am an art whore. I need to make living.
There is also another part of this exhibition — the reading of a chapter of my book “The
naked and the nude“ called “The killer blowjob“. It`s an incredible story, which actually took place in London. Model invited me to her boat, we made a really good piece and i need it for some exhibition which is the selling show. And i need to sell it for 5 000 $. But she insisted to keep it for herself. I don`t want to sell it to her tobe honest, furthermore, she doesn`t have that much money. So she said that she is a master and would give me a killer blowjob in exchange for the portrait. And i was stuck onto the adjective:
— I`ve had an ex boyfriend with an aneurism. In the middle of one…
— I Literally blew his mind! I actually saved his life
That`s a way i`ve got this idea for an exhibition about the killer blowjob. I wrote this whole chapter of our ridiculous conversation, it`s a 30 minutes read. And i invited lots of my friends performers to film `em reading it in NY. And i was thinking, “How boring! To be on camera reading for 30 mins. It`s a good story but still. How to make it more interesting?“
So i`ve had a really bad idea. And i did it. The camera is waist-high and i`m not going to say what happened and what didn`t below the frame. But after the secound paragraph i was so nervous and then… i was really relaxed… When the audience will see it, i don`t think they gonna know, what happened.
In NY the film wasn`t with this particular model, but i did the reading with a small crew…
No one is one thing. I have performers who might also be a sex workers, dominatrixes or they might do porn work. They live by their stage names.
Yes, Justine Joli. I met her while she was trying burlesque out.
If i am working with a fantastic performer, or 10 000 $-night call-girl, they`re still my friends, and our relationship is as artist and model and collaborators.
I also work with men, transexuals. Miss Rose Wood, she made this infamous The BOX club in New York, she is 6 ft something, big breast and penis. I`ve done her portrait too.
I worked with multiple models together at once. The idea of sculpting active sex is one thing, the action is very challenging. I work fast, but not that fast. I`ve had models played with each other, played with themselves, i don`t stop them, it`s their thing. I`m doing my thing. I work with some people in Paris very sexual libertine and opened, some of them are exhibicionist for the stage but very quiet at home.
Intention is irrelevant. Whatever i tell you means nothing. What matters is that after we walk away this piece is still good, the quality live, exist and i don`t think it`s in the eye on the beholder. If it`s good — it works.
Serge-Edouard F. | Editor-in-Chief & Creative Director