When placed under an electron microscope, the most fascinatingly beautiful objects in the world reveal even further complexities of beauty, and your work seems to reproduce this quality through its variegated structures. With this having been said, what do you feel has attracted you to this pervasive natural approach (knowingly or instinctually) to representing the beautiful, and how does controlled chaos play into your creative process?
Yes absolutely, also viewing mundane or seemingly mundane objects up close reveals great beauty. Ever since I can remember I have been happy spending my time obsessing over details and taking joy in just a glimpse of complex beauty and quiet reflection. In my process of creation I enjoy how when constructing an image, you can almost forget the image and concentrate on the cut patterns that are only really visible when you tilt the piece in front of you. I think when I make a successful work there is a strange relationship where I am happy first with the invisible pattern of cuts, you could almost say brush strokes, and secondly with the image itself.
Many enjoy the progression of combining pieces into totalities (like completing jigsaw puzzles) because they find that this journey translates them into a meditative space. How are you feeling while creating something that you know the world, and dare I even suggest yourself, has never before yet seen?
Oh, I agree, and I find it comforting to hear thank you! I am very happy to be a medium through which images can emerge. Often I find working to be a meditative thing, time flies, an image emerges that surprises me. I feel rested and tired at the same time. I think in a process like a jigsaw puzzle it gives you a way to silence the noise, forget what might be worrying you and totally occupy the moment. I usually have a faint image in my head, when I complete a work I see it clearly for the first time. The feeling can be euphoric. Sometimes I am just relieved that now I can start another piece. We are all on the autistic spectrum, I think I have Asperger like tendencies, the result for me is that I can get stressed and overwhelmed pretty easily. My work is definitely a release for me, it is like a ten-year ongoing therapy project. Also a quiet space I can go to on an almost daily basis. I often feel really lucky because I am actually living from this process that I am kind of addicted to. Sometimes it is a struggle because I think my sense of business is not the best, and I am working with basic concerns at the back of my head which can stress me out, the rent must be paid every month, my cat has a wound on his neck, I always need materials and supplies. Every illustration job and sale I make are still really important to me and literally keep me going.
Your abilities seem rather proficient at representing moving depictions of volume and form, what other things in the natural world seem to captivate you and may even subliminally inspire your approach to how you deconstruct then reconstruct an image?
I really love the complexity and beauty of the natural world, on this planet and beyond. I think it is so interesting to be on this voyage of endless discovery called life. Learning and experiencing new things is everything. I think it is really important to keep an open mind, nothing lasts forever, everything changes, what and who was wrong yesterday might be right today. We are on the crest of a wave called time, new discoveries in science are made and become history in front of us and it is magnificent. I love birds and insects, moss and ferns. I love being on the seashore because it is where two worlds meet. I love plants, and growing anything from a seed or cutting. Years ago I worked with time-lapse and stop motion to make 8mm animations, I still imagine movement and time, how things evolve and grow, and I find it exhilarating.
Image manipulation has a long and storied history, ranging from notable photographic geniuses such as André Kertész, or artists like Hanna Hoch and Laurence Demaison. Do you feel proud to continue in their creative traditions or echo their pervasive styles, or do you via synergy wish to ensconce your own technique as something individual, why or why not?
Of course, I am proud if I continue such traditions.. honored. If I have a style of my own it is not something I think about. I hope there is something in my work that gives it some synergy. I suppose every painter also manipulates images from their imaginations, image manipulation is everything. Does the world function like a hive mind? Ideas bumping around between people occasionally two collide in a certain way and a new thought emerges from the collective mist of our minds. And does it matter what part you play in this? I like to keep a certain distance from my work, certain anonymity, it exists without me.
How do you feel about new media? Do you think you would ever take your technique into the realm of fashion film, video art installation or 3 Dimensional representation? Or have you, how did it differ?
I have collaborated with Steven Tai & Swarovski, Lisa Carletta, Agapornis & Gucci, and a few others. I love fashion for the collaborations that can make something really unique and special. I try to always be open to new projects and collaborations. If my works can be applied to something new I would be excited to try it.
What are your views about the state of art today? Are you one who is of the opinion that all art is contained within a psychological construct, or maybe that it is justified by its process, or perhaps that anything is art, or is it that certain unmatchable talents are needed to make something worthy of the name?
I think with the internet, artists like me have never had it better. The many galleries that would never work with me are not my only option. I think anything is art and all art is disliked and adored by somebody. There’s just used to be much less art around, now you have this enormous selection to try to absorb and so much of what gets picked up in the media is just not the most interesting. How many amazing artists, technical and conceptual could you find across social media, often with just a handful of followers? I imagine many more than existed in the entire art history record. Art is complicated, there are no easy answers. I am compelled to do what I do, most artists are compelled to create. Talking about what art is I find quite meaningless because one experience of art can be really fleeting and hard to describe. The experience is everything, not the description. The whole thing can be so personal, people are affected by a work of art but they do not know why.
What deep insight about the world do you possess that others may not yet know? Can you tell us?
Deep insights are often blindingly obvious. Be nice to people and they will be nice to you. It is never too late to do something. Knock on the door and it will be answered. Be flexible or you will break. The only constant is change. If people are mean to you and knock you down, bounce back up and be fabulous. Do not hold hate inside you because it is poison.
How would you explain beauty to someone who existed without any senses besides hearing, though they could imagine whatever it was you told them?
Imagine the blissful happiness that makes your thoughts quiver when you hear something delightful. Beauty is a personal thing, the sounds that appeal to you might not appeal to someone else. Like sounds have different shapes, different shapes have different feelings. Happiness is beauty manifested. If your heart quickens, and your eyes fill with watery emotion, you are experiencing beauty.
All images with courtesy of Lola Dupre