… It takes time, patience and a good bottle of wine. The whole thing will feed more than your body, it will feed your soul.‘
Born in France, studied in Montreal and now lives in Berlin where he has exhibited his art for the last seven years. A family man who loves fishing, mushroom picking and playing board games with friends but most of all, he loves spending time in his studio – painting. His favourite medium is oil ’Oil painting is a challenging technique and I certainly see a big window of fun and progress as long as I keep evolving‘ – says Clement Loisel. ‘Tarifa by Daniel Richter is one of my favourite paintings. A balance between savagery and humanity, tainted with mystical faces and colours, let’s say I could look at it every day and never get bored‘ – he adds.
Luxury Splash of Art: You are an artist who loves to express himself through painting, can you please tell us how it all started?
Clement Loisel: I grew up surrounded by art books and artists – my father Regis Loisel is a very well-known comic book author. However, I was not very interested in comic books; instead, I was fascinated by illustrators and painters like Frazetta, Norman Rockwell, Carravagio, Velasquez, Francis Bacon, and Lucian Freud. These artists ignited my first love for the Arts. My father also taught me some important things along the way, like how to take time to observe and put things in perspective. First the eye, then the hand. My university years were disappointing in a way. I thought I would be learning techniques, that I would be studying under great and inspiring beardy professors but it was not the case, unfortunately. I had a very romantic idea of art schools, and 19th-century style art academies and I quickly got a reality check.
LSA: Why painting?
CL: There is something glorious about oil painting. And I am more than happy to take part in this long tradition of old and new masters. There is magic in its colours and scents. Painting is like a full day of cooking to create a very special dish. It takes time, patience and a good bottle of wine. The whole thing will feed more than your body, it will feed your soul. Drawing with charcoal, on the other hand, is like running a bbq. Very enjoyable even though you are smoked at the end. It’s quick, efficient, and physical with its different tools, and the strong contrasts between light and shadow are so very special and bring me back to my first love, Caravaggio.
LSA: Some of your paintings show people with covered faces. What is the message you want to convey to the world through your art?
CL: A big part of my work is inspired by events and impressions. Some say “art should not be political“. I disagree because art is political. Not in the sense of a flat and obsolete left-right political model, but as a mirror for society, an observation of human nature and our relation to the world. The role of the artist is not to give answers but to ask the right questions. Masks, distinctions, loss of freedom, social reboot, weird gestures and handshakes, are all strong symbols that have impacted me personally and as an artist since 2020. The brutal measures taken during the last 2-3 years and how they were so quickly enforced simultaneously on a global scale, certainly call to be artistically addressed. Also, I am surprised to see how only a few artists have worked with this theme all that time.
LSA: What else is your inspiration?
CL: Berlin is an inspiring city, full of interesting faces and characters that one can come across in the public space. I enjoy photographing people, friends and strangers for future compositions. Also for years, I have been gathering what I call “images of interest“ on the internet, fleamarkets and magazines. Inspiration comes and goes, it is like a pulse, so I often dive into my image bank, trying to associate pictures and ideas. Sometimes I see something in an image and cannot quite say what it is, but 5 years later it might all make sense and a meaningful artwork is born.
LSA: Is there an artist that became a source of inspiration for you?
CL: There are so many great artists out there but I have to say I am a big fan of a Belgian painter, Michaël Borremans. His colour palette, technique and ideas are like candy to me and he has been a constant force and inspiration for me in the last 5 years.
LSA: What tips would you give everyone who would like to follow in your footsteps?
CL: Stay alert, listen and observe what going on in the world, how it changes and why not always for the best. Stay true to yourself, don’t let social media and conformity run your soul, and have the guts to follow your instincts, not what’s expected of you.
Interview by Agnieszka Kowalczewska