We came across Luc’s work a few weeks ago and didn’t know what to make of it, apart from knowing that we were certainly intrigued. Luc’s canvases tend to be pretty abstract, using the space around them to influence how you perceive the visuals actually on them. Experimenting with smoke machines, cameras and condiments, Luc’s methods are refreshingly unforced, and through a series of experiments he is building up an impressive collection of paintings that, as a series, are pretty beautiful. Luc was kind enough to answer a few questions about what he does.
Where do you work?
Most of my work is made in my studio here in Portland, Oregon. Recently, as I have been incorporating inkjet prints and photographs, a fair amount of time is spent on the computer editing or in the print lab trying to dial in the right colors and everything.
How does your working day start?
I start everyday with a cup of coffee, two pieces of toast, and two eggs. I make coffee for Stumptown, so if I have to open the café, I’m up at 4:30am, and get off at 1pm. I then try to have some lunch, take a power nap, and make it to the studio by 3pm. I’m so busy right now – working full time, finishing my thesis at the Pacific Northwest College of Art, and trying to have somewhat of a social life, that I can’t really spend more than a few hours at a time in the studio. Being busy is good for me though. The tight schedule helps me to be focused and productive when I am in the studio, and as a result I think my work is improving.
How do you work and how has that changed?
My studio practice has changed quite a bit in the last year or so. I used to make really labor intensive representational paintings from photographs. The paintings took weeks to finish. After a while I lost interest in that way of working. My entire approach to painting has changed – I now use painting as tool, or tactic for getting at a larger strategic way of dealing with images.
Where would we find you when you’re not at work?
I spend a lot of time thinking about things, reading, and looking at the work of other artists. I can never really turn it off. Even when I’m doing something that has nothing to do with art, it’s always in the back of my mind. I really enjoy simple pleasures like food and people. I also like to travel. I’m constantly trying to get creative and come up with new trips. My girlfriend and I are planning a trip to Scandinavia in the early summer. I’m trying to run more too, but most the time it’s easier to drink wine and have a nice dinner with friends.
Would you intern for yourself?
At this point I’m not sure an intern would be of much help to me. I did just watch that Gerhard Richter documentary where he has all those wonderful helpers squishing paint through filters to get the perfect consistency and handfuls of people prepping all of his canvases and whatnot. I bet that’s so nice! Last Christmas I was in Indonesia and I visited the studio of Agus Suwage where he had all these assistants hanging out in his studio jamming on various instruments, drinking tea and joking around. I think if I had assistants or interns it would look something similar—as long as they would still squish paint through things when I needed it.