Loïc Arnaud is a French visual artist based in Dijon. After graduating from Ecole Supérieure des Beaux Arts in Toulouse in 1997, he has worked as art carpenter for 10 years. He resumed his artistic production in 2009 and started an epic tale of the history of the 20th century that mixes with the mythological references and his personal history. It attempts to present the journey of a man through his day.
After a first solo exhibition at the Ecole Supérieure d’Art Reunion in 2012, Loïc joined Tumblr to expose his work on the platform. Artist set with us to share his personal story and his creative process.
Artchipel : After graduating from Ecole Supérieure des Beaux Arts in Toulouse, you have been a carpenter for ten years before returning to the artistic practice. What is your story? Tell us about your practice and your creative universe.
Loïc Arnaud : Friedrich Nietzsche said that one must still have chaos in oneself to be able to give birth to a dancing star. No doubt he was right, but I would add that it also takes time, experience and maturity to turn this chaos constellation.
Two years after my graduation from the Fine Arts school, and thanks to my encounter with Jannis Kounellis and Allan Kaprow but also my readings of Joseph Beuys’ writing, I choose to postpone my artistic production. I realized that I didn’t have the tool to manage my inner chaos and to penetrate the world beats. As Goldmund from Hermann Hesse1’s novel, I had to leave the culture citadel to immerse myself and discover the world. It was not an easy choice, but it is a choice that has been saving. I was locked in an ideal, a vision of the world that is too intellectual, cold and frozen and that leads only to a passive death.
So I went to learn how to cut wood to build houses. For 10 years, I’ve dreamed of painting a thousand times, but I knew that it’s only a matter of time.
I ended my art carpentry business in early July 2008 and started to establish myself on the island of Reunion, where I retook the artistic production. There, I first re-entered slowly the world where I had left. It was like walking across a forest where myths and legends, phobias and fear overwhelm you. The experience gained by the practice has proved very useful. When you build a house, you can’t find the refuge in the world of words, we must deal with the reality of elements and all your talents should be turned to one goal: the realization of the project.
Today, I no longer produce the same voltage with that of the emergence of necessities. I can speak well of the works I produce but they do not arise for many of my words.
If I haven’t learned how to evolve in contemporary art field while during the last decade, I have learned many other things that seem more essential: the patience and the lack of need.
(to be continued)
on the way back, emulsion, oil and carbon on paper, 10.6’’x14.2’’ (2011)
on the paths of Bethlehem, emulsion, oil and carbon on paper
interview with Artchipel originally conducted in French
© All images courtesy of the artist
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