“The first goal for me is to create the piece that I want to see, as an answer of my own desire”
AT: Where are you from and how/why did you start engaging with art?
FP: I come from a suburb located in the south of Paris in France. I think that everything started with the library of my mother where as a kid I was able to see books about Manet, Monet and all the great masters. After I studied graphic design, I worked as a graphic designer in an agency and as a freelancer. I had my diploma from Les beaux arts de Versailles, then I moved to Brussels to finish my studies at La Cambre. I’m pretty sure that what engaging me with art was those drawing that we have to do as little kid
close to the poems we had to learn at primary school”.
AT: When did it become serious?
FP: I think it became really serious when all the details and organisation of my life were centred around it, when it became viceral and at the point that i can sacrifice anything for it. When I moved to Brussels it was the start of it, I meet a lot of friends and artists, but specially I started to work with Sebastien Ricou who had a space in Brussels. This relation really helps me to be confident, and put me in the right direction.
AT: Are there any person who has been significant in your breakthrough as an artist?
FP: I would say some of my professor, my mum, and the people that work with me and they know who they are.
AT: What is your first approach to the work? How would you describe your practice?
FP: The first approach of the work is obviously to choose the size of the canvas, it often start with a little poem or a tiny draw as study. My practice strikes a balance between two elements: the technical, through the deep investigation into the chemical properties of color along with composition; and a romantic approach to painting, a discussion of love between me and the pictorial space represented by the action and reaction of each part. The work only considered to be completed when the painting itself arrives at an epiphany.
The good the purple and the weird, Group show at HWV8 Berlin, Berlin, Germany, 2019.
AT: What do you aim to reach with your work?
FP: The first goal for me, is to create the piece that I want to see, as an answer of my own desire or as answer to a extern curation. The final aim is to embody the work as total.
AT: What are your favourite tools and materials for working?
FP: I use a lot of oil painting destroyed with white spirit or acetone, raw linen, wax and hard glue. It really depend of the work but it could be steel, destroyed canvas, at the end sometime i just have to look for something in the studio and it appears.
AT: What do you feel while you work? Do you usually think about the final outcome beforehand?
FP: For me it’s like a discussion when I work, I ask question to the painting, I wait for the answer and then it goes like this in circle, it’s a personal rythme, smoke cigarettes, choose the good music, a beautiful balance between hard work and a seduction game between me and the work. I never think about the final outcome, I have some directions but I always wait for the surprise of the resolution of the work itself.
AT: How do you understand that a work is finished?
FP: The work is finished when I reach the sensitive spot where i don’t know when the discussion started or finished, like an evidence.
Untitled – Pour toujours, 150×200 cm, Oil, wax and steel on linen, 2020.
Sbagliato, sbagliato, 120×200 cm, Oil, linen and mixed on steel, 2020.
AT: Where does the inspiration for the work come from?
FP: I would say life and everything it involved, I bring the sensation at the studio and then I project these sensations to pictural space.
AT: Are there any artists who influenced your works? Why?
FP: A lot of real og’s (masters) and the people that I love.
AT: How important is the role of social media for you?
FP: Now we have to be multitask, artist, photographer, graphic designer, and communicant, Instagram is a really good tool to discover works, share your news, but in an other way it’s scary and you have to be able to live and work without it, to use it in a good way.
Moon river, 170×220 cm, Oil on canvas, 2019.
Untitled – Parfum de naphta sur les lèvres, 150×200 cm, Oil, wax on linen, 2020.
AT: As an artist, what is your point of view about the contemporary art system?
FP: It’s a system, there is rules, rules that you learn step by step, so you can create your owns.
AT: What do you find to be the most challenging or daunting thing about pursuing art? What is the most rewarding part of working as an artist?
FP: The most challenging part is to live with the work, grow with it, even if there is a some struggles, to work as an artist is a luxury, a luxury that involve sacrifices. I will say that the most rewarding part is to share, share your work, share discussion with artist or not, travel to make show, create what you want.
AT: What do you do besides art?
FP: I do a lot of things
AT: What are your goals and expectations for the future?
FP: The goal for the future is to continue to work, to share and to live with the people I love.
Hors saison , Solo show at The attic, Brussels, Belgium, 2017.
François Patoue (b. 1992) is a French painter currently living and working in Brussels, Belgium. His work strikes a balance between two elements: the technical, through the deep investigation into the chemical properties of color along with composition; and a romantic approach to painting, a discussion of love between the artist and the pictorial space represented by the action and reaction of each part- the work only considered to be completed when the painting itself arrives at an epiphany. Before or after each work is finished a poem is created- which is then a key to producing the work’s title.