Wednesday, 10 September 2008

Artist of the Week - PAUL DEBOIS

Paul Debois.

My personal work is usually landscape based, either urban or natural. Over the last 18 months, I have been exclusively working with natural subjects, which naturally lend themselves to the peculiarities of pinhole photography. Although I am a digital convert, my personal projects tend to be an antidote for the constraints placed on me by commercial photographic work and I often use film. It induces a different way of thinking.

One favourite living artist?
I love the work Cy Twombly - although abstract, it is fresh and uncontrived.

One favourite historical artist?
Without any hesitation my favourite historical artist is Turner - his paintings, particularly his later landscapes, are always good reference. I've looked at his work on and off for thirty years - there is always something new to see. Frequently dark and sombre - and like many artists, not fully appreciate until after his death! See the 'Slave Ship' - a fantastic piece of work, with many levels.

How much do you bend your 'vision' to suit the marketplace?
Consciously I don't do this - maybe unconsciously! As previously said, my personal work is an escape from commercial work. In the process of producing new photographs, I'm not really thinking of of the market place. These thoughts usually enter the frame once I have a set of images, when an edit is necessary, perhaps for an exhibition. Choosing the most relevant work with a unified theme becomes important - I suppose this has a leaning towards the market place!

Who would you say buys your work?
A wide range of people of all ages. And some people I've never met!

How do you set about starting a new project?
Difficult! It evolves from one small idea, usually turning into something completely different. I'm not usually a person who starts with a statement. This is something I find completely by accident and then develop. The Pinhole Impressions project started this way. I was experimenting with various film cameras and saw the Lime tree at RHS Wisley in the wind. (picture ref) It was quite sudden and the other images followed naturally.

What do you have on your pinboard?
Dozens of post it notes with obsolete software serial numbers and codes! I keep scrapbooks instead with anything that takes my fancy - often tearsheets, cards etc pages of brochures. I also keep old test prints with notes of what went wrong.

Where and what is your studio?
Don't have a studio as such. I just commandeer rooms around the house as and when necessary, much to my wife's annoyance!

Do you work alone? In silence, radio?
I always work alone - anyone else would be too much of an interference. But always with music - I find it difficult to work in silence. No specific music - depends on the mood, but usually loud. My daughters often tell me to turn it down!

Surprising activity/hobby?
Collecting old vinyl records. I always wanted to have a photograph on a 12 inch album cover - cd's don't have the same appeal to me - but it's unlikely to happen now. Shame as this was always a good source of groundbreaking art work.

Do you have a good work/life balance?
I think I have a reasonably good work/life balance as I can spend more time with my children than a lot of people - mainly because I work a lot at home. But I find it very difficult to switch off from my work. Once I've got something going, that's it!

What one word would describe your feeling of doing your work?

Would you rather be doing something else?
Never in a million years - but I'd like an accountants salary!

If you could exhibit in any gallery which would it be?
Museum of Modern Art, New York - it's one of the greatest museums in the world. Think big!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Hi Paul

I really love your work and I'd be interested in featuring it on my website BrightonPOD

Have a look and see what you think.