Briefly describe the work you do.
My conceptual work revolves around the notion of the stranger. I try to find distinct structures that either conceptually or physically exists and operate inside a bigger establishment.
Tell us a little about your background and how that influences you as an artist
My parents were taxidermists so I was surrounded by a lot of animal sculptures when I was a child but it was only when I was 17 that I really discovered Art. At that time, I took an Art History class as a specialization because I admired one of the teachers. I quickly realized that I wanted to be part of this history of cultures as a creator more than a theoretician so I decided to become an artist.
The concept of the “artist studio” has a broad range of meanings, especially in contemporary practice. The idea of the artist toiling away alone in a room may not necessarily reflect what many artists do from day to day anymore. Describe your studio practice and how it differs from (or is the same as) traditional notions of “being in the studio.”
I am from that line of artists such as Gabriel Orozco who consciously decided not to have a studio. Because most of my exhibitions are abroad, I had to find a way to create anywhere in any conditions and I naturally leaned toward works on paper so that it was easy for me to make, carry and send works no matter where I’d have to go. The only problem with this is that there is no boundary between Art and your personal life, so you are constantly working either by making or thinking about how to make something. There is no punching in or out of the studio, you are always in it creating physically or conceptually which can be difficult for people around you.
What unique roles do you see yourself as the artist playing that you may not have envisioned yourself in when you first started making art?
I am always amazed to see that artists are creating culture. We usually have the notion that culture is still and that it is something that was relayed to us to perpetuate but when you see artists putting their own little rock (no matter how insignificant or magnificent) on this great mountain, I feel a great privilege to be part of it.
When do you find is the best time of day to make art? Do you have time set aside every day, every week or do you just work whenever you can?
Because the Art/Life separation doesn’t really exists in my practice, I mostly follow my instinct. I can be for months without creating anything and then suddenly I could be working on 3 different series at the same time. I also developed a system that allows me to create artworks really fast so this helps me not to stress too much if I don’t produce as steadily as other artists.
How has your work changed in the last five years? How is it the same?
I think one of the great things in being an artist is that you constantly fail. I think that failure is the greatest teacher you can ever have: you know if you want to do this career professionally or as a hobby, it shows you your flaws in a brutally honest way and it also keeps your head on your shoulders. So in the last five years what changed was that I became a more professional artist because of so many failures but at the same time none of my goals changed, now I just know what I need to work on to get there.
Are there people such as family, friends, writers, philosophers or even pop icons that have had an impact on the work you do?
Many people influenced me and many others are influencing me but I think in the end that influence is a projection of what you already believe into someone or something that can translate it better than you.
If you had an occupation outside of being an artist, what would that be and why?
I don’t know, really. Maybe a builder because I like the fact that people live in such a big sculpture.
Pierre Chaumont was born in 1987 in Libourne (France): he lives and works in Montréal (Canada). Bachelor in Visual Art from University of Quebec in Montréal, He spends his time between Montréal and Tokyo. His artworks were shown in United States, China, Japan, Slovenia and Canada.
He is part of the collection of the Museum of Contemporary Art in Laurentians, The Loto-Québec Collection The Museum of Art in Lendava, Slovenia and in many private collections.
All images copyright of the artist and used with their permission.