My name is Louis Thomas. Born in 1987. I live in Paris with a cat, Pipo. I am part of a generation and from a wester country, who has an "easy life". I have nothing to defend really or fight for in my work, except freedom itself in beeing, diversity, curiosity, tolerance and try to depict people as I see them.
PIECE WITH ARTIST
FEB 26, 2021. PARIS. FRANCE.
Tell us your story, how did you come to painting?
Like most painter, I never really thought of it, I just grew up with an urge to draw. I need to draw as an occupation, to enjoy time and everyday's life, probably to be loved in the first place.
Maybe the fact that a children drawing something is ultimately wonderful, according to his family and teachers is the beginning of it ? I don't know.
How would you define your current painting? I paint people, portraits. I try to draw them the way I like at that precise moment, I am craving for new faces, bodies, stories, time spent with strangers or people I love.
Tell us about your style and technique. Any secret that can be told?
I mostly paint with gouaches on cardboard, the reason to that is that I am obsessed with matt surfaces. Matt papers in old books, lithographies, everything that feels deep because of the texture of it.
I always felt something shinny doesn't allow me to enter a painting, a book or a photography.
Then when the painting needs to be really big, I paint with oil on canvas and use additives or mattifying, to make them matt as well.
How do you usually start your paintings? With a sketch, a draft or is it just an improvisation?
I draw few sketches at first and sketch as well on the final board or canvas. I consider myself more like a drawer than a painter, I think the colors just give a balance to my work but if you take away the lines in my work, it becomes quite empty.
What are your motivation forces? And the artists who have been and are an influence for you?
My motivation in life is what some called the "Nothingness" of life. The fact that no one can explain at all what we are really, what we are doing on earth and what is this universe we live in.
So I have to fill my life everyday with passions : drawing, cooking, sleeping, walking, travelling, reading, music, films, taking a shower and simple things. Or I would rather be dead. I am part of a generation and from a wester country, who has an "easy life", I have nothing to defend really or fight for in my work, except freedom itself in beeing and diversity, curiosity, tolerance and try to depict people as I see them, as I draw them. I don't think art has to have a function or an explanation, as Christo was saying...
Picasso for sure was a big influence, Alice Neel, Jean Cocteau, Marguerite Duras, Allan Watts, Lucian Freud, David Hockney, Michelangelo Antonioni, and so many others.
What can you tell us about your studio, what kind of place is it?
I live in a typical old parisian atelier by the Luxembourg garden, it's a peaceful place. It is my home and atelier, I would not be able to seperate the place where I live and the place where I work.
What is art for you?
Art to me can be anything, I don't understand why you could label something as "art" or not. It could be something you fight for, or just the pure joy of doing. We don't need a purpose, just the freedom of doing whatever feels nice or necessary to yourself is enough.
To me "Art" is a word as abstract as "death" or "abstract" or "poetic" or "poetry" and I love the Paul Valery definition of what is poetic (I will try to translate here) : " People have a such a vague idea of what is poetry, that the vagueness of their idea itself, becomes to them the definition of poetry"