WORDS AND PHOTOGRAPHY BY LOUIS THOMAS.
So I have to fill my life every day with passions: drawing, cooking, sleeping, walking, travelling, reading, music, films, taking a shower and simple things. Otherwise, I’d rather be dead. I am part of a generation, and from a western country, that has an “easy life”. I have nothing to defend, really, or to fight for in my work, except freedom in being and freedom of diversity, curiosity, tolerance and trying to depict people as I see them, as I draw them. I don’t think art has to have a function or an explanation.
I mostly paint with gouaches on cardboard. The reason is that I am obsessed with matte surfaces. Matte papers in old books, lithographs, everything that feels deep because of the texture. I’ve always felt that something shiny doesn’t allow me to enter a painting, a book or a photograph. I draw a few sketches at first and then sketch as well on the final board or canvas. I consider myself more like a drawer than a painter. I think colours just give balance to my work, but if you take away the lines in my work, it becomes quite empty.
My motivation in life is what some call the “nothingness” of life. The fact that no one at all can explain what we really are, what we are doing on earth and what this universe we live in is.
Like most painters, I just grew up with an urge to draw. I need to draw as an occupation and to enjoy time and everyday life, probably to be loved in the first place. Maybe the fact that a child drawing something is ultimately wonderful, according to their family and teachers. Is that the beginning of it.
I don’t understand how you can 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 to do whatever feels nice or necessary for yourself is enough. Art is a word that is as abstract as “death” or “poetic” or “poetry”. I love the Paul Valery definition of what poetry is (I will try to translate it here): “Most men have so vague an idea of poetry that the very vagueness of their idea is for them a definition of poetry.”