We had the pleasure of interviewing, in collaboration with ARTWAVE, Christophe Catelain, a famous Parisian street artist, who told us how his artworks born, what they represent and the peculiarities that make them unique.
Christophe Catelain defines his works as “visual”, essentially consisting of a digital collage of photographs taken by the artist himself and applied on plexiglass; a long and complex work, as the artist himself reveals.
Christophe, tell us more about your “visuals”, how are they born? What are they made of?
“I start with an idea, a theme and then I build, image by image, my “visual”. It can take several months to finalize a part of the work. When this is done, it really isn’t! Because each issue is modified and reworked in order to offer only unique pieces in the small series! It is a great job but it is part of my signature, like the fact of putting an image systematically present in all my “visuals” in addition to my digital signature, a hidden and secret image, of which few people know exists! Sometimes it is difficult to find it because a visual can contain up to 1500 mixed images; it is hidden, but it is always found!”
Christophe Catelain “Life is Pop”
The visuals of Christophe Catelain open the doors to a visual journey… from a distance the viewer is attracted by the bright and bright colors, recognizing only some known images and curiosity pushes us to get closer. “As we get closer, we ‘enter the visual’ to search and locate the details! The eye will be like the autofocus of a camera in relation to your position, from a distance we can guess some great images and as we get closer we can see the link that unites them to their detail because sometimes I ‘pose’ images using a digital magnifying glass .”
Autofocus … camera … the artist tells us about his relationship with photography
“Photography has never abandoned me! Basically I shoot anywhere, anytime! And when I don’t have the camera with me, my smartphone will be a great replacement! I feed on images to create my ‘visuals’ and everything is a source of inspiration: the street, architecture, advertising and, why not, a flower!”
Christophe Catelain street art
In his artworks, Christophe Catelain expresses his emotions, sensations and gives life to the inspirations that are the fruit of everyday life. In many “visuals” it is then possible to find the presence of real “tags” that the artist defines as “messages and that I often use to denounce what disturbs me most or matters to my heart. The first “visuals” expressed my anger following the attacks of the World Traide Center, and since then my first “NO MORE WAR” collection has been born. That’s why my work remains very “Love, Free, colorful and positive! An “ART’N PEACE – DUTY TO WAR” approach”.
The relationship with love is particular, the “LOVE” tag is the most common representation in the Christophe Catelain‘s visuals.
“”LOVE” is often the leitmotif of my work” – says the artist – “and, even if there is a “Fu_ck” next to it, a “Love” is never far away, always to balance the final image! For me there will always be love to give as there will always be wars to be waged unfortunately, the Yin and Yang of life!”
Christophe Catelain “Love”
In many Christophe Catelain visuals we also find another symbol, that is the American dollar symbol, popularly known as a symbol of power and wealth.
“When people or, even, countries lose all rationality in the face of the “God of the dollar” for profit, we must fight and unite to face him! And it is precisely for this reason that very often the dollar symbol is depicted in my visuals; the aim is to denounce this reality.”
Christope Catelain denounces and repudiates, with his visuals, violence, war, the struggle for money and all that is devoid of love. Among the many future projects the artist anticipates: “I’m working on my next exhibition in Paris, the place where I will present my new visuals. At the same time, I am completing an exhibition in the Parisian subway (Opera) and a collaboration with other artists linked to a Parisian Gallery in relation to the theme of “Tickets” in Street Art and Pop Culture modes… there are many ideas! Arousing interest, curiosity and creating an exchange through images remains gratifying for me given the hours spent expressing my artistic vision of a past moment, alone in front of my computer! This exchange must be part of the final process, especially if the ‘visual’ is complex and full of images “.
Christophe Catelain Blank billboard in Paris subway station with empty chairs