Contemporary Art Curator Magazine Publishes New Interview
Paiement has shown widely in solo and group shows in the United States, Europe, and Asia. Most recently Palazzo del Bargello, Museo della Balestra, Gubbio, Italy and the Carrousel du Louvre, The Louvre, Paris, France. Paiement’s work has been featured in numerous publications including New American Paintings, Las Toscana (Italy), Corriere dell’ Umbria (Italy), Ouest (France), Art in America, Artillary, ARTnews, Artscene, Modern Painters, Artforum, The Los Angeles Times, Art in America, The Orange County Register, Artweek, SF Weekly, and the New Art Examiner. He is represented in Europe by Adelinda Allegretti (Rome, Italy) and Eckard Fine Art (Kent, Connecticut) in the United States. The Public Broadcast Service (PBS) recently featured Paiement in their award-winning Twin Cities Original series. His paintings are included in numerous public and private collections such as JP Morgan Chase, Brenau University, International Arts and Artists, KB Homes (Kaufman & Broad), and Creative Artists Agency. He is a tenured professor (painting, drawing) at Cypress College in Orange County, California.
Could you please introduce yourself and tell us how you started in the arts? and your first experience in art making?
I grew up in Minneapolis, Minnesota-- a very middle-class city in the Midwest. As a child, the concept of becoming a studio artist was a pipedream. Nobody (that I knew of) made artwork--either as a hobby or professionally. So, there were no role models. My first exposure to modern and contemporary art was a Picasso retrospective at the Walker Art Center. My seventh grade French class visited it in 1978. My parents were very frugal and terrified of going broke. They were “do it yourselfers” that were always creating ways of realizing their dreams on a very modest budget. Now, years later, I can say my parents did have an influence in my creative process. At a very early age, I had a knack for drawing. I loved it and was encourage to by family, friends and teachers to develop my skill. In high school, I had a wonderful art teacher that wrote a letter recommending me to transfer to a high school for the arts. I was accepted and graduated from there. At the high school for the arts, my teachers encouraged and recommended me to apply to the Minneapolis College of Art and Design. MCAD was a wonderful place. It is a very small school that exposed me to concepts and practices that I wouldn’t find anywhere else. Most important, they encouraged intellectual curiosity and a “can do” attitude.
How would you describe yourself and your artwork?
That’s a difficult question to answer. I’m constantly questioning, discovering, and evolving. I am very open-minded and feel comfortable discussing anything. Concept and practice are not independent from one another—one merely expresses the other. I am an artist that creates paintings, sculptures, and installations.
Where do you get your inspiration from?
I get inspiration from potential. I love the work of British/American philosopher Alan Watts. As a student, I was inspired by artists that pushed the boundaries of art and culture. I love the minds of artists like Marcel Duchamp, Piet Mondrian, Jackson Pollock, Robert Rauschenberg, Andy Warhol, Kara Walker, and Banksy. I’m inspired by architects like Frank Gehry, Eric Moss, and Jean Nouvel. Finally, I’m really inspired by the ingenuity of Steve Jobs and Elon Musk.
What emotions do you hope the viewers experience when looking at your art?
My primary objective is to engage the viewer. As a student, I was exposed to installation art that was being created in the 60s, 70s, 80s, and 90s. I’m intrigued by the idea that a viewer can step (vicariously) into an artwork. So, I’ve always aspired to engage the viewer on a deeper, more visceral level—to create a painting that the viewer can go into—like a virtual installation. At the same time, I’d like my paintings to challenge traditional painting—to push the boundaries of how paintings function. I want my paintings to go beyond depiction and create an experience for the viewer. An analogy is the phantom limb syndrome. This is a condition where an amputee experiences sensations, painful or otherwise, in a limb that no longer exists.
hen do you know that an artwork is finished ?
I know my paintings are finished when I’ve exhausted all possibilities. In other words, when the potential has been realized.
What has been the most exciting moment in your art career so far?
I’ve had a twenty plus year career with a number of milestones. A few memorable moments have been solo exhibitions at the Laguna Art Museum (Laguna Beach, California), Palazzo del Bargello (Gubbio, Italy), and most recently at Carrousel du Louvre, The Louvre (Paris, France). Also, I’ve been a tenured professor (painting/drawing) at Cypress College for 24 years. Sharing my knowledge and passion gives me immense gratification.
How long does it take to produce one work?
My Nexus series of paintings can take anywhere from 200 to 2000 hours per painting.
What exciting projects are you working on right now?
I’m been focusing on my Nexus series of paintings for the past four years. They are particularly challenging for me because they have so many components. They involve a lot problem solving. Incorporating a CNC router into my painting process is an innovation that I’m particularly proud of.
Do you have any upcoming events or exhibitions we should know about?
Adelinda Allegretti (Italy) and Jennifer Terzian (United States) are curating a traveling exhibition that will feature 12-15 paintings from the Nexus series and an installation of my Hybrids ceramic sculptures. The solo exhibition will start in the summer of 2020 at Centro Expositivo Rocca Palina (C.E.R.P.) and end at Brenau University, Gainesville, Georgia in 2023. The curators are creating stops in Waterbury, Connecticut, Minneapolis, Minnesota, and Long Beach, California. And, they are always open to new ideas.
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