Name: Andre Veloux
Age: Lego is for ages 4-99, I’m comfortably within that!
How would you define yourself as an artist? I define myself artistically within the parameters of my definition of feminism. Which is standing up for women and their rights and empowerment every day. Standing against the patriarchal society and it’s male entitlement which cause discrimination, oppression and violence against women. Which means acting against and raising awareness of the many issues women face today, not limited to sexual assault, domestic violence, rape culture, campus rape, equal pay, body image, sexual harassment, healthcare, contraception, abortion, female genital mutilation (FGM), girls’ education and forced marriages.
Why art? How did you get involved with art? After a long time being a stay at home parent I began a process that led me to this point. I started from the standpoint of wanting to create art that could also be described as a physical object. This led me to the medium of Lego. Art gave me the opportunity to express myself.
What art do you most identify with? Despite the challenges facing society today, I feel fortunate to be an artist at this point in history. This means I discover new, gifted and committed artists all the time. There is a powerful womens’ rights feminist movement right now. Through social media, particularly Instagram I can discover and often connect with fellow artists whose work I identify with. Whether they are known or unknown or somewhere in between it makes me feel part of something. A quick look through my instagram feed: @laurinaldi @kat.allisone @dantjebons @janinedelloart Seeing the work of these artists gives me belief and encouragement.
What does “being creative” mean to you? I call being creative something like feeling the magic. It happens at particular moments, such as, on a train, in a cafe, people watching or perhaps listening to a piece of music. Somehow an idea forms and a process in your mind develops it. It’s a beautiful thing when it happens, and can be quite all-consuming, to such an extent you start to shut out the external environment.
What’s the best advice you ever had about how to be more creative? Create for yourself, create what excites you.
What are you trying to communicate with your art? Women’s freedom. Freedom without judgement. How we as a society look at and therefore treat women.
What do you see as the strengths of your pieces, visually or conceptually? Visually, they have the pop colour aspect as well as catching the eye in terms of the subject. Conceptually, it is about mimicking reality through art. I present the work without prejudice but it is art which is made from simple plastic bricks, yet causes viewers to react with emotions that mimic reality across the spectrum from appreciation to sexism, and to me that is pretty cool.
What themes do you pursue? Feminism, Women’s freedom, Rape culture, No means no, Enthusiastic Consent, Male privilege.
What inspires you to work? A walk into any town or city, to see the double standard of judgement and behaviour between women and men. Other artists pursuing similar themes. The daily news cycle of misogyny.
Colour: Light Aqua (a rare subtle Lego colour)
Book: Historically I always considered “Crime and Punishment” my favourite. More recently I just read “The Color Purple”, whose story and themes will always stay with me.
Movie: Again from the past I would say “Star Wars” or “Slacker”, from today I would say “La La Land” or “Wonder Woman”.
Quote: It’s so much more than a quote, but the entire “Nasty Woman” poem by Nina Donovan that was read by Ashley Judd at the women’s march. You can watch this anytime anywhere and be inspired to fight back.
Can we talk a bit about your process at the beginning of a project? How do you conceive of it? How do you build it in your mind before you start? That’s difficult, an idea pops up, and I think will it work? Can I actually make that work in the small resolution I work with. Can I find the right colour palette and shading to pull it off?
What Role does the artist have in society? To comment on society, to be an activist and bring about change and to also be part of the force of creativity that fuels other parts of our society such as science.
Do you suffer for your art? Only in the sense that the stakes are high, and it’s an up hill battle for feminsim, progress is slow. It can be frustrating.
What do you think about the art community and market? Where I am in the art community I have found the vast majority of other artists have been kind and very supportive. My place in the art world means that if someone buys my work, and decides to dedicate a space in their home or workplace to display it, it means it has made a real connection with them. I try not to think about the market, I know my work doesn’t sell because of who I am, nevertheless I make the works that I feel deliver my message the most strongly.
Should art be funded? Why? Art is the catalyst and the fuel for many things ranging from love to science. It makes the world better and stronger.
What famous artists have influenced you, and how?
Cindy Sherman, she has worked with the same subject (herself) her entire career, and has reinvented her work many times and created powerful work commenting on women and their perception on many levels.
Yoko Ono, a non stop and irrepresible creative force. Her creativity has endured through many different platforms, such as physical art, performance art and music. Her consistent message of peace and love is inspiring.
Anton Corbijn, another able to work creatively in different ways from photography and film to art and even stage design. Strips subjects to basics and connects them with powerful motifs. His work reminds me the message is always important.
What other interests do you have outside of art? Close family of course. Outside of that cycling anything up to 200km in a day.
How would your life change if you were no longer allowed to create art? I would just cycle all day and see the beauty of nature, and listen to music all night to admire and enjoy talented people doing something I cannot do.
some short questions now…
Textures: The soft skin of a baby is more or less the gold standard.
Describe your style: “Define yourself”… Androgynous sensitivity
Define your art: Not the object of desire but the desire itself
Art Fairs:? Not much fun.
Museums: Guggenheim, Bilbao. Palais de Tokyo, Paris. New Museum, New York City.
Cities: Liverpool, Paris, San Francisco
Travels: A tour of European cities or a slow journey through Alaska.
Artists: Cindy Sherman, Yoko Ono, Anton Corbijn, Marina Abramovic, David Hockney
Music: I love a good musical.
Cars: Bicycles: Cervelo and Bianchi
Mobile App: Bandcamp
Who are the artists you admire the most? See above
What are your next projects? Next big thing is a 4 month installation of work in Princeton Public Library with artist talks and demonstrations. After that I will be working on a collection of pieces for a solo show at Krause Gallery in New York City next year.
Define Klassik Magazine for the audience? Haute culture!
Emerging to Established Summer Group Show, Krause Gallery, NYC, July 15 – Sep 1
2018 Solo show, Krause Gallery, June
2017 ?Art of Engagement Group Show, Touchstone Gallery, Washington DC, Aug 4 – 25
Solo installation, Princeton Public Library, September 2017 – January 2018
New Pop Group Show, Fort Works Art, Fort Works, TX, November 3 – December 31
The Contemporaries Group Show, Parlor Gallery, Asbury Park, NJ, May 13 – June 19
Affordable Art Fair, Metropolitan Pavillion, 125 West 18th St. New York, March 29 – April 2, 2017
#28 Grams Group Show, Fort Works Art, Fort Works, TX, March 23 – May 20 2017
Emerging to Established, Group Show, Krause Gallery, New York City, Jan 5 – Feb 7
Art Advocacy Speaks Group Show, The Spinning Plate Gallery, Pittsburgh, Sep 8-25
?Art as Politics Group Show, Touchstone Gallery, Washington DC, Aug 5 – Aug 25
??Emerging to Established, Group Show, Krause Gallery, New York City, July 9 – Oct 3
Building Blocks of Change, Community Art Gallery, Lambertville, June 15 – July 15
?Blurring the Lines (with Matt Bilfield),, Krause Gallery, New York City, Jun 4 – July 8
Pinot to Picasso 2016, Arts Council of Princeton, April 22 – 29
37th Annual Juried Art Exhibition, Main Gallery, Monmouth Museum, January 16 – March 13
From Emerging to Established, Group Show, Krause Gallery, New York City, Jan 30 – Mar 5
Portraits: A Juried Exhibition, Main Gallery, Monmouth Museum, September 18 – November 1
Annual Show, Arts Council of Princeton, September 8-25
Face It, The face in Contemporary Art, OnSite:Brooklyn, International Juried Show, Juror: Annette Shapiro-Rose, Managing Editor, ARTnews June 6 – July 11
Innovation, Munich Re America Campus, Princeton, May 14 – July 11
Art All Night Trenton, June 20-21
Wide Open 6, BWAC, Red Hook, Brooklyn, Juried Show, Juror: Rujeko Hockley of Brooklyn Art Museum, May 9 – June 14
Pinot to Picasso, Arts Council of Princeton, April 11 – 18
Solo show, Small World Coffee, Princeton, February 4 – March 3
Love Show, Small World Coffee, Princeton, February 3 – March 2
Juried, Parlor Gallery, Asbury Park, Juried Show, Juror: Jonathan Levine of Jonathan Levine Gallery, NYC, November 23 -January 26 [PHOTOS]
Put your Best Foot forward, Arts Council of Princeton, September 7 – October 3
Art All Night, Trenton, June 27-28
Celebration, RSI Bank, Rahway, June 2 – 29
Love Show, Small World Coffee, Princeton, February 6 – March 5
instagram/twitter is @andreveloux