Maude Arsenault and The Print Atelier are thrilled to introduce this month’s new guest curator, the acclaimed Hollywood “Revenge” and “PanAm” actress Karine Vanasse.
Not only is she a brilliant actress that Maude has photographed many times over the years, she is also a passionate Art enthusiast.
After a great art chat on set with Maude and as the spokesperson for Art Fair “Papier” in Canada in 2014 we thought it would be nice to hear Karine’ views on today’s art photography scene…
photo : Maude Arsenault
What’s your relationship with contemporary Art and especially Photography? How did you get into it?
I think I really became a contemporary Art lover in my mid 20’s. Maybe before I was too shy to look at it because I felt I knew nothing about it… but somehow a few years ago I decided to let my eyes follow my instinct and a new world has opened itself to me since.
It’s basically only about letting yourself be moved, without questioning it too much. And then you learn things along the way about the artist, their process and surprise yourself by being attracted to images you wouldn’t think would have sparked an emotion in you.
The FOIRE PAPIER in Montreal (for which I became the spokesperson last year) was an amazing teacher in directing my eyes and orienting my taste. And last year was a big revelation for me in terms of photography. As if before I had been numb to its effect on me.. but not anymore.
Could you tell us which artists first spark your interest for Art?
In terms of photography, I remember seeing photos of actors taken by Carl Lessard when I was a teenager and being so impressed by their dramatic effect on me. And that stayed with me, this is the effect I am looking for in a photograph.
Whether the images represent a landscape or has some human representation in it, I am often moved when I get the feeling of being swallowed by the image. As if my entire soul suddenly wants to live in that image.
Just like in film, I am impressed when an artist can create a specific or strong emotion and atmosphere with an image.
Does Art have any influence in your acting work? How does art influences you on everyday basis?
While I am preparing for a role or when I am in the middle of shooting, I can notice that I am more easily inspired and moved by images. That’s always a great sign for me, a proof that I am in the right creative zone, that I am really aware and that I am really open to everything around me that could spark a connection to something deeper. I am in this mind frame also when I am traveling. Since everything is new around you, your senses are so alert and ready to see. Ready to see from a different perspective.
According to you, what is the main difference between photographic Art works and other medium in contemporary Art?
Since a photographer is framing what you could also see with your human eyes, I find it fascinating when they create an image that feels extraordinary. It challenges how you generally look at things.
I remember this time when I first saw Camille Claudel’s sculptures at the Musée Rodin in Paris. In front of La Petite Châtelaine I suddenly had a very strong emotional reaction. This specific sculpture was so full of life, I could almost see it breathing.
Although photography is also a still Art, I am always impressed when you feel the life that emanates from it.
Do you collect art?
I started collecting art a few years ago, but I bought my first photographic pieces last year. Two pieces by Anne-Renee Hotte and a big gift to myself, a piece by Arnaud Maggs.
I saw the documentary Spring et Arnaud and completely fell in love with these two artist, separately and as a pair… I haven’t hung it yet, it’ll be a very emotional moment for me when I find its perfect place.
I also recently bought a piece by photographer Jacynthe Carrier. I haven’t seen it framed yet. Such a poetic piece.
If so, how would you describe your collector’s journey? What « word » would describe your art collection?
It’s intuitive. I can’t wait to see in a few years what was the thread linking all my choices…
I read a quote from art collector Alexandre Taillefer saying that he only buys art made by artists who are still alive. I like that concept, you then fully support the process and work of the artist as he is still defining it.
You recently quoted “We don’t see things as they are, we see things as we are”. Does this apply to photography and to the work you collect?
Totally. It either speaks directly to how I see things or it challenges it in a way that is eye and heart opening for me.
In your career as a successful actress you had the opportunity to be photographed by many talented and recognized photographers, which photographer would you dream to be photographed by at this point in your in life?
The obvious Annie Leibovitz and Patrick Demarchelier. I am curious to see how they would guide me through the session.
I can’t wait to be photographed by a photographer who’s work has been curated by The Print Atelier ; Le Pigeon. We almost had a session together last year, hopefully this year it will happen.
Which artist are you following particularly in Photography and is there any Artwork you’d wish to own?
I saw a photograph of korean artist Kibong Rhee at FIAC in Paris a few years ago… and I only hope I could afford his work.
So delicate and silently powerful… I was totally mesmerized.
Is there an Art exhibition that you absolutely don’t want to miss this year?
Foire Papier in Montreal ! Every year I get so excited in anticipation of what I will see there.
This event keeps growing and growing. I am really proud of the group of women behind its organization.
According to you, what makes « The Print Atelier » particularly interesting or different from other art galleries?
The variety of work it showcases, although there is a common sensitivity that links these artists.
Especially with photographic work, if it moves you when you see it on your computer screen, imagine its effect in when you have it in big format in front of you.