When we first saw paintings of Paris by Victor Locuratolo in the Marais, we thought that it was a while since we saw such a wonderful impression of the city we live in. His critical, yet humorous approach is unique and extremely interesting. If you want to understand what is the nowadays Paris you can study Victor’s paintings.
Victor is a true architect, who carefully enchases everything you know, think and feel about the city in his paintings. Every time you look at his works, you can discover something curious and new, whether it’s sad or funny. In this interview we are honored to give you a glimpse of Victor’s paintings and his vision of Paris.
What brought you to Paris? Tell us a little bit about yourself.
It was quite a coincidence, as I‘ve just returned from living four years in Montreal, I found myself naturally attracted to Paris.
I am originally from Lille, and moved as a teenager to Grenoble in the Alps. I also lived in Brussels and Montreal as I already said. To be short, the moving from one place to another brought me the need to know the “terra incognita”. This need gave me the ability to feel comfortable in a very dense city as much as in a narrow isolated mountain path.
Tell us about your Parisian projects. Where can we see your works?
These days I am working on a book presenting a set of drawings illustrating the nowadays Paris.The originality of the work is the critical approach combined with a humorous touch.
The architecture and the people have also a very central part in my urban frescoes.
I have a website where you can see my work, and sometimes I exhibit my work in the streets of Paris.
What is your artistic background? How did you start painting and creating your works?
Since I remember myself I used to draw, more like a necessity to express and understand my close environment. Rather than going to a Beaux-Arts school I chose to study Architecture. That was mainly in order to comfort my family and have eventually a “real job”.
As a matter of fact, it is quite recent that I am full time on my drawings. This happened after laborious years working in various architecture offices.
Do you remember your very first creation as a child and afterwards your first painting as an artist?
Since I was a child, a little travel book accompanies me. The first drawing I can recall is when I was at my grandparent’s home in the Massif Central.
There I remember myself trying to draw the landscape from above, like the Chinese rolls, which I have discovered later on.
How would you describe your style and your technique? Tell us about your creative process. How long does it take to complete a painting, what materials do you use, etc?
I think my work is very intuitive and spontaneous, with a relatively bad technic. What interests me is more the subject itself and the composition. The first step of my creative process is to walk around the city and try to get lost as much as possible, in parallel I try to catch and memorize unexpected things and senses.
Later on, when I go back to my desk, I draw a multitude of sketches until I am satisfied. Then I switch to ink and sometimes I finish with markers. In general it takes one or two days to complete a piece.
Tell us about the central characters and objects of your works. What inspired you to create them?
The most interesting subjects for me is the shift of temporality in space. For instance, I am fascinated by the process of substitution in the territory: buildings replacing others, migration of populations etc.
I have a special interest in “urban leftovers” because they bring contrast to daily life. They also tell us the story of the city.
Is there any work in particular that you are mostly proud of?
It wouldn’t be a specific drawing or work, but rather the idea of being able to be a witness of the absurdity and contradiction of the contemporary life.
Who would you like to collaborate with from the art world?
Sometimes I reproach myself of working in a too isolated way and with too little formats. This is why I could consider myself eventually collaborating with urban artists on extra large, city scale projects.
What inspires you in general, in your everyday life? Who would you call your personal inspiration?
As I said before, my inspiration comes from the density of the territory and the human interaction. I wish through my drawings people would reconsider their habits, and be more attentive to their environment.
In your opinion, what is the best part and the worst part of being an artist?
Personally the best part is to work everyday with my passion with no boss telling me what to do. The worst part would be the moments when I have no inspiration.
Then I start to worry maybe I would have been more useful if I were a nurse, an engineer or a plumber.
Tell us about your upcoming projects. What would be your dream goal as a painter?
These days I am concentrated in the publication of my first book. Of course I wish to follow the same path as Will Eisner, Sempé, Quino, Battelier, etc. But I am aware the way isn’t easy.
How would you describe the city of Paris?
I think my drawings describe better Paris than whatever I could ever describe by words. However I can just add that if you cut Paris into two parts, I advise more to visit the east if you want to feel the real beat of the city. The west seems so frozen that it could be considered as an other city.
As an artist what creative places in Paris would you advise for our readers to visit?
For creative places, you can walk randomly for example along the canal de l’Ourq, La petite ceinture or even beyond the Parisian ring Le Péripherique, there you might find what you’re looking for.
For more paintings you can visit Victor’s website: http://sansdessein.canalblog.com/