Antoine Cordet’s work is insane. The paintings he produces are the kind of works we look at and just seethe with jealousy. His sparse portraits carry a heavy emotional weight. Sneaky wanted to find out more about his process and his feelings towards what he produces. Here’s what we got back.
How long did it take for you to get to this point in your practice? How did you get to where you are now?
I don’t know. Since I was a teen, or when I began to paint on canvas, or maybe when I drew for the first time when I was a child. I think it’s since I was born. It’s just work, depression, reflection, work, experimentation, disappointment and work.
What’s the most valuable thing you’ve ever been told that’s influenced your work and work ethic?
My big brother studied at the Beaux-Arts School, so probably when he told me that I was talented. I was surprised, and from him it was really rewarding. He has passed away now. So now I work for me and for him too.
What drives you?
The fact that I must succeed in my life. I have to push myself to make things better, I have to meet people and I want to touch them with what I do. I am driven because I feel good, because I travel, make projects, and learn. I am driven so that I can prove to others that I am able to do something good for me and people around me…
Can you remember the first moment or experience that made you realise that this is the definite path you want your life to take?
When I saw people go to work like robots, be happy on Friday night and sad on Monday morning. I wanted to be free and to control my life with my own rules, work for myself and for nobody else. It was that or maybe my destruction.
How do you feel about your work once it’s finished?
I feel happy and light, but just for few hours. I have to begin another work. I start again to be afraid, to doubt and have to force myself to work every day because when I don’t work, even for one day, I feel stress and I don’t feel good.
How do react to the work you did five years ago?
I find it all so bad, so imprecise and artless. That makes me uncomfortable. If I could have one wish, it would be to gather up all my old work and destroy them so that none remains.
What have you created that surprised you the most? What was the most unintentional success?
When I discover another way to approach my paintings it’s usually by accident or if I’m angry. New details or ways of processing can be revealed to me through negligence or impulsivity. So it’s in these conditions that I am trying to develop my paintings, haha…
What is your key advice for dealing with failure?
It’s hard. With time, I learnt to make better decisions and plan my work before starting a painting. It decreases the chance of ruining it. When I paint something bad I try to fix it, but if I can’t, I start the whole canvas all over again. So the key is patience, reflection, failure and calm.
If you could stop the art world doing one thing, what would it be?
I really don’t know, I wish they wouldn’t just wander around the world or keep trying to become actors. Trying.