Discussion with Pierre Toure
Pierre Touré Cuq
Meet Pierre Toure Cuq, our friend and artist who recently worked with us for our Spring '22 shoot. Pierre is actively working as a sculptor in Europe and we caught up to chat about his art, his inspiration, and the epic 5 hour long playlist he made for us.
1: Hi Pierre, could you let us know a bit about yourself?
Hi, I’m Pierre Touré Cuq, I am 22 years old and I am originally from Biarritz, France. I began doing art in extracurricular art classes at the “Arenes” art school in Bayonne, France. After high school I went back to Biarritz where I passed my first two years of art study before joining the the National School of Fine arts at Villa Arson in Nice, where I am currently enrolled.
2: You were born in Biarritz, on the southwest coast of France and are now studying art in Nice, on the South-East coast of France. The South-West and South-East are both beautiful but very different. Do you notice this difference in how people look at art and how they see you as an artist?
It is actually quite funny, because the two cities are diametrically opposed in their styles and their views around art follow that juxtaposition.
In Biarritz the landscape is very local and mainly focused toward the vibe of surfing, skateboarding and street art and there is very little room for what we loosely call “contemporary art”. It has an artistic spirit that is more laid back. But it is starting to open up more and more thanks to the initiatives of the Champs Lacombe gallery among others.
Nice is the complete opposite, it’s truly in the world of “ultra contemporary art”, into the “show off” style of the Côte d’Azur for a certain part of the art market there. Aside from that, it is actually quite open to contemporary art. There are more institutions and gallery spaces there. That reflects quite well the differences between the two places generally.
As an artist, I think it is beneficial for me to evolve in between the two. It allows me to adopt a nuanced way of seeing art. I have a desire to retain my freedom and a certain lightness and to continue doing what pleases me in an attempt to preserve my humility in regards to my work. At the same time I realise that it has to be taken seriously as my work has to develop, renew, affirm and mature itself.
3: What made you decide to follow this path to take your work more serious and when?
It was during my first months at the art school of Biarritz that I realised what I wanted to do with my life. In fact I didn't really know how to use my hands, besides drawing, that is, if we can consider that one can really “know” how to draw.
The teachers at that school taught me an enormous amount of things and passed on a passion to create things on my own. They taught me that art is much more of an open concept than I thought. After my first semester, I told myself that I couldn’t do anything other than this with my life, that I wanted to live it. During my second year, I wanted to develop my work even more and learn more in a bigger school with new interactions, with a wider variety of people and new ways of thinking about art. It was at that point I moved toward the Villa Arson in Nice.
4: What were your first interactions with art when you were a kid?
The first interaction that I had with art was in middle school. I had a fantastic art professor who showed us a lot of things; the works of Orlan, Erwin Wurm, Phillippe Ramette, Alfons Mucha and many other artists from different eras and movements. But nothing was a bigger shock than my first visit to the Louvre. At the time, I was so amazed and I still am really. It was later on in school that I began to comprehend that art is very much an open-ended concept.
5: Does art run in the family?
Not at all. I am the only one who chose this path. My big sister paints and experiments but it’s not her actual job. I was lucky enough though to have a mom and grandmother who would drag us to the museums when we were kids.
6: How would you describe your work?
I see my work as a sort of vessel for the way I perceive the world. I try to create objects while redefining their meaning, in fact I try to create objects that don’t have a meaning. The goal is to open the interpretation of my work as much as possible and to speak to the imagination of the people. There are no set answers to what my work is. It’s my way of bringing the spectator into my universe.
My works are like pieces of a story that everyone interprets and shapes in their own way based on their own references. But my work deals with concepts that are a bit more “meta”, such as life and death, violence and peace… In fact, I play with the dualities that make up our existence to directly involve the people at the center of it.
What I appreciate in all of that is that my practice feeds of interaction. Whether it is positive or negative critiques, technical advice or different sensibilities; it’s a bit like my work doesn't belong more to me than it does to the spectator. I almost consider the views of people who we think of as “non experts” more than those who already have certain knowledge of the art scene.
7: You have started BOZARTISTES, can you dive deeper in to what Bozartistes is, and how you see it evolving in the future?
So the Bozartistes project was born from the observation that is very complicated to show and to talk about your work as a young artist. Almost the entire art landscape is occupied by well-established artists. I think that as young artists we have the desire to speak to those of our own generations, as most of us deal mainly with subjects that are rooted in our own generations. In schools, there are infinite forms and practices, but we are very conditioned by a ‘make or break system’ where we end up by shutting oneself in to try and do ourselves what’s needed to get out of that system. The goal of Bozartistes is to create a platform of visibility, to encourage new initiatives and form the links between young artists, but at the same time with the largest audience possible.
At the beginning, I opened an instagram account (@Bozartistes) all by myself where I would repost certain works. Later, the idea to create new formats appeared. I had neither the means nor the necessary skills to realize this project, so I reached out to my friends for them to join me. Thanks to them, the project has evolved and has become a collective endeavor. We have transformed the Bozartistes entity into an organisation and we hope to develop different projects such as review, expos, meetups etc. to open up our field of action to the maximum amount of people.
8: Knowing what you’ve learned over the years, is there anything you would differently?
What is cool about this lifestyle choice, is that everything is constantly changing. So I hope that I will continue to learn many things and continue in this dynamic of perpetual change.
9: First 5 inspirations that come to your mind (can be visual artists, music, books, food, places, video games, etc...)
RPG video games in general, like Skyrim, The Witcher, Dark Souls , the Berserk Manga series, contemporary artist Camille Blatrix, the Nintendo character Kirby and Eurodance.
10: You recently started an apprenticeship to learn to work with marble. In these days of social media and instant gratification, digital art and nft’s, increased accessibility to certain media like photography or computer aided design, what made you gravitate towards this medium? What made you think “ I’m going to learn how to work with this medium that humanity has been working with for millennia and I’m going to take the time to learn it well”?
Actually, I am very attached to doing things on my own and I feel this need to acquire as many skills and techniques as possible, to be able to develop my work. I primarily do sculpture and for me, it was impossible to continue to try to create a new method of sculpture without learning the fundamentals. More than that, I have always been fascinated by marble sculptures, so it is also a bit of a trip for me to learn how to do it myself. I am constantly wondering why and how these works have always been so powerful throughout the centuries. And for me the best way to understand this, was for me to start doing it.
11: What other young artists should people check out?
I am surrounded by a large number of young and talented artists. I invite you to check out their work. @cleopatre_rchaos, @pauljacquesbogard, @anassal49 who work mainly with paint and try lots of interesting things through editing, animation, fashion and design. Also the work of @alysse.avi et @yamacazanova who break the boundaries of tattooing by integrating it into larger art practices. The work of my best friend @jaytee_r who works in film. The work of @pris.beny, @leonbinz2 et @elie_aussi who I have the opportunity to work and exchange ideas with each day. Here is a list friends and people who are doing things I like: @iszor, @franchement_emeline, @bweeeh, @lesbetteraves, @jean___lem, @romainmautes, @ckpucine, @toustranquille, @sharonalfassi, @hostilityanxiety, @discrete_id, @arnica._.montana, @dahlia.k.0guug, @22_processus, @loucoline, @nelloid, @adriendegioanni, @perrineboudy, @kazuo_marsden, @thomas.parigi, @acidattack_, @absolemabsoluxe….. There are so many artists worth discovering.
12: Could you talk a bit about the playlist you created, your musical tastes?
My playlist truly reflects how my musical tastes make no sense. There is quite a lot of sad techno from the 1980’s-2000, some metal, ambient, classic new wave. It really is a playlist that demonstrates what I am listening to in the studio when I work. Right now I am really into Eurodance and trance from the 90’s and 2000’s. It’s truly a clever mix of melancholy and high speed.