Alicia Paz - Woleck,
London – Nice – Beyond could well be the calling card for the Champagne Nicolas Feuillatte Artist of the Year, and yet we are meeting here in Paris, like the travelling spirits that you are. So having just met, what are your first impressions, artist to artist?
RW: It’s really nice to meet someone at this calibre, with such a rich repertoire. And it’s quite weird actually, as our universe is different and yet our approach to work is much the same. And by that I mean that when we need to see the work, we are a long way away from concrete art. I think Alicia’s painting style is extremely feminine, and we can perceive the female through her paintings, incredibly powerfully. She could create works that are purely aesthetic, which is often the case with female artists, and that’s why I often think she is similar to Annette Messager; because the women that she uses (Alicia: there is often a “monstrous” element to your work), are often very beautiful, pretty women, but she plays on that, completely transforms them, like a butterfly from a chrysalis.
And how about you Alicia, what do you think about Richard’s work?
AP: I love the physicality of his pieces, and the wealth of materials. Richard, your work is a little like the different facets cut into a diamond, and there is an almost architectural element on the surface. If we were just to see the landscape, it would be just a flat urban pathway, but at the end, there is a perspective, different ways around and illusions. You can look at the pictures and almost believe there is sound, a musical score, although I viewed them in total silence.
So what conclusions do you draw from your role as Champagne Nicolas Feuillatte Artist of the Year – has it introduced you to new people, new opportunities and sources of inspiration?
RW: That’s complicated. Meeting new people, yes, because we have done various events, but for me, it has been more about the people who work at Nicolas Feuillatte. I have learnt that it is possible to be a globally recognised industry, and yet still be run by human beings. In fact when you go into a company of this nature, you have this perception of it being quite dull, but you see with Dominique Pierre (Managing Director of CV-CNF), that we got on really well from the very first day – he cracked a joke – I cracked a couple back his way, and I knew immediately that it was going to be fine. That’s just me. I have felt this year to be particularly rich because we have met. There are still companies like this, with staff that carry out their profession with true passion.
And what about you Alicia, what have you learnt so far from this partnership?
AP: I totally agree with Richard, but if I had to add anything, it would be to emphasise the feminine side of the Nicolas Feuillatte team - not the entire company admittedly - but a strong female presence all the same. It is important to celebrate that, I believe it is a real strength, and allowing women to take the lead is becoming more apparent in today’s global society.
You have both made one visit to our beautiful Champagne-Ardenne region. Do you have any plans to return?
RW: Yes of course, as soon as I can.
AP: I would personally love to see the harvest. I have heard so much about it, but never had the chance to see if for myself.
Photo Credit to Kino
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