“ET AILLEURS”, together with Richard Woleck,
Champagne Nicolas Feuillatte Artist of the Year 2012

Constantly on the look out for up-and-coming talent, Champagne Nicolas Feuillatte has chosen Richard Woleck to partner the brand throughout 2012. Combining audacity, creativity and modernity, the artist is like the brand in many ways. Musician, illustrator, sculptor, furniture designer and painter, Woleck is eclectic, a perfectionist and totally passionate about his art, whatever it may be.

In his studio in Nice, the French artist creates outstanding works with a wide range of materials including aluminium, steel and polycarbonate, and at the same time embraces new techniques such as digital printing.  His works are rooted in construction, in the architectural sense of the term.  The geometrical, polycarbonate shapes give a 3-D feel to the painted work.

 “My life has to be fun.” When selected by Nicolas Feuillatte as Artist of the Year 2012, Woleck confesses to have been instantly captivated by the brand signature, “Epernay, New York, Beyond.”

“The tagline struck a certain chord, it was the key to vast possibilities, and I find Beyond particularly interesting” he explains. 

He related completely to this year’s theme of the city, which features strongly in his figurative art. The inspiration for his painting came to him very rapidly: an imaginary city, with references to real places. If on first sight the work is evocative of New York, with its dense forest of skyscrapers rising up from a plant-scape worthy of Central Park, this was not his intention.  For “Et Ailleurs” is actually an imaginary cityscape, lit up on a night of celebrations, with an enormous firework display that colours the sky.

Remarkably constructed, with its rigorous play on vertical lines contrasting with the rows of vines that converge in the distance in the built up area, this painting bursting with colour and light is also very detailed, with its climbing plants that cling to the towers. For decorative effect maybe, but also a way for the painter to demonstrate that Nature really does reclaim its rights, even at the heart of a city erected entirely by man.

Three questions to
Richard Woleck.

What is your studio like?
My studio is a bit like a laboratory where I can experiment to my heart’s content. I am lucky to have lots of space, but over time I have accumulated an enormous amount of materials and it’s starting to feel a bit cramped. I think I am going to sort out of all this stuff - there is absolutely no way I could ever move!

What exactly are you striving for when you work with all these different materials?
More than anything, it’s the shock factor. I sometimes feel like a chef who is trying to combine different flavours, layer upon layer. I have exactly the same approach in my work, combining matt with gloss, aluminium and rope, canvas and plexiglass.

What does the partnership with Champagne Nicolas Feuillatte represent to you in your career as an artist?
It's primarily a question of being recognised as an artist. It's the first time I have taken part in a competition and I am very honoured to have been selected.

Cutting Edge | Published on: 03 May 2012
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