Limited edition of the 2013 calendar named “New York“, all photos by CharlElie.
- Where: Hypermaches Carrefour in France
In a comment, try to guess the name of this piece:
A) Meet packing district
B) New York storm
C) Plugged in
D) Manhattan street
And the answer is… C) Plugged in. Congratulations to those who guessed right !
- October 4-7, 2012
Over 60 art galleries and a huge array of contemporary art. Living Art (stand A-11) will present four inner Portraits by CharlElie.
Yesterday, October 11th, CharlElie went to see the famous French photographer Gérard Rancinan‘s exhibition in New York. In this photo, the two friends are posing in CharlElie’s gallery in front of one of his NY photo-graph.
- We know you were invited to the Summer Olympic Games in Sydney and Athens. What would be your best Olympic memory?
Without any hesitation, I have kept a much stronger memory of the Sydney Olympic Games as those in Athens, Greece. The ambiance in Sydney was much better. All the Australian people were present behind their champ’s, and the organization. The stadiums were crowded and thousands of people were involved.
In Athens, it seemed to me that it was much more political. The games had been imposed for the symbolic impact, “back to the source” of the games, and also for the profit it could generate. It was a kind concept of communication, exactly what the media love, and indeed the biggest building was the one devoted to the press and television staff, a real temple devoted to the communication god. But the stadiums were empty. The input places for competitions were far too expensive. Beside the sports competition, hotels and amenities had also lift up their prices, multiplied by 5, 10 (and sometimes more), hoping they could refund the enormous debt they had contracted, they tried to make money with every little bit. Stadiums were empty, so they seated the few spectators in the axis of the cameras… At night nothing was happening outside the official congregation’s stuff.
In Athens all was dark at night, in Sydney, there was the festive atmosphere in the streets, bands of music playing everywhere, open bars, people singing, dancing, transportation was easy, and there was a feeling of celebration.
Once I came back, I wrote a little essay entitled “Olympic souvenirs” to keep somewhere the memory of what I had shared in Australia. This little book mingled drawings I had done on site, and texts I wrote in the short periods of night between the everyday competitions…
- You participated in many charities. Some of them are very well known such as “Les Restos du Coeurs” and “Les Enfants de la Terre”, but also many small ones. How important do you think it is to help those who are in need?
One says that even if you cannot interfere by yourself on the consequences of the global warming, at least you can close your window in the winter… You can always act for the general interest. It is a purpose of consciousness. Rather than confessing our sins, and striking our ribs with a flexible wand, I think it is best to try to make some services that can help in proportion to the investment you can make.
I was one of the first artists drifting the benefit of one concert for “les Restos du Coeur” (“Restaurants of the Heart”) created by my friend Coluche, even before it turned out to be the big money-machine once the show biz put a hand on it.
Concerning the “Les Enfants de la Terre” (“Children of the Earth”) I did it for Yannick Noah, because I found that this initiative was generous. Children from the suburbs are often bored, and it was good to bring tennis to them.
This was some times ago, I used to do this when I was living in France but I still do it here, once I’m an American citizen now. Last Sunday, I went in a studio in New Jersey, where we recorded “Au clair de la lune” (“In the moonlight“) with Dan Rieser, Norah Jones‘ drummer, and Patrick Derivaz on bass. It turns out that “In the moonlight” is the first sequence of singing music ever recorded in the world by Édouard-Léon Scott de Martinville, who recorded these notes April 9, 1860, the oldest record of a voice now known (fourteen years before Thomas Edison).
Mine is a “full” version of the song. I think the arrangement will surprise many, who will discover that the content is not at all what we imagine when we listen only to the first verses… The advantage of all the downloads of this song will supply the funds of an association fighting for research against cancer .
** Pioneers for a cure: http://pioneersforacure.org/
I was the first “International” artist from the list who had previously done it. Only the Israelis, and Americans (pure strain) participated in this project so far, but I’m sure this site is dedicated to global development: who can refuse to record a song of his heritage, knowing in a free version it is a charity that concerns us all?
The idea of the project is excellent: it is a piece from the public domain and all the downloads will be allocated to a particular association that deals with treatment, counseling, and any related research to fight cancer. This is a smart way to use the net, music and song! You will be informed when my song will be on-line.
- Since the Fort Reveur tour is over and you won’t be performing for a couple of months, what are your plans for this summer 2012?
This summer I will return to France for a few weeks. I have to work on a major 3D project, an installation of my sculptures called “Manhattan”. There will be 80 sculptures assembled. This will happen during a festival of Art & Architecture presented in a former factory located near Belfort in Europe.
The installation “Manhattan” will then go to Senlis, (close to Paris) and it will also be presented in Nancy, during spring 2013, as a master piece ending a large retrospective exhibition of my works organized by the Lorraine region from where I come.
This summer, I also plan to start doing some gigs here and there on the repertoire of songs from the album “Be Yourself / CharlElie & The Truth”. This is what I have recorded, which is now finished.
We will maybe talk some more about it later, when it will be more accurate. We started the first meetings with some record labels to see how the disc could come out. It takes quite some time now, because making profits from music is not what it used to be, and record companies are very shy and conservative, and they do not want to throw money randomly. It seems the adventure of music was long time ago. Today, apart from the stock market that does whatever it wants, everything else is under control …
But myself, I have left unchecked.
Besides that, I will also have a little time to go swimming, play some tennis, read in the shade, exchange some words under the bower, and share barbecues in the garden with some friends… and then, there will always be those unexpected moments, those we all love to share.
CharlElie, July 2nd, 2012 – from New York, NY.
- Here is CharlElie’s new music video “les ours blancs” (“polar bears”). 2012
- We know you worked and became friends with Coluche. Can you tell us how you met him and what this relationship brought you?
One night, after my first show in Paris, a journalist took me to Coluche’s house. There were parties every night at his house. I arrived around 1.30 AM, and many people were there already, famous people, actors, musicians, celebrities. A few hours later, Coluche came to me, asking me who I was. We talked a little. I knew nothing about show business and he gave me some tips and precious advice.
Sometime later, Veronica, Coluche’s spouse came to see me backstage of one of my concerts in the suburbs of Paris to tell me that she loved the show. I was about to hit the road back to Nancy when she suggested that I could eventually sleep at their house. On this occasion, I met Coluche once again, and shortly after he asked me to share the scene of a theater where he would be playing in the early evening. I agreed.
That evening, after he left the stage, it was my turn. The room emptied in part, nevertheless, someone named Jean Henri Meunier stayed. Jean Henri Meunier would later introduce me to Chris Blackwell.
Indirectly, Coluche changed my life. For a few years after that, I continued to visit Coluche’s family every time I was in Paris, and I often slept at their home.
- Once you said: « Things have a meaning, things have a shape. Design is the meaning of the shape. » You have designed watches, shoes, and other objects, and you now expose at Dunes with the work of Richard Shemtov. What is your relation with the design industry?
I believe that Art is a proposal. Art is a raw expression of the sentimental power; Art is an unsolved riddle. The work of craftsmen is a know-how: a work of mastery under control. A designer has a map in his head, he knows where he goes. A designer redoes his draft until he reaches the image of his dream.
Expressing his uncontrolled emotions, an artist is motivated by a flow of contrary ideas. Most of the time, his message is not clear. The artist does not exactly know what he wants; he relieves himself of his feelings.
Designers have a certain sense of organization. They drive their aesthetic with a specific purpose in mind, they ‘re like the communicators who vehicles special meanings, with a pre-concerted idea of their goal.
When I draw objects, (watches, shoes or whatever) which must be executed by others, by machines or in series, then I have to condense my thoughts. A design must be both obvious and labeled.
- The New Yorker lifestyle can be very stressful and challenging. You work a lot and do not sleep much. You travel, you perform with full energy, you write, you always have a bunch of projects going on. This lifestyle is very demanding and tiring, so what do you do when you need to relax?
As you say this New-York stress has a strong hold on me. I love it as much as I hate it. Like a drug, you’re addicted to it. Not easy to say, take it or leave it! When I’m not in this effervescence, I feel guilty. I fear of missing something. I spent too much time dreaming of it. In France, sometimes, it takes months to come to a final decision, and I suffered from these delays. Now I’m under pressure, but I chose it. I’m on a wire; I have no security belt. I climb on my bare feet but I don’t look back.
I’m just too scared to stop, paralyzed on the steep face. When I slow down, I feel that all I do might be useless. When you act, you’re in a train that you must feed constantly. When I ask myself: why do I make all this ?…then I can become upset.
My job is as heavy and deep as it is light and trivial. Art is a speculation of love and hate. It’s a gambling. I’m excited like any gamblers.
When I do nothing, my mind gets tangled. Knots appear in the threads, and it freezes the trigger. I lose my clairvoyance and my objectivity.
To relax outdoor, I might play tennis, (nothing’s better for me to clear up my brain), exercise my body in many ways, walk in the streets at night, (visit the Apple store after midnight), go to a museum, go fishing on a boat, take a plane to somewhere “beachy”, have a BBQ party with some lazy cool local friends.
To relax indoor, nothing better than: make love, play cards with some friends, read magazines, surf on the net, cross your hands or go to the synagogue, watch silly programs on TV. But sometimes it’s not enough. I fall asleep rarely before 2.30 AM.
If sleep does not come when I’m spiritually flooded, sometimes my last chance to relax is to complete crosswords, and loose myself in a well of silence.
CharlElie, February 12th, 2012 – from New York, NY.
- Have you ever thought about teaching art in a university?
People seem to like asking me this question. It is probably because they have seen me making speeches during conferences and meetings, and because there’s not a single day without me trying to explain what creating is to my visitors at the REGallery NYC.
I could certainly talk about art and creation, or explain what “Multism” means. Multism will be the topic of my lecture at the Sorbonne in a few days.
Who knows? Maybe one day someone will ask me to have a chair for a university.
My qualifications would allow me to, but I’ve never done it yet. I was too busy, and to tell you the truth, I am still a bit scared of that particular atmosphere in the corridors and rooms of the French Universities.
If it happens here in the U.S., I could eventually accept it, but I don’t know, it really depends where…
- What is the best concert or performer you have ever seen live on stage?
Three shows left me a special feeling:
First, there is the Dollar Brand concert, a South African jazz pianist, where he played a series of pieces in tribute to Duke Ellington. It was 1973, in my hometown of Nancy, and it moved me to tears.
Then, there is a concert by Tom Verlaine in Paris at the Locomotive. It was in the late 2000s. He displayed beautiful mind control and everything was imperfect.
And finally, an extraordinary Bob Dylan concert at the United Palace Theater in Harlem in November 2008, where I went with one of my daughters.
In life there are ups and downs, but that night I got stuck to the ceiling. The ancient temple turned into a theater. It was divine.
Impressive ease, and he was (for once) generous. Bob Dylan is Bob Dylan, an entity full of power. He’s not a protest songwriter anymore; he is just a great artist. He performed as if he was at home. Accompanied by a hell of a group, he gave life to the dough of his pieces like potter mania clay. It received full spirit. Everything was strong and perfect, even the musicians had style in their gray suits.
Tony Garnier – Bass; George narratives – Drums; Stu Kimball – Rhythm Guitar; Charlie Sexton – Lead Guitar; Donnie Herron – Viola Banjo, Electric Mandolin, Pedal Steel, Lap Steel. No super stars, but all good.
1. Stuck Inside Of Mobile With The Memphis Blues Again (Bob on keyboard)
2. It Is not Me, Babe (Bob on guitar)
3. Man In The Long Black Coat (Bob on guitar)
4. It’s All Good (Bob on keyboard)
5. Spirit On The Water (Bob on keyboard and harp)
6. High Water (For Charley Patton) (Bob on harp center internship, Donnie on banjo)
7. Most Likely You Go Your Way (And I’ll Go Mine) (Bob on keyboard)
8. Forgetful Heart (Bob on harp center internship, Donnie on violin)
9. Cold Irons Bound (Bob on harp center placement)
10. I Feel A Change Comin ‘On (Bob on keyboard)
11. Highway 61 Revisited (Bob on keyboard)
12. Workingman’s Blues # 2 (Bob on harp center placement)
13. Thunder On The Mountain (Bob on keyboard)
14. Ballad Of A Thin Man (Bob on harp center placement) again:
15. Like A Rolling Stone (Bob on keyboard)
16. Jolene (Bob on keyboard)
17. All Along The Watchtower (Bob on keyboard)
Mix of old titles and more recent material, Dylan spent more time standing behind his keyboard than in front of the stage on guitar, but who cares.
It avoids the mannerisms and yet there is much elegance in all this.
It’s certainly one of the best shows I’ve ever seen in my life.
- What is your favorite spot in New York?
I must convince you that it is my gallery working space on 362 West 36th (bet. 8th and 9th).
In the working midtown, a multi activity aerie, full of surprises. I love it. As they say: it’s a conjunction in the middle of the town where different forces and strains come together.
Here are some exclusive photos during the shooting in New York of CharlElie’s latest music video clip: “Ta phosphorescence” (“Your phosphorescence“) in the album “Fort Reveur”.
The French morning corner interview with CharlElie.
The “Galerie W” in Paris, France, presents CharlElie’s work for the next month !
On Tuesday, CharlElie flew to France to inaugurate his new exhibition and the release of his book “New York Be CharlElie” at the “Galerie W“.
Opened every day from 10:30 a.m. to 8p.m.
4 Rue Epic, 75018 Paris. (Subway: Abbesses)
Did you know CharlElie composed a song “The Dove and The Raven” in homage of 9/11? Live and in English, the song was recorded in exclusivity in New York for the first time this Sunday during a France-Inter radio station show in memory of the tragedy’s 10th anniversary.
The theme of 9/11 is one to which CharlElie feels strongly connected. Just like New York after September 2001, CharlElie went and still goes through a rebuilding process. And the energy he finds in the city guides him during this challenging course. “New York is a city inhabited by pragmatic people who, instead of asking themselves why it happened, would rather find a way to make something positive out of it”, said CharlElie after performing the song.
Did you know CharlElie’s new book “New York Be CharlElie” (2011) will be released on October the 5th? Though completely different, the book is the continuation of his previous best selling photo book “New York by CharlElie” (2010). The volume regroups of course spectacular images of New York City, but most importantly images from the perspective of true New Yorker. And there’s no need to remind you that CharlElie is not just any ordinary New Yorker. His vision is to say the least intimate, innovative and enlightening. CharlElie pictures the city as a place where everything is in constant evolution – where each individual can spend his life building and rebuilding.
Make sure to order your copy online or pass by the RE-Gallery and get your autographed copy.
4 Exclusive photos:
10/10 – Galerie W in Paris, France, for the REALEASE of “New York Be CharlElie” (second photo book of the series “New York By CharlElie”).