Hugo Pernet

Questions (with Yannis Kostarias, September 2017):

Can you tell us about the process of making your work?

I’m going to my studio.

How would you define your work in few words (ideally in 3 words)?

Apples. Oranges. Bananas.

Can you name any artists you, lately or generally, take inspiration from?

One day, in a very small Parisian bookstore, I recognized Claude Royet-Journoud (a great French minimalist poet) : we were only the two of us in the store. I’m shy and he was my idol in poetry, at this period. I didn’t dare speaking to him. Later, I sent him some of my poetry works, and we started a correspondence. He sent me two rabbit soft-toys for the birth of my twin boys. I've never met him.

When was the latest video you watched on social media and had an impact on your mood? Which one?

I’m the perfect target for social media, and I have been using them for many years, that’s why recently I tried holding up. All is fun and depressing at the same time. You can post an extract of a Tarkovsky’s film, but, what is the sense of this ? Films are not clips, poetry is not posts. We don’t have to make art for the size of social media. But I like this bullshit so much. We also need mediocrity, as we are.

Creating a new painting is a solitary process. If this applies to you, when you concentrate on a new artwork does it affect your social life at all?

Yes, that’s an important point. I try to work when the other people work, ideally the day between 9 am and 5 pm. I can’t make art on sundays or on holydays, I want to be a normal person. Even if I know that’s wrong.

How do you know when a painting is finished?

So many people asked me that already and I have no response. Maybe, when we can’t make the painting better?

What about the place where you work? What's your studio space like, and how does it affect your process?

I share a space with a young painter named Hugo Capron. I like the idea that I’m not alone, even if Hugo is not here. I changed studios so many times these last years, for financial or personal reasons. Maybe that fact can explain in a way all the stylistic changes in my work recently. But I think I’m just afraid to be bored by my own work.

Which exhibition did you visit last?

The Rob Pruitt show at Air de Paris, rue Louise Weiss in Paris. That’s perfect, very good art, but I have zero taste for his work. Sometimes art is too good to be interesting. I don’t need an artwork that makes all that he supposed to do.

What do you hope audiences will take from your work?

I hope they would think it’s good, inspiring. If you give someone else the desire to go to work, to make something, it's sufficient to me. I have to say that there is a lot of very good painters of my generation, in France. They are not all represented by a gallery, but to see the work that they do is a great motivation for me. I want to be a part of it, I want to give my response.

What do your kids feel or think about your art?

I really don’t know, they are very young. They know that dad makes paintings, or canvases. I have been doing some paintings related to their conception, birth, or tastes as kids. And we do a lot of drawing together. But I don’t like doing painting with them, this is too much like “work” at home.

Are you a morning person or a night owl?

Kids = Morning

Is the glass half empty or half full?

Half empty, I’m so pessimistic. But my mind is strong

Which are your plans for the near future?

I have my studio for one more year, i need to work. I have been living alone for seven months now, part time with my kids, and part time for... i don’t know... recover/ be alone with one’s self? To be an artist is sexy when you’re under 30, but after, you have to be successfull. I could be promoting the upcoming shows for 2018, but this future is too far for me.

The Interview on Art Verge