THE ART OF LIVING WITH ART – ALEX JUTE
“WHAT I DREAM ABOUT IS THE ART OF BALANCE, PURITY AND SERENITY, DEVOID OF ANXIETY AND DEPRESSION… A SOOTHING, SOOTHING EFFECT ON THE MIND, SOMETHING LIKE A GOOD CHAIR THAT PROVIDES RELAXATION FROM PHYSICAL FATIGUE”. “~ANRI MATISS
INSTALLATION PHOTO OF A ROPE CHANDELIER MADE BY AN ALEX JOUETTE FOR A WESTBRIDGE RESTAURANT IN BOSTON, USA.
I am often asked the age question “What is Art? I feel that if you ask 100 different people for the same question, you’re likely to get 100 different answers, because in reality art is a lot of different things for different people: for a gallery owner it can be a business of ideas and aesthetics, for an artist it can be everything an artist says, for a viewer it can be almost a religious experience or just something that people hang on their walls. However, for me art is a language, an aesthetic means of communication. Therefore, when I decide to live with art or display it to the public, I do it as a means of communication that goes beyond written or oral communication.
AN OLD PHOTO OF AN ATELIER WITH A KAYAK CHANDELIER, ETC. WITH ALEX JOUETTE AND OTHER LIGHTING FROM RIDGLEY AND GREENWOOD STUDIOS.
In my own little studio world (live/working studio) art and design are not just things that hang on the walls, but essentially things with their own lives that communicate with each other, as well as with visitors to my home and sometimes the outside world. These are things that I have created, not just from the wildlife of my imagination, but as a culmination of experience; from reading, researching, observing, to traveling, surfing and so on. Although it may seem a bit unpleasant and thoughtful, in fact it is the best way to see art as far as I understand.
THE ARTIST ENDS THE DRAWING WITH A LARGE 68 X 58 INCH HORIZON LINE
For me the process of creating a work of art should reflect at least part of what a person is trying to convey. In my Horizon lines series, I create these works, sometimes for a month or two, kneeling down on canvas or paper, drawing with slow, thoughtful lines using oil pens. One of the curators recently described these works as “meditative and bewitching”, which I love because that is what I wanted. By creating works in this process that are based on philosophical ideas and abstractly depict sea landscapes, I am simply trying to let the viewer apply my own unique experiences to something that is quite universal. Living with my work, before sending it into the world, I get to see firsthand how others react and how my reaction to the work changes over time. As soon as I get satisfaction from what they do with what I have set for them, I release them into the world so that they can live a different life and interact with more people; the ultimate goal is that these works will last much longer than I have and will continue to communicate with future generations.
HORIZONS, BY ALEX JOUET
In my atelier, design takes equal place with art, and both will ideally play with each other and communicate. I have always been interested in remaking old things that could otherwise be thrown away. Things like old kayaks and canoes are removed, wrapped and turned into large (sometimes 16 foot) chandeliers. Much of this comes from hunting at flea markets. A few years ago I came across an old climbing rope in the gym and realized that I could hang it and hang it like a suspended lamp. After living with it for a few months and reconfiguring it, people often asked to buy it, but I always refused because it was my only one. With one click of the light bulb, I soon thought I could buy a manila rope and, based on my experience of sailing tall ships in the Caribbean, create a line of “rope lights” that are now sold everywhere – from Google offices in Ireland to Starbucks cafes in Boston and Toronto; and far beyond Dubai, Singapore and Indonesia, in bars, restaurants and homes of all kinds. If it wasn’t for my love of sailing, they would never have come to play. But, moreover, rope lights, chandeliers for kayaks and fragments of the Horizon Line – all this works together in eclectic and marine interaction. My seemingly eclectic elements of art and design – all this fits into a common theme that defines my daily life in the city, with daily reminders of the sun and the sea… that will always motivate me, wherever I am.
Alex is represented by Alison Milne Gallery, Toronto; Elan Fine Art, Vancouver; his works are on display all over Canada and in the states.