Back Talk: A Conversation with Rene Gagnon

Juxtapoz // Wednesday, 31 Aug 2011
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An omnivore with an eye for placement, Rene Gagnon bills himself as a post-graffiti Abstract Expressionist, but really he loves everything. An actual teacher, Gagnon is also a synthesizing student of many contemporary movements with a preponderance of pop, street art, and graffiti, where almost any style could be interesting and employed. One recurring theme is the female form, whether experimenting with street tough paint-splattered glamour chics or romanticized rouge cheeked yesterdames, Rene usually makes sure to get his girl. ~ Steven P. Harrington and Jaime Rojo

 

1. One reason you make art:

To keep me from being locked up in an institution.


2. The last good movie you saw:

“TRON Legacy 3D”

3. Something you’ve always wanted to do, but have yet to:

Paint in zero G.

4. Favorite country or city visited:

Costa Rica - need the warm waves.

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5. A few words that sum up your philosophy on life:

You’re as busy as you want to be.

6. Something you want the world to know about you:

'Rene' is a guys name. I get emails frequently to be part of female only exhibitions. Mmmmm I just had an idea. Impersonate a woman = more shows.

7. Something that annoys or frustrates you about people:

I'm pretty easygoing. It's hard to get me fired up. If I had to pick something, I guess it's when I see people exiting drive throughs hurling their trash out the car window.

8. Something that concerns you:

Global Climate Shift

9. Artists you admire:


Mr. Brainwash - He achieved what I thought would surely be impossible.

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10. Favorite quote(s):

“What lies before us and what lies behind us are tiny matters compared to what lies within us” - Emerson

11. The first record or CD you ever bought? The last album you downloaded?

First has to be RUN DMC - with the Krush Groove jam. Eminem, “Relapse & Recovery.”

12. Something you do when you’re procrastinating?

Make myself mental trying to organize in my head all the shit I have to do.

13. What is your most defining characteristic?

My inability to say 'no' to people.

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14. What is your greatest fear?

My loved ones dying before me.

15. The moment you realized you were an ‘artist’:

When I saw a guy hurling buckets of paint in the air behind the engine of a 747 on TV, I was probably 4-5 years old.

16. Your greatest quality:

My ability to focus and execute and I'm pretty patient person as well.

17. Something you wish you could change or alter about yourself:

Nothing. I'm comfortable in my own skin and with my own company.


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18. What is the biggest risk you’ve ever taken and was it worth it?

I've taken many, many risks and I'm still alive. So they have all been worth it. I'm a bit of an adrenaline junkie.

19. Something you wish you had known five years ago:

I wish I knew the mill my old studio was in was going to freeze solid and all the pipes were going to explode. I would have moved out sooner.

20. What do you hope to accomplish in the next five years of your life?

 

Be a full time artist.

 

All photos © Jaime Rojo

You can see Rene Gagnons’s work in the new group show, “Street Art Saved My Life: 39 New York Stories”

Curated by Steven P. Harrington and Jaime Rojo, founders of Brooklyn Street Art

In collaboration with ThinkSpace Gallery

Opens at C.A.V.E. Gallery, Friday August 12th 6-10pm

Runs until September 4th

C.A.V.E. Gallery
www.cavegallery.net

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