EK Interview: Pascal Vilcollet

art blog - Pascal Vilcollet - Empty Kingdom

We featured the work of Pascal Vilcollet in September of this year.  His distinct painting style is stunning and captivating, check out his interview below:

Where are you from?  Where do you live now?  How have the different places as well as other places you may have lived changed you?  Helped you mature and grow?

Currently I am in Paris and I live in the 11th arondissement.  I was raised in the Paris suburbs but I studied graphic design in Paris.  Fortunately, there was not much to do in my suburb.  I discovered very early museum galleries, it is there that I knew I would be painting later.  I’m now fortunate enough to have my own workshop dedicated solely to painting.

art blog - Pascal Vilcollet - Empty Kingdom

Can you tell us about a recent, beautiful moment that you had that made you happy for the rest of the day?

When I learned that I was going to expose transformed modern art in Moscow for a collective exhibition.  Or when I bought my MacBook or at lunch with my girlfriend yesterday morning …  The shower in the morning when I wake up …  Finally, I am often happy.

art blog - Pascal Vilcollet - Empty Kingdom

Your series ‘Face’ is predominantly male, why is that?  In ‘Calvary Girls’ you have painted both faces and bodies, but all women.  Was it a difficult transition to go from male faces to female bodies?  How do you feel, emotionally, doing the different series?

Face for my series I wanted to do portraits of people marked by the time this is the reason why I painted more men than woman.  I then went to the series “Women of Calvary” and I asked for more concentration because mistakes are more obvious on the body and the need to understand the position before start painting. The emotion was the same for each series.  At first I felt the frustration and the desire to move quickly and then the fun comes at the end when I’m almost finished the canvas.  Happiness is the result of a finished painting even though I’m never satisfied ..

art blog - Pascal Vilcollet - Empty Kingdom


What inspired you to do the series on dogs?  Do you have a dog?

After working on my series “Face” I needed to feel freer without cares about the resemblance.  I thought naturally of dogs, and then I really wanted to paint a “bad dog”. I see humanity in dogs and saw a challenge in paintings this. I finally feel like humans painted. I had a dog “Hercules”.

art blog - Pascal Vilcollet - Empty Kingdom

Who has influenced you artistically?  Have you been mentored?  Have you mentored anyone?  What kind of support community do you have?

I love the paintings of Caravaggio.I have very eclectic tastes, I appreciate enormously Pierre Soulage. And of course like a lot of people I love Bacon, Velasquez. As for painters of today I like Jenny Saville, Justin Mortimer. I do not have a mentor I taught myself to paint even though I am a trained graphic designer. I would not want to be a mentor because I have so much to learn, but I give all the same at a school in Paris.This is a new experience that I like.


When you first began painting how did you approach a new piece?  How has that changed over time?

I’ve always been very fast. I used to think ‘try not too ask me questions and get to the point’.  But now I take more time. It is the desire that guides me, I can wait for hours before the white canvas to reflect the composition and where to start.  Now let’s say I’m less hurry and I do things slowly.

art blog - Pascal Vilcollet - Empty Kingdom

Of all your work, which is your favorite piece and why?  Which are you most proud of?

I have no preference in my work …  I often say that the next picture will be good. It is the hope that drives me to paint, hoping to one day be satisfied …  I’m proud of anything, just a little happy with the last painting and then I move quickly to something else.


What are you working on right now?  What’s next for you?

I am currently working on a series called “Teddy box”.  This is a series of canvas much more complex than anything I’ve done before because this is a very important time for reflection.  It is larger format as well, 400x250cm. And I am preparing for a solo exhibition in January 2013 in Paris.  But for now the project that I have my heart set on Teddy box “.

art blog - Pascal Vilcollet - Empty Kingdom

What is your favorite kind of fruit?

My favorit fruit is the Durian a fruit found in Asia. It smells bad, but prepared is good! I like figs hummmmm!