Interview Part One:

I was pleased to be able to have an in-depth conversation with the team at Printist. We discuss many of my ideas, my work process, the nature of art, can a painting be a painting if you don’t use paint?, and my series Painting With A Camera: Flowers.

The interview is presented in two parts.

Read an excerpt below and follow the link to the full interview.

Interview Part One:
https://printist.io/blog/painting-with-a-camera-interview-with-michael-p-toussaint-/
-----

P: Can you tell us a little about yourself and your art?

M: I usually refer to myself as a creative. That's because, as an artist, I don't place limitations on myself. I explore my creativity, my art, in whatever medium I feel it needs to be expressed. I guess that means I'm a multi-media artist. But these are category tags at best. My viewpoint does not differentiate between modes of creativity. Instead, my approach is one of theory to which the modes conform. The creative act is never closed. It is always open.
I would like to believe there is diversity to my art. One of the differentiating factors is my approach. Before I even attempt to create the art, I have a working theory and understanding of the nature of the project. I could write an extensive analysis of the project, how it works, its underlying ideas and meaning, etc., before producing a single image. Despite entering the project with this foundation, which makes it seem that everything else about creating the art is formulaic and systematic, I never know what the final work will look like. The art is always a surprise; it is always open.
-----

P: When first viewing images from your series, Painting With A Camera: Flowers, I wasn’t sure what I was looking at. I was initially drawn in by their explosive colors, but I wasn’t sure if I was looking at a painting, a photograph, or what? While some works held on to their representational nature, others appeared as an abstraction. If it weren’t for the series title, I might not even be aware that I was viewing flowers. How did this series come to be? What was its inspiration?

M: I love cinema as an art form and have studied it extensively. It has informed much of my creative work, even though it isn’t apparent for most projects. One day I was viewing film stills when one caught my attention. The still, the shot, was from inside a car looking through the windshield. It was raining. Water covered the windshield in great flowing gusts making it difficult to identify anything. You could make out the lights from other cars and the city streets, but it was distorted through the water. I was reminded of an abstract painting. The construction of the image seemed simple—a camera filming through water that abstracts light. Photographing a subject through a filter is almost as old as photography itself. I saw potential in the process and began exploring it.

You may also like

Back to Top