Taking the classic style of the past and placing it with the trends of today. It’s something that many artists across various creative outlets have done for years now. How many times have we heard a rapper sample a song from the ‘70s and make it anew? As with music, artists that paint, sketch and like Léo Caillard, sculpt, also take on this idea. At first glance, a lot of his work looks like it stepped out of a history book. Then you’re hit with an insane modern whiff and are taken aback and have to let out a little chuckle. Both humorous and beautiful, Léo Caillard’s art encapsulates classic notes while presenting the present. We talked with him about that, timeless art and more in this back and forth.
Kendra: Born in the ’80s, you’re someone that grew up in a great time for pop culture. Would you say anything you grew up with could be counted as timeless art?
Léo Caillard: Our society is working on a daily timescale. Nothing last more than 24 hours now (like the stories on Instagram ) it started after the Second World War and it’s getting faster. Most of the Contemporary Art is also part of this model; Street Art, Pop Art made on plastic material etc.)
I don’t think anything I grew up with will be timeless art. That’s why I like to work on classical raw materials such as Bronze and marble. And maybe open a “Neo-Classicism” new style of art movement. Actually, we see plenty of very well known Artists going back on heavy raw materials such as Hirst, Xu Zhen, Koons etc. Most of them indeed.
Kendra: You’re also in this category of artists that came up in the digital age. Like with any generation of artists, what negatives and positives come with the digital era?
Léo Caillard: It’s definitely some amazing creative tools (3D, photography, virtual reality, augmented reality) It’s very helpful for the creation. However, as I said previously, it tends to set us out of the reality, without any duration on creation. That’s why it’s important to work back on real material after digital research on software.
Kendra: “Hipster in Stone.” We got to talk about this. Wonderful, timely concept. When you had the idea, what was the message you were trying to convey and do you feel it was delivered?
Léo Caillard: “The clothing makes the man.” The idea is to describe how we are part of social habits to define who we are. The way we change our relation to the statue because of the clothing was an interesting and humoristic way to make us think about our “Narcisse” ego personality.
Kendra: Is there a hipster trend that you wanted to do but didn’t get a chance to that we could see in the future?
Léo Caillard: Yes, many of them. But I might have some more important and new ideas to create before going back on the “Hipsters in Stone” series. The world is changing very quickly and art must be more engaged with political and ecological issues now. Part of that was that you like to play with time.
Kendra: With that, if you had the chance to go back or forward in time to sit with one of the greats – which would you choose. And yes, going into the future would be a total surprise.
Léo Caillard: If I go in the past, I mean…so many of them…hard to choose. Praxiteles sculptor, Pythagoras mathematician, Socrate philosopher, Michelangelo sculptor when he did the Pieta, Hegel Philosopher, Einstein scientist when he made the “general relativity” space and time. All my inspiration indeed.
If I go in the future, I would love to jump forward in 2200 see if we are still there and what will remain from our destructive consumer society. And of course, meet some new artist from that time. I am sure art will be part of this new world based on sharing positive relations.
Kendra: What can people look forward to from you in 2019?
Léo Caillard: Hyper-realistic polychrome sculptures and “light” sculptures will be the main focus of my new Art creations in 2019.