Illustrator and photographer Katty Bouthier spoke to us about her art and why the art, not the format always come first.
Sick Of The Radio: You seem to be inspired by nature. What are your views about the state of the natural world?
Katty Boutier: I hear lots of that stuff. I believe a leaf of grass is no less than the journey work of the stars, Walt Whitman once said. My work doesn’t have anything to do with that. When I’m making an illustration I’m not concerned with that. But then, when it’s done you hope that it looks like that. There’s a lot going on in the design world at the moment. Last year it was the remembering the 80’s design thing, and now there’s another wave, that came out of that, that is bursting mostly in Europe but also in the United States, as the work of Mario Zoots. But I also think that it has to do with one’s visual culture and interest.
Sick Of The Radio: Do you think artist can make any impact?
Katty Bouthier: Sure, art is not what you see, it’s what you make others see.
Sick Of The Radio: What do you most love about your work?
Katty Bouthier: I don’t know. It’s just not beneficial to me to analyze myself. I think artists communicate their own nature into their work. It’s not about what I love more about my work, but what my emotions are at the moment.
I do not think that no one can fully explain how their pictures were formed. That is a thing that is for theorists to do. Although artists and art theorists belong to the same world but they represent different roles. Despite Susan Sontag having an insatiable passion for photography she didn’t practice. Art can not exist without the artists in the same way that art does not exist without the theorists. The two things are connected but they are totally different.
Sick Of The Radio: Where do you stand on the issue of digital vs.conventional film?
Katty Bouthier: I just like to create things that are visually special to me. From there, all the processes become important as long as they help me to get my result. When I studied photography, they were still much into the analog
photography and so I learned about the first “classic” photographers at
school: Berenice Abbott, Dorothea Lange, Josef Koudelka, William Kleine, Walker Evans, all of those…and so I grew interested in the processes to achieve certain effects in photography: light, grain, tones, contrast and the composition. I was very much into black and white photography back then. Later, I discovered Stephen Shore, and the color started to magnetize me more. Stephen was involved with Andy Warhol’s Factory Studio, he pictures to him and his creatives when he was about 16 /17. I also like Martin Parr, Martin who has a really humorous kinda of work despite being a totally different gender, and Nan Goldin’s, Thomas Ruff, Andreas Gursky, etc..Even if Stephen has been undoubtedly a clearly major influence to me. I beyond adore his work, the colors, the American life, banal scenes and objects etc…American Surface it’s by far one of my favorite photography works and he presented them as snapshots hanged on the wall randomly cause the pictures weren’t created sophisticatedly. If they had been technically sophisticated it would have lost the effect. I also love Uncommon Places. You can just see he makes a calculation before taking
pictures, he thinks about the composition, where things go better, the
moment he shoots it’s the final moment, there’s no turning back and for me
it’s what makes things also interesting. It’s this challenge. With digital
photography things are completely different, it’s like photography has
become a performative act. All people have digital cameras and access to
image editing programs, people take photographs of things they love as you
can see on the Internet and change it all the time to this fashion vintage
style. It’s like before clothes were important for the personal statement
but now it’s clothes and photography. Everybody is a photographer now. And
in reality little happens in life that’s worth documenting.
Sick Of The Radio: What is next for you?
Katty Boutier: Yummy ice creams with chocolate and crunchy peanut butter topping.
Sick Of The Radio: Mmm, sounds tasty!
By Martha Raymond