Michel Comte: “We need to listen to nature”
Mr. Comte, why did you decide to move away from fashion and portrait photography?
I hate repetition. You know how they say every nine or 10 years, you want to change locations? People get tired of their homes… Life works in cycles that way. But actually, I continue doing portraiture now more than ever.
I just don’t talk about it. The project I’m working on just isn’t revealed right away, but it will be after eight years. It is a gigantic portrait project focusing on women; it’s an attempt to really show the real essence of who we are. So there are these pictures that are all going to light up all the biggest billboards in the world on the same day at the same time. Even though there are many, many companies involved, there’s never a brand that’s shown in the images. So it’s not like I’m stopping the portraits, I’m just using different tools: they’re much larger and I want to communicate in a way that’s different. I’m not in the service business anymore!
Katharina Grosse: “I don’t see limits”
Ms. Grosse, when did you first start to think outside of the canvas as an artist?
I never thought that a painted work was limited to the canvas. It’s always been multi-dimensional. Even when I was a student, when I painted, I would always paint on different kinds of surfaces and objects very organically, and then add other things. As a child I would attach many sheets of papers together and paint volcanoes on top of the mound and play music for it. I’ve always thought that an activity doesn’t stop, but instead it goes into another realm of your life and turns into something else.
So you’ve never seen the surface or object as limiting?
Well, one of the things that I distinctly remember thinking about the world is this idea of being able to trespass. When I went to galleries, I wouldn’t only look at the paintings, I would look at lot of things — and then I realized that this kind of observation runs throughout human history. If you go and see cave paintings, for example, you notice that the cave itself was a very important part of the image. It is not just about the tortoise that’s drawn. So, no, I don’t see limits.