I had the pleasure of speaking with Belgium artist, Geoffroy Mottart about his floral works. He places beards and wigs made of vibrant colors on public statues. With the generous French translation help of Carmen Kingsley, here is our interview.
ES: How would you describe your work?
GM: I style statues with floral compositions, because I feel like I am building a border between this long lasting art, anchored in time and ephemeral, but equally magnificent flowers.
I have been working with flowers for more than 20 years, I’m fond of the artistic creations created with them, however I love just as much the timelessness of the “Sculpture” that exists since the man discovered art .
This “border” between the ephemeral floral art and the lasting art of sculpture affects me a lot.
ES: What made you decide to create these flower pieces on public sculptures?
GM: A book called International Floral Art (http://fleurbookshop.com/international-floral-art-16-17.html) spotted me during my participation in florist competitions and asked me to send pictures of my artwork and that’s where things started to fall into place.
ES: You talk about the choice of statue for your work. You mention finding the right kind of statue for your work. Could you expand on that?
GM: It is not so much that I look for a very specific statue, instead I look for statues that could become nearly human when I style them. I appreciate statues that have subtle traits, that have depth to them.
ES: How do you choose the flowers for your pieces? Color, shape, meaning?
GM: I choose flowers based on several criteria:
– The character and delicacy of the statue’s features
– The statue´s color and material.
– The place where it is located.
– The season.
ES: How long does it take to create a piece? How long does it take to install a piece on a statue?
GM: I estimate that for the entire creation of a piece of art; it takes me about ten hours, the installation generally doesn’t take so much time, I work a lot in my workshop.
ES: I read that you take the pieces down after a few days because the flowers will fade and die. You said that keeping them up would give a different meaning to the piece. Could you explain a little more?
GM: My goal is to highlight the statues, and to leave the dead flowers on them would make the passerby much less interested in appreciating them. I am someone who loves beautiful things, color, life; and so it would be senseless to let the flowers rot.
ES: How do you want people to react to your work?
GM: I am not interested in a particular reaction, just the fact that people notice my work is an end in itself, since my goal is to make them rediscover what surrounds them.
ES: Would you call yourself a street artist?
GM: Yes, I define myself as an artist working in public space.
Thanks to Geoffroy Mottart for the interview and thanks to Carmen Kingsley for her amazing French translating work.