Louis Granet’s colorful creations have been seen around the world—appearing at art fairs like FIAC in Paris, Expo Chicago, Art of Los Angeles, Art Dubai, Untitled in San Francisco, and SCOPE in Miami Beach. His work has also graced an array solo and group shows, in spaces like Neumann Wolfson Art in New York, Cuturi Gallery in Singapore, The Flat in Milan, and the Fondation Louis Vuitton in Paris.
Those that are new to the Paris-based artist’s work may first recognize the characters within his images—like Captain Crunch, Chester Cheetah, Tweety Bird, Mickey Mouse, and Winnie the Pooh. But those fictional characters aren’t necessarily ones that Granet recognized years ago, growing up in France and unfamiliar with most of American cartoon culture. That didn’t stop him from being inspired by it though, and today, it’s one of his biggest influences.
Those that are familiar with his work, however, have seen it grow and grab new subject matter—like Hawaiian print t-shirts, shelves at the deli, bushels of flowers, and packs of candy. Granet’s paintings offer the viewer a chance to discover something old or new, and remind people of everyday items that are either normal or wildly cool depending on you call home.
Whitewall caught up with Granet to see how he’s doing with social distancing, and what he’s working on now.
WHITEWALL: How are you doing?
LOUIS GRANET: As good as possible. A week before the start of confinement in France, I had the opening of my solo-show, “Avec le goût,” in New York at Neumann Wolfson. It was a great moment. At that time, people were talking a lot about COVID-19 without knowing that it would go as far as it has.
On March 6, I left for Guadeloupe on my girlfriend’s father’s boat, then I returned to take refuge in Paris at my home on March 20. I tried to work in the workshop, but the gloomy atmosphere that day led me to paint at home. I installed my workshop in my living room.
I work a lot every day, from 8 a.m. until 9 p.m. It’s my way of occupying space, of occupying time. I work on commissions. I’m preparing the next exhibitions (of course offbeat), and I stay focused. It’s a real test, but I’m optimistic.
WW: What are you listening to, reading, watch?
LG: The same music as before the pandemic—a lot of French rap. I read little these days, I watch unimportant films, and I especially listen to podcasts.
WW: What are you cooking?
LG: I signed an unspoken contract with Marie (my girlfriend, who I live with)—she cooks and I do the housework and go shopping. Let’s say that I slalom between the Parisian zombies.
WW: How are you staying connected?
LG: At the beginning, I read a lot of everything that was said—news articles, social media. But I stopped. It worried me too much. Now, I diagonally read a little in the morning.
WW: How are you staying creative? Are you able to make work at this time?
LG: I always need to work; breaks scare me. I am unable to stop working. If I stop, I die. LOL.
WW: Where are you finding inspiration?
LG: In old sketches; in life before the pandemic, and life after the pandemic!