Charlotte Conrad


Should we start with color or start practicing drawing? Is it the initial memory of an American night, or in the thick of the canvas, the hum, as if all of this was inhabited by the possibility of life? The paint pulls you from all sides. Charlotte Conrad is not in the singular, but in the plural of history. With each canvas, reconstruction begins. Green, young and blue, through the child's eyes. She's ten years old, it's a morning of the soul and in her little hand ...

Its the emotion of childhood that interests me
We meet in an imaginary room. We are between Togo, Ghana and the city of Chicago, aboard a plane that makes a white line on the blue board. “People often say that my painting is African. I think it was before. She's like that, because I'm coming back to that childhood emotion that interests me. " It is in this matter of time that she seeks, in these first scintillations of the spirit, that she takes, piece by piece, the fabric from which she weaves the work. Collage, patchwork, composite fabric, whether it is oil, linocut, its installations and its objects, the operation will be the same. “I start by writing. Pieces of sentences, poetry, and then I extend with the drawing, I flatten out possibilities, on which I will build, little by little ... "The sentence stops, but the thread is not broken. 

Basically, that's what we need to talk about. Of a story. In this, yes, Charlotte Conrad's painting is African. It follows an invisible time, it maintains the memory and the course to be undertaken. To live. And for that, take the piece of fabric and continue making. Africans do the same, in the madness of this world, to hold in their hand the object that gives meaning. A brush, a needle, a stool on which to sit and which is of utmost importance. Spiritual. The five years she spent in West Africa taught her this importance of the object. In short, to have crossed the teachings of the Art Institute of Chicago and the benevolent attention of Ablade Glover, the great Ghanaian painter.

Kossi Homawoo's meeting dates back to the same time, in the late 1990s. He says her painting is immense and that it is with her that the first lamps were born. “We had seen things in Paris, columns by Brancusi. The idea was from Kossi, really. To build these columns or to reproduce my paintings, and to light them. Personally, I was only interested in creation. The object, I didn't know what it was. " It came little by little, through the making of totem lamps and the first luminous paintings, a complicity of art which overflows the canvas, which is everywhere, of art which lives in a stool, in a lighted lamp. one evening, in the storm, shared comfort.

"One day they leave, they don't belong to me anymore, that's how it is, and they are there for another person." Charlotte conrad

Charlotte Conrad is truly an artist, because her painting is open to the world and the idea of commercialization is completely indifferent to her. Only one thing interests him, it is to be in the painting, or the engraving, to go up this river, to make the unfathomable light shine. “I loved the idea of putting color on these objects. They are inhabited by something. One day they leave, they don't belong to me anymore, that's the way it is, and they are there for another person. "
It was Cage who spoke of creation as a shared emotion. Charlotte Conrad is fundamentally in this movement of the mind.

RC (ZO mag’)