065: Complex simplicity. Artist Georges Le Chevallier creates “visual molecular gastronomy”

Artist Georges Le Chevallier had his first major solo exhibition over 25 years ago, and since then his paintings have been exhibited extensively nationally and internationally in distinguished galleries and museums. As you’ll hear, he has lived, studied and created all over the world and brings a global perspective and sensibility to his work. We begin our conversation hearing about Georges’ fascinating family history, his time in NYC, and how living and creating in NC works for him now. Then we zero in on Georges’ work with Shibui (or simplicity) in his visual art, his creative process, and his life. He combines this concept of Shibui and the culinary artistry of Raleigh chefs to create paintings of “visual molecular gastronomy”. Check out his website http://www.glcart.com to see his paintings based on such dishes as Jamaican Curry Goat, Chilled Espresso with Ginger Beer and Rosemary-Grapefruit Bitters, Paella with Shrimp and Squid, and Birthday Cake. You’ll hear us talk about food a lot in this conversation, so have a snack nearby.

You’ll also hear a few spicy words sprinkled throughout our conversation, just fyi in case you have little ones around.

This episode is brought to you by the Soapboxers, the official patrons of the Artist Soapbox. If you like these episodes and want more, get on the Soapbox! This episode was recorded at Shadowbox Studio. Artist Soapbox theme music by Bart Matthews. Additional audio editing by Merrybelle Park Productions.

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QUESTIONS FOR GEORGES

BACKGROUND

When reading your bio, it becomes immediately apparent that you have lived a geographically expansive life — meaning you’ve lived, studied, and created all over the world, you speak multiple languages — would you tell us a little about your background (family, growing up, etc)?

How did you come to NC? You said at a certain point it would be unthinkable to be living in NC — why does it work for you? What appeals to you about making work here?

You have very rich global perspective and experience to draw upon — how has that influenced your art?

SHIBUI SERIES

What is Shibui? How did you come across this concept? How has it changed your art/your life? (prior to this discovery — was your work very different?)

Related to the culinary Shibui work: When did this idea come to you and why did it excite you? How do you approach chefs, and then what is the creation process for you? What reactions have you heard from chefs after seeing your work inspired by their dishes?

What do you hope your Shibui Series conveys to viewers?

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Quotes:

It’s more important to have knowledge, and I think travel brings you first hand knowledge. It makes you wise.

I became an artist to do what I want, not to do what was expected.

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