Claire Tabouret’s “Siblings” opens tomorrow at Perrotin in Seoul. On view through July 10, the exhibition includes a series of portraits painted in 2019 from found photographs of real people and images from her own childhood.
Debuting during a global pandemic, where social distancing is the new norm, Tabouret now sees the paintings as a reminder of the importance of community. These gestural, glowing works capture a connection we are all craving during this time of isolation.
Whitewall checked in with the Los Angeles-based artist a few weeks ago to see how she’s doing.
WHITEWALL: How are you doing?
CLAIRE TABOURET: I am doing well. I think as an artist we are used to dealing with uncertainty, so we have some training to face this situation.
WW: What are you listening to, reading, watching?
CT: I’ve been reading a book about Vuillard’s life. I’ve been thinking a lot about his interior paintings recently, as I’ve been staying home more than usual. I am dreaming of some paintings of my life at home that I might start soon.
I’ve been watching sports documentaries, as I miss live sports on TV. I am very inspired by athletes, their dedication, and their obsessiveness.
I also just watched Portrait of a Lady on Fire by Celine Sciamma. It’s a beautiful movie about painting, portrait, desire, and love. All my favorite subjects! The way she films faces is absolutely stunning.
I’ve been listening to Helen Molesworth‘s podcasts that she did with the Getty Center.
WW: What are you cooking?
CT: I’ve been baking chocolate cakes. And ordering delicious meals from our neighborhood restaurants! I hope the bars and restaurants will survive these times, and I will order delivery, or pick up food, as long as I can, to support them!
WW: How are you staying connected?
CT: I am using Instagram, Facetime, Skype, Zoom, and regular phone calls, too. I talk more often with my family than I used to, as we all have more time to connect. So that’s nice.
I find the professional Zoom meetings very exhausting. I’ve never liked talking with too many people at the same time, even in real life. I get overwhelmed and everything turns into abstraction.
WW: Are you able to find the time to create or work in your studio?
CT: I just finished a show that shipped a few days ago to Seoul. I had started this group of paintings last year, way before we had even heard about Coronavirus. When I finished working on these paintings in the past few weeks, the world had completely changed. It was quite a surreal experience, that in such a short period of time, these images of kids playing soccer in the sun were suddenly a representation of the past. When I started them, they felt very alive, and about present time, but all of a sudden, they were nostalgic.
WW: How are you staying hopeful?
CT: The nature where I live in Los Angeles is very present, even in the city it is luxuriant. Especially at this time of the year everything is blossoming. Spring gives me hope. Even if we, humans, fuck it up really bad, life will go on.