Now Showing: Artists Viviane Le Courtois and Charlie Boots
For this year's Now Showing, Westword's fall arts guide (you'll find it tucked into our September 26 issue), we asked artistic movers and shakers to answer a few questions about the state of the arts, both locally and around the world. We'll be rolling out their answers over the next few weeks in pairs that combine both veterans and newcomers in similar disciplines. Today, we'll hear from Denver artists Viviane Le Courtois and Charlie Boots.
vivianelecourtois.com Viviane Le Courtois, "Grazing," Biennial of the Americas, 2013.
Viviane Le Courtois, fine artist.
vivianelecourtois.com Viviane Le Courtois, "How to Eat an Artichoke?" 2010.
A thinker as well as an artist, Viviane Le Courtois grows her performances and installations from the roots up, always examining our relationship to the earth and how we are all part of a perpetual process of growth and decay. Her work is often a product of community and human give-and-take: moments when bread is broken with others or built on a framework of donated clothing...or even tumbleweeds; her sense of community also shines through in her job managing youth-arts programs at Downtown Aurora Visual Arts.
What do you think of recent developments in your field, and the current scene?
It seems that the Denver art scene is getting better, but it still does very, very rarely appear on the national/international art scene in reviews and publications. There are lots of venues and, in my opinion, better artists and venues than in many other cities. Unfortunately, it is still extremely difficult to sell any work of art or make a living as an artist in Denver.
What could be done to improve the scene?
Colorado needs grants for artists at the state level. Grants to make art, not just grants to teach or work with the community. We also need good contemporary art critics who can send reviews to national and international magazines. Galleries also need to be more selective and not show whatever comes to their doors. It is not because something sells that you should show it. This would result in a better scene, especially in several spaces on Santa Fe, where I have seen a lot of mediocre art. Exhibitions/events such as the Biennial of the Americas and other city events were very poorly planned this year. It's sad that Denver cannot plan more in advance or/and get more funding for visual arts.
The art scene does not need to become a party scene. Santa Fe already has become that, and the art quality is very low. Food trucks are now more interesting than the works, apparently. RiNo has become a party scene, and this will chase all of the good artists out of the neighborhood soon.
Who/what has inspired you most in your career?
Life, travel encounters, food, chance, the transformation of objects, thoughts when I walk around. People's obsessions and behaviors have also inspired me on many levels, everywhere I go. Discussions and interactions with other interesting individuals.
Who/what will you be watching for this arts season?
That is always a hard one: I have not seen too many works lately that made me think. Here are a few: Justin Beard, Alvin Gregorio, Dmitri Obergfell, Sarah Scott, the M12 Collective and Adam Milner.
Visit Vivian Le Courtois online for more information.
Continue reading for our Q&A with Charlie Boots.