“These two women painted on the door, to me, are a symbol of the old Europe and the new America. They represent this duality that exists in my own spirit, the tradition of European painting and the novelty and modernism of American painting since the 1950’s. They are also an affirmation of my name and my sense of belonging to my group of graffiti artists. The door also represents my friendship with the painter DOK. The first name of each person that I met in Houston is inscribed on the door to evoke my gratitude to those who opened their door to me and gave me support.” Skunkdog
1- Skunkdog, were you familiar with Texan-French Alliance for the Arts prior to participating on this project?
Yes, I had heard of it from friends living in Houston. And I had received pictures of the open door exhibition.
2. What drew you to participate in this project?
Participating in a project is always a challenge especially when the support/material is original.
3. What are your thoughts on Public Art and did your experience with Open the Door (OTD) change your perception or understanding of the potential impact this art form can have on a community? Please explain.
I have participated in several projects in which the artworks were exhibited in the street, like the cow parade or the Cool globe and the funny zoo in Marseille. It’s great fun to see the reactions of people on the street and the reactions are often surprising. What I like in all of that is the reactions of the children who are usually enchanted by what they can see on the street. But the art on the street should certainly trigger the interest of people who have no access to art in their daily lives.
The idea of a door painted on one side by one artist and the other side by another artist opens a set of amusing questions & answers. I liked it so, and I hope to get a chance on my return to Houston to meet local artists. In each city in each country, artistic approaches are different, and art is nourished by encounters and exchanges. I painted Houston differently, the city, the people have influenced me. We always grow up when we travel and work in a country that is not ours. I have already participated in these kinds of projects and I’ll do it again for it is important to experience art in the street.
4. What was the most important thing you learned from it and/or what surprised you about this process?
You always learn when you paint away from your studio, the most important thing was the encounter with the people who opened their doors to realize this project. the astonishing diversity of the American people, their good spirit and their hospitality.
I am a painter who uses energy, the word and who follows his instinct. I never know where I go when I start painting, I adapt to the support and I try to paint my everyday life. I liked expressing and giving a little piece of France with my painting.
5. How did this project enhance your connection with or understanding of Houston and Houston’s multi-ethnic communities (given the diverse locations of the doors across Houston)?
I am impregnated with American culture, music, cinema, painting. Expertise is different between old Europe and the new world, but the ideas are often consistent. Global thinking is taking place all around the world, only the sensitivities and the way we express ourselves change from a continent to another. With the emergence of street art, language has become identical. From the encounters that I made in Houston, I can say that multiculturalism is obvious here as it is in my city of Marseille.
6. Did this project impact your community, family or organization? How? Any final thoughts? For example, what artistic doors would you like to open in the future (individually, collectively or institutionally)?
I will able to tell you more upon my return to Houston, a month and a half spent here does not allow me to answer you, but what I can say is that the French people in Houston are sensitive to this project.
The foreign sun,
it squints upon
A bed that is never mine
As friends and other strangers
From their fates try to resign
Leaving men wholly, totally free
To do anything they wish to do but die
And there are no trials inside the Gates of Eden