As far as I can remember, art has always been part of my life. Around the age of 11, I was so fascinated by the magic of black & white photography that I spent most of my playtime in a darkroom or drawing and painting anything that attracted my wandering mind. I guess being born in the Northeast part of France, where the colors are rare, I was attracted by the subtle colors of Japanese art as well as, on the other hand, by the bright colors of the American Pop Art. So, when I moved to Tokyo, I started to mix the two the same way that the Japanese culture does and that’s how my Pop World Project started. For me Art has to make people happy. I want my collectors to smile when they wake up in the morning and look at my paintings on their wall.
My Pop World Project is also my way of recycling daily objects that people don’t really look at or appreciate.
When I was still living in Japan I became fascinated by the designs of the different soft drink cans there, especially after they were emptied and thrown away to be flattened out by cars and time . Their shape and design took on a new dimension - one that was unique to each can, and I found myself starting a collection of those that had the most interesting shapes and textures. As I travelled all around the world I kept on collecting discarded cans that had a special beauty for me. My assistants would always wind up laughing as I would often run out into the middle of the street just to pick up some lonely flat can that no one paid any attention to. At the time I had no idea what to do with my growing little hoard of beautiful rubbish ... but I found that I was not alone in my attraction to their uniqueness. Every time I returned home, which was by then in Malibu, my son was more captivated by my cans than by the presents I brought him. Sometimes I would sit in my studio in the calm of the night, and put them on the floor of my studio and make different shapes and collages with the cans. Then I started taking some black and white photographs of them and did a couple of exhibitions. But I was not satisfied with the results. So I kept on collecting for a few more years...And one day, I took out a canvas and started to paint the cans I loved best, creating a series of paintings.
One by one I deconstructed them totally in my mind and then tried to recreate the beauty I saw in each one, especially that of the light creating amazing, rich metallic reflections. That is why each painting is infused with gold, silver and copper pigments which I mix to try and show the unique light and beauty each of the cans I chose for this series holds for me.
Claude Charlier is an artist born in Nancy, France. He knew at a very early age that photography and painting was going to be his life's passion, though his studies remained on the classical arts; music and fine art in particular. After the usual first jobs, including working as a photographer for the French Government, he was asked to come and work at Paris Match after doing a scoop of a jail revolution. At that time, he also started to collaborate with Shuji Terayama, writer and director of the Tenjo Sajiki and Suzuki Tadashi director of the Waseda Shogekijo, then co-wrote and directed “Laurence de Paris”. But soon, he realized that the theater world was not the perfect fit for him and he left Paris and London for Tokyo, and began a life that took him all over the world.
Apart from photography and painting, he also worked as an art director for 4 years creating international campaigns for majors Japanese companies, did a couple of morning shows for Japanese networks and helped in creating several magazines like Tokyo Journal, Vu and G magazine.
Claude has lived and worked in Japan, Europe, South East Asia and in the USA, where he currently resides. His work has appeared in of the world’s major publications, and his client list includes an impressive list of the world’s major corporations and publications. He has won back to back awards for best annual reports over a six year period, and received the Mercury Award for his work for Ricoh Company, Best advertising campaign for NEC twice, Best magazine add for Nikon Camera campaign, etc....
Several of his shows have been sponsored by Nikon, Pentax, and Ilford & Kodak. Claude Charlier is listed in both the “Dictionnaire des Photographes” and in the “Encyclopedie de la Photographie”.His works has also been purchased by several galleries and private collectors.
Selected exhibitions and art fairs:
Pentax Gallery, Tokyo 1981
Rockefeller Center, New York 1982
Nikon House, New York 1982
Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris 1983
Art Center, Tokyo 1984
Imperial Hotel, Tokyo 2006
Damien B. Art Center, Miami 2004-2005
Art Basel Miami 2005
Gallery EJFA, Miami 2006
Yoshi´s Corner, Vienna 2011
Kaigado Gallery, Tokyo 2006-2007
Yoshi´s Corner, Vienna 2011
Gallery Valentine, Hamptons 2011
Arcature Fine Art, Palm Beach 2011
Kunstmesse Düsseldorf 2011
Art Miami 2010-2012
Palm Beach Art Fair 2011-2012
Olyvia Fine Art 2011
IFAE, Miami 2011
Art Karlsruhe 2012
Markowicz Fine Art, Miami 2011-2012
2CforART, Salzburg 2012-2013
2CforART, Frankfurt 2012-2013
Gallerie Corbel, Paris 2013
Markowicz Fine Art, Miami 2013
PUBLICATIONS (partial list)