Portrait/interview of Lord Wilmore, by Andrée Muller. ENGLISH TRANSLATION
Lord Wilmore, a courageous artist.
Film director, author, actor, musician, composer, singer… This creator who has chosen the name of his favorite hero is a pioneer of the digital painting in France.
He prints his artwork on aluminium sheets in order to secure their sustainability.
Painter of a « figurative abstract » of his own, he fights through his artworks for individual freedoms and for the right of digital paintings to be recognised as a true art form.
Portrait of an artist. Innovative, and brave.
To present Lord Wilmore, we must first recall that it is one of the identities of the Count of Monte-Cristo before his vengeance : when he does good. We must then add that Lord Wilmore - the artist - isn’t only pleased with digital artworks that would only be visible on computer screens or tablets : Lord wants concrete, solid and sustainable artpieces. That’s why he uses an original and quite recent technique, that consists of printing the digital work on aluminium sheets : « I create digital paintings, printed afterwards on Chromaluxe® (aluminium) under the Subligraphie® french label », he specifies. That sublimation process brings the inks to a gazeous state in order to, so to speak, « melt » them in the aluminium sheets.
The benefit ?
A very high quality of colors and contrasts which allows to get a printed artpiece very close to the original digital creation.
A sustainability of colors never seen been before in art history (more than 200 years, tested in labs).
Result of all that : Lord Wilmore multiplies artfairs, exhibitions and answers to more and more numerous requests. The very last one is about making large size artworks to be installed in an outdoor garden.
We couldn’t complete that introduction if we didn’t mention here the omnipresence of the question of identity in all his work.
Unsettle the viewer’s certainties...
Who are we actually ? Who is hiding behind our masks ?
« My answer is that identity is a delusion. » Lord Wilmore asserts.
That’s why, in numerous of his artworks, stands an « unsubstantial » bow tie duck.
The duck allows anyone to take his place : « That character is something anyone can identify with. He’s there to recall that group identity is an illusion.
We are all unique, right… but we are all united.
To exist, the individual must have the ability to melt himself in the mass of the billions of people we all contribute to enrich : humanity.
The pseudo-identity of human groups always ends up in the same dead end : war. »
Pixelated pictures with a flavour of vintage video games, electric colors passing through nonchalant ducks, both figurative and abstract, Lord Wilmore’s artworks also symbolize, like his character, the mix between ancient and modern : « During an exhibition I made in Ukraine, someone told me that I was doing a synthesis between contemporary and modern art. I suppose I am a post-contemporary artist … » Lord says in a smile.
Must an artist be necessarily an innovator ?
« I guess so. But he is the only one who can know it… »
Digital painting, a true art form.
In addition to the questions about identity and the time passing issues, Lord Wilmore is an advocate to plead the case of the digital painting artistic recognition. Admirer of the american Henry Darger – a 100 % outsider and absolutely not digital artist who « has invented an awesome artistic universe with fantastic colors », Lord says. Lord’s arguments are that, digital or not, painters always face the same challenges : What kind of subject do I choose ? What kind of non-subject do I choose ? What base coat am I going to use ? What color do I place beside that other one ? How many layers will I work on ? How do I do to assure a sustainable piece ? At what price do I sell my artwork ? … Do I have to sell my artwork at all ? When do I decide that my artwork is completed ?
We must admit he is right ; on screen or on canvas or on any support, the obstacles faced during the creation are very similar : « On the emotional level, my first interest goes to the vibration between colors. Then, if there is a concept involved or an idea that serves those colors vibrations, it’s much better. It’s ideal, I would say. It’s the goal to achieve. For me, the most important is the right match between the colors vibration and the concept ».
Because that point of balance is sometimes hard to reach, the artist only shows his completed artpieces to his wife and his daughter.
Could we then establish an order of precedence between concept and colors ?
Does using a computer dictate the prevalence of one or the other ?
In other words, which one comes first on the screen ?
« Both ways are possible » Lord Wilmore answers. « My work can start from the concept or, on the contrary, from a color « spit ». Anyway, from my point of view, the artwork pre-exists its « creator ». The artist only unveils what stands here or there for all eternity. »
The creator, a simple translator ?
The idea ? If the artworks have a life of their own, they are not immediately visible by all. They must be unveiled to the collective consciousness in order to be perceivable by
the largest number of people. That’s the role of the creator…
« You can clearly notice that in scriptwriting the story guides you, the story is always stronger than you. In painting, it’s the same process : the artist « only » unveils something because the artwork already exists somewhere. The problem for some artists is to unveil too soon… »
Are we then today in a good timing for the rise of digital artwork ?
« Even if digital art has existed for at least 25 years now, I am very surprised that in France we are still a few « pioneers ». But I am pretty sure that in a 5 years time, every gallery will have at least one digital artist in their racing team. »
A few clues are already tangible : « People who love my artworks are sensitive to the colors » Lord observes. « They say they are electric. Others ask me questions about the duck. Others say to me « this is not art ». Those ones interest me as well because you learn more on yourself and on your art by shrugs of the shoulders than by compliments. »
In conclusion, Lord Wilmore is powerful, but has a constant need of validation…