Jazz and the French Quarter, Beignets and Bourbon Street. New Orleans evokes so many sights, sounds, and smells. Millions of people come for the food, for the music, but for Christian Le Blanc (Michael, Young and the Restless) there is another untapped source of pleasure and beauty: oysters. Le Blanc was able to turn a delicacy he loves into precious art for his show “Wet: The Drawings of Christian Jules Le Blanc”, which debuted last March.
“It’s art. It’s temporary. It’s short-lived. Capote came here. Tennesee Williams came here. When you go. When you come back. You know you are in a place that is so special.” a lot of sentimentality when he talks about New Orleans. This is where he gets inspiration, be it the art of his children or his writing: “It’s always New Orleans. Whether I know it or not, or whether I admit it or not, when I first start something like this, it’s all set in New Orleans. There is an aesthetic here that runs in my blood. ”
Le Blanc calls the oysters “performance art” and tries to grasp the difference between looking at something. He was a zebra who fled a merry-go-round with a pair of Adidas because one of the parents worked for the company and actually saw it. This work is bigger than anything he’s done before and in more detail. Le Blanc used different lighting, texture and paper. All are very detailed pencil drawings. He said it could take four hours to do a 2 × 2 section.
This love work lasted over a year and the deadline was extended to the end because he had set a different bar and wanted to get it right. He originally described the show’s landscapes and portraits, but updated the description because people might find it confusing.
When people found out the show was about oysters, the reception was mixed. “Online fans didn’t like oysters and made a lot of vomiting emoticons and emojis,” but he insisted because a teacher once taught him that good art should be “provoking, good, bad, or indifferent.” It has to be an illegal reaction and cannot be passed on without comment. ”
“The art has to evoke some kind of emotion in them. If the person looking at your work has no reaction and feels no emotion, be it positive or negative, then you haven’t done your job as an artist. ”
Le Blanc gave his pieces cheeky titles like “Polyamory”, “You could do it bad yourself” (the story of my life basically), “La Poule” and “I make more money than Calvin Coolige combined”. There was a different mood for each drawing and it sparked a strong feminine response. “There is a feminine energy and an aphrodisiac. A sex component. “Women see the“ vagina aspect ”immediately. “Men are more reluctant, but women will just come out and say it.”
He believes there is no greater compliment than people giving you their hard earned money. Half of the pieces that were sold before the show even opened as the pieces were revealed for online purchase before the show.
The idea of capturing oysters as an art came while they were being sipped from the shipload at Felix’s in New Orleans when Sean Carrigan (ex Stitch, YR) and his wife watched with slight disgust. They overcame their dislike of her and Le Blanc could see something beautiful and graceful in what he had previously considered commonplace.
“Wet” was his first show that he created specifically for a show with a related theme. Before that, the few previous exhibitions were a collection of his art and most of the proceeds went to charity. Working within the topic was a fun challenge and he was fortunate enough to team up with Kevin Gillentine who has had a gallery on Magazine Street for 25 years. Gillentine notes, “People in New Orleans really want to support artists, shop here, and have local work in their homes. So it’s a great place to be an artist and make a living.”
“I’m happy to have found a New Orleans salon in Los Angeles, but New Orleans is that little voice in your head that says it’s okay to be crazy and try because no one will judge you . ”