Billy Lidh

Billy Lidh

Live and works in Melbourne.
Degree in Fine and Visual Art at RMIT University (2016)

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Billy Lidh, SCANDALEPROJECT, artist, contemporary artist, emerging artist, art installation, visual art, contemporary art installation, photographer, art exhibition, exhibition view, creation, artist, contemporary art, Interview, art scandal project, scandale project,.

What is the aim of your artistic practice ? 
Before starting the interview I want to thank you again for this opportunity. You know, It all happened extremely fast. As I studied Visual and Fine Arts at RMIT University I started attending galleries, museums and spaces and then, talking with experts and people, I started to understand the dynamics of this system. What I try to do is to show a particular kind of reality filtered by my vision. You must have a vision as well as a visual. So I decided to work on my way. I like to play with me, transform things and give them a new life. That’s why, for example, if I take a palm tree or another common material/object and  color it in blue then you have a new perception experience. So I can surely say that my practice is closely connected with the experience you can have. I cannot imagine my works outside  the context of a real encounter with someone.

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What fascinated you with the blue color? 

Blue is everything for me. It’s an absolute color and it ‘a color that has had great importance for some artists and marked special moments in art history. It’s strange how people always refer to my work as Yves Klein’s. Of course, He is the artist of IKB and maybe working with only one color is easy to look similar to him, even counterproductive at times. But if you start thinking of blue as a free color with all that power, energy and that romance, you can feel more than a simple relation. Blue is the most spiritual color ever and my approach is to create a world in blue. I know it’s mission impossible but at the same time I love to think about the possibility to create it. That’s the tension of my whole research.

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Billy Lidh, SCANDALEPROJECT, artist, contemporary artist, emerging artist, art installation, visual art, contemporary art installation, photographer, art exhibition, exhibition view, creation, artist, contemporary art, Interview, art scandal project, scandale project,.

Do you think later on you will keep on using the same color ? 

For now I only think of blue. I saw that the pantone this year is the greenery but it’s still not convincing enough to me. In my opinion the choice of a color is very important. It’s not just the choice of a color for a painting or a part of a painting. With one color I have to start a long speech through my works, ideas and dimensions and minimal or maximal forms. So you know, I am always tempted to choose another color or closely match two, it’s the easiest way but I always go back to the blue.

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So here the color appears to be the medium right ? Is the material secondary compare to the color ? 

It depends. Of course the blue is the most visible part but also the choise of a material or an object is important. I wonder why some objects are produced in blue. Gel is blue, a lot of things are already in blue. In that case I don’t have to do much more than use them as they are. I have a lot of blue objects in my studio. I don’t know why I don’t want to use them. They fascinate me as words from a vocabolary that already exists but I want to create new words like neologisms. Yes, that’s the point. If you look at my blue like the ink of a writing pen, mine words I hope are that new ones you see. Think of my technic/work as a blue ink writing pen, when looking at the words written in this blue, and not in an other color, I hope you’ll be able to finally see new words.

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Billy Lidh, SCANDALEPROJECT, artist, contemporary artist, emerging artist, art installation, visual art, contemporary art installation, photographer, art exhibition, exhibition view, creation, artist, contemporary art, Interview, art scandal project, scandale project,.

How Klein came to inspire you ? 

Klein has been a great teacher for me, but my biggest thanks have to go to Gillis Lundgren, Ikea myth and inventor of the “Billy” bookcase. In one of my exams at RMIT I realized a work wearing my name. The famous Ikea blue furniture is called Billy and one of my first work has been named BILLY painted in blue! The work for this resumed the first color of the furniture and Billy was just blue! I think my own research is in the middle of Klein and Lundgren. I believe in blue but in a more democratic way. It’s like yoga for an occidental office worker. Something to beat stress. Occidentals don’t want to know the story of Yoga, they just want to do it. So I just use this blue for my ideas, and to create as much objects as I possibly can .

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Billy Lidh, SCANDALEPROJECT, artist, contemporary artist, emerging artist, art installation, visual art, contemporary art installation, photographer, art exhibition, exhibition view, creation, artist, contemporary art, Interview, art scandal project, scandale project,.

Do you put any cosmic vision into that blue, as Klein was painting the infinity with a strong cosmic power ? 

If Klein has used blue for infinite, I use the same color for something closer to people. Today it’s the same blue but with a more down to earth meaning. It’s a popular blue. I mean, world has changed, so my idea of blue is now very decorative. I just use blue to underline objects. I’m interested in the final result, but I can’t picture the end of my research on the color bleu. I’m young I know but If I look at my works I see just 3% of the research it could be.

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Billy Lidh, SCANDALEPROJECT, artist, contemporary artist, emerging artist, art installation, visual art, contemporary art installation, photographer, art exhibition, exhibition view, creation, artist, contemporary art, Interview, art scandal project, scandale project,.

Any other influences? 

Social media mostly. I make an heavy use of it and I’m not ashamed. We’re all a bit “happy victims” of this mediated sociability. Considering that I live far away from Europe, networks become a way to be in constant contact.

I also like the design, architecture. I love old school minimalism, large volumes. Objects are a my paranoia, I can hardly tear myself away from objects but at the same time there are few who use in art.

I love my country silences, distances, time to spend. And perhaps what I love most about my country is a certain sense of virginity.

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What do you think about Anish Kapoor who decided to buy the blackest black and all the right to use it . Would you buy the right to use the bluest blue if it was possible, for your only use  ? 

To privatize a color is a possessive act. An individual gesture much of Klein works. In my case it would be very risky. Too many artists would hate me.

In a way it could be interesting to have this blue all for me. However in fact of having this blue forever and more than that it scares if you consider the responsibility that goes with it, in the end it would fade the desire. I prefer it that way also because I couldn’t have the economic means to buy a color. I do not want to spend all my years in pursuit of stupid lawsuits on the use of a color. I use the blue, certainly others do it but each for its own reason. That’s it.

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Billy Lidh, SCANDALEPROJECT, artist, contemporary artist, emerging artist, art installation, visual art, contemporary art installation, photographer, art exhibition, exhibition view, creation, artist, contemporary art, Interview, art scandal project, scandale project,.

Any dream place you would like to show your work ?

Soon I will have an exhibition in Italy, during the Studio Festival. On the focus evening of March 17 I will be host of the Basement space and present an unpublished work. For me this is already a great achievement. Finally arriving in the country that has made us dream the world with their art and who now only reflects the trends that come from outside. I also want to see up close how the art system overseas. So I’ll be in Milan and I really want to spend some weeks in this country. I have a lot to see and understand.

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Art is everything you want to be without asking permission from anyone.”

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Billy Lidh, SCANDALEPROJECT, artist, contemporary artist, emerging artist, art installation, visual art, contemporary art installation, photographer, art exhibition, exhibition view, creation, artist, contemporary art, Interview, art scandal project, scandale project,.

Photographs and text courtesy of the artist.

Questions of Fiona Vilmer writer specialized in contemporary art.