Lucien Shapiro. Lucien's name is what immediately caught my eye as this has been one of my favorite names from history books. There is something antiquated about it, something regal and completely striking. It mirrors the experience I had when I came across his artwork. When I began following the rabbit down the hole in his world, I felt as if I was beholding relics from a different era. The masks had this feeling to them as if they had been buried in volcanic ash from Pompeii, waiting for centuries to pass before they were excavated and waiting to unfurl the carnival inside each. There is a haunting persona within each of them and the meticulous nature of crafting them resonated with my own body of work. He feels like a like mind who can sit still in a space to channel something greater, something mysteriously placed between life and & death. His work is a ritual, evoking and invoking. He has exhibited extensively and I have the pleasure of working alongside him at Church Boutique in LA. Word on the street is that he is headed back to the West Coast and I am awaiting the opportunity to collaborate and get lost in the space between. Below is his interview.
What is your brand/name:
Lucien Shapiro , my new online store is to be called Fire and Ice. Coming soon.
What is your heritage:
Russian /Eastern European Jew
What are 3 reference points of inspiration for your work: ( philosophy/culture)
Subconscious, primitive, meditative .
What are 3 skills you've learned in representing yourself as an artist:
Honesty, humbleness, whether it is a performance or a gallery exhibition make the experience special for the viewer and open a connection between them and you.
What are 3 skills you believe are a necessity to be an independent artist/designer?
Hard working, open, ready to face any obstacle.
What moved you to make with your hands:
It was the only thing that made sense, I actually was in school for computer 3-d modeling in 1999 after I took my first sculpture class I switched and never looked back , this was 17 years ago.
If you could travel anywhere today, where would you travel and why:
My last 3 years have been filled with travel with not much of a home base for longer then a month or two. Most recently was the Fear Collection Ritual but was only Europe and USA. But I've been itching to see Japan , love the style, and culture over there.. but I guarantee ask me tomorrow I'd choose somewhere else . Haha
3 Favorite songs at the moment:
Hardest question ever, this changes hourly but right now at this moment ...
Artist) Shriek Operator
Song) Amen Death waltz
Artist )Wu Tang Clan
Song) Cash still rules
Artist) Left over Crack
Song) Life is pain
What advice would you offer your fellow female makers? What business advice?
To be honest most my female friends and makers give me the advice. Haha. I primarily show my work as s fine artists and so many women in my life are boss ass hustlers, Or beautiful powerful queens in whatever form of words you prefer to hear . If I had any advice to anyone it would be just to keep doing what you love. And keep pushing, the path will open and whatever you want will eventually fall in line. You just have to believe in yourself and make decisions that don't lower your integrity, be honest and true to yourself.
What advice would your 65 year old self to you today?
Keep going , don't ever stop for anything. It will hurt, and there will be fear, but you got this.
What change would you most like to see in the world?
Any additional thoughts on the importance of artisanal/handmade goods in a fast pace Western World?
I feel that it's one of the most important part of our culture, and I truly believe people are beginning to appreciate and support the hand made again more and more.
Thanks Lucien for being an inspiration. I admire the castles you build from all of the discarded trinkets of the urban world.
ANALECT_RITUALS VIDEO: This video really drew me into the world of Lucien.