Why did you come to the US?
I would say that I did not come to the US but to San Francisco. I discovered SF when I used to work for a Californian company based in Paris. With my wife we were looking for some fresh air, not projecting our entire life in Paris. As soon as I got a job opportunity here, it became an evidence to move in with my family.
What do you like about the US?
Americans think big and positive. I’m always amazed by the smile and the positive attitude of the clerks at the supermarket! Although their job might be boring, they take the time to speak with you, to pack your stuffs and to wish you a great day. On the tech and entrepreneur side, everyone thinks big and networks are wide open.
What do you like about SF ?
SF is an amazing city. First, I like the light, from the cloudy and foggy white to the sunny and blue sky bright one. Of course, I like the views from everywhere, but also the different districts, the nice buildings, the beach and the fantastic Golden Gate Park.
Do you have a passion?
I like “fooding”. I’m always happy to share a good bottle of wine with friends, or a good tasty and refined dish at a nice place. My favorite places are some bistrot restaurants in Paris where the Chef prepares perfectly executed fresh food with only 4 or 5 ingredients. But the top of the top remains Michel Bras at Laguiole.
Do you have a dream?
A business that would mix fooding and digital.
Remi is indeed an excellent cook and a fun model to shoot, Just like the clerks at the supermarket, he takes the time to make sure that his friends have a good time while enjoying his cooking specialties from all over the world..
Why do you think you are an artist Pierre?
“I imagine this is not really a choice, I was born like this, a pen in the hands and images in my head. This is the most reasonable way I found lo live.”
What do your art pieces represent, is there any message ?
“I see myself as a forest in the night, the wind blowing between the murmuring trees, with little animals walking through the roots. I am a very mystical person, I am contemplative. But these are very personal things, it’s a bit difficult for me to explain. My work is a way for me to share my vision, like a reverse autoportrait.”
What brought you to San Francisco?
“In my life I have always looked for the opportunity that would make things happen: a project, meeting someone…and this is what has happened with Jules when he started his art gallery in San Francisco last year, we have a lot in common, our trajectories are parallel, all this was probably “written in advance”, and we are just at the start of a long journey…”
The first time I met with Pierre he was in the Jules Maeght Gallery installing his drawing on the walls. I was fascinated by the black and white rain forest that reminded me my childhood in Brazil and my trips to Africa. When Pierre explained to me that his family was originally from the Caribbeans, I suddenly understood why this young Parisian artist started his career painting the rainforest on the walls of Paris!
“When I was 13 my parents did not want to pay me any electronic games, so I decided to create them by myself, on the Amstrad PC1512 they accepted to buy me; I was spending all my days and nights developing, coding, hacking, I created a little Packman in a labyrinth…till the school I was in decided to “invite me to go to another school”, my parents were so mad at me ! I developed and educative software at 16 with my cousin that we sold to an editor, and then after high school I studied IT and started my own business. I did not want to be a slave, I did not want to have a boss deciding on what is good or bad for me, I did not want to have to depend on someone else for the decisions I wanted to make in my life.”
And why did you decide to open a subsidiary in the USA?
“I love the US, here anything is possible, here in the Bay area people think so BIG, people are free to think BIG (unlike in most European countries), people are not afraid of tomorrow, people believe in their capacities to find another job, people are ready to sale shoes if they get laid off in the IT business…there is no shame, just because tomorrow can only be better than today!”
Eric is full of humor and knows how how not take things too seriously when we speak about him and his background. Just like a fish in the ocean, Eric goes his ways with the elements sliding on his skin, cool and relaxed. I ended asking him what he did not like in life and he had this response”I hate the noise, the noise of this microwave for example, or the music playing in the ski resorts at lunch time!”.
I love this blurry picture of Eric, laughing about this interview and me trying to capture a clear “portrait” for this post.
“While my husband is starting bass guitar lessons, I just started taking watercolor and drawing lessons; as two of our three kids left home last September for college in Montreal Canada, we probably have more time for us and our (new) passions but I also needed to create something, I paint 8 hours per week and I love it…too bad we have to go back to France next summer after three years in the USA, but my husband’s project is ending. Three years of sightseeing all over California, meeting so many people with different backgrounds, new strong friendships built up.”
Nathalie is a very nice person, very optimistic and happy to live, and this is so communicative. Her dream is to come back to San Francisco as soon as possible, her bedroom is probably already prepared in many houses of the French community in the Bay Area.
“When I came from France for the first time in the Bay Area, I was astonished by the light and the beauty of the skies (day and night!), the low pollution and traffic levels compared to Paris. What I really much appreciate here is the culture of service that people have , their discipline and their respect to others and to their environment. SF is a wonderful city to live in: very open minded, several museums and attractions, very active and innovative, world-class restaurant and excellent wines! What more can you ask for?”
Remi is a pop-rock music fan and he just started to take bass guitar lessons. When I asked him if he had a dream, he responded “to make it simple and very Californian: Peace and love!” Funny how California can change a pure Parisian into a Neo-Hippie in just three years!!