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.
“When I entered the military in Taiwan, I was ready to “get married” for four years, but after several months, I new it would be for me like getting married..to suffering my whole life.I left the army, studied finance and economics, and I moved to SF to become a businessman, to built my abilities, be my own boss. I moved to the Castro, the more open minded place in the city, here there is a high acceptance, diversity, people don’t juge you, you can be who you are.”
Do you know why you are gay?
“Do you know why you are straight ? Do you prefer eggs or chicken? The beauty of living in America is that people have the right to be who they want to be; for example my first boyfriend was from France, her Mom was half black half white, her Dad was Brazilian…that’s the most appealing thing about the U.S.A, the respect of differences!”
Excuse me sir, can I take a picture of you? “Of course, please do so.”
Can I post it on my blog ? “I don’t care sure. My name is Robert, I am retired, you can post whatever you want, I am ok.”
Do your tattoos have any inspiration from the Pacific islands? “Yes, a friend of mine brought from Polynesia some wooden statues and they inspired me in the choice of ma tattoos. I am tattooed all over my body, I have full body tattoos.”
Why? “I like people looking at me all the time in the streets of SF, I feel different”.
Why did you buy these flowers? “I love flowers for my house, I like to support Guy by buying flowers whenever I come by.”
Why do you live here ? “Castro is the best area of the city to live in, close to everything, far from downtown. I have rented under rate control for the last 20 years (lower than normal rates), this is the ideal place to live as the environment is more pleasant; here we are just human beings, whether if a male or a female.”