People who do challenging things. I try very hard to make them as good as they can be. As a response to that, I started a brand in which the responsibilities and the daily tasks I do resonate for me more with what it means to be an artist than what I see a lot of people doing who we define as artists. Here, Venson explains himself, his product and his recent rise with humility and candor from the comfort of his Chelsea atelier. Who would you say are your greatest inspirations then, whether personally or for Voutsa?
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So I painted and made all the patterns, I make everything. Who would you say are your greatest inspirations then, whether personally or for Voutsa? Here, Venson explains himself, his product and his recent rise with humility and candor from the comfort of his Chelsea atelier.
Such is the case of New York-based wallpaper and lifestyle brand Voutsa, created by George Venson, 31, whose painterly prints and maniacal color combinations defy logic—they are bizarre, bold, gestural and genius. It could also be treated as a throwaway thing, just like art.
I really like early Fornasetti—I like brands that I think are similar. Why do you think that is? People who do challenging things. The founder of Voutsa? To me, to be an artist is freedom and operating in an unknown area, trying to make things.
George Venson – New York Magazine
I try very hard to make them as good as they can be. So the things that I do all feel like little aspects of this sculpture, which is an anonymous brand, Voutsa. It certainly can be treated as a really expensive, desirable thing. But, the patterns resonate enough where a small portion of the world embraces them. Who are you, George Venson?
I try to make them strong and I think the design world has recognized that effort. My relationship to Voutsa is what I like to think of as pleasantly complicated and it gets simplified often.
Similarly, so could art.
But more than this recognition of effort, perhaps your success is indicative of something missing in the industry, something that you are fulfilling? Some of them are going to be more representational; some of them are going to be more abstract.
I like artists who did things that were similar, so someone like William Kentridge. You get it by sharp contrast. Are you an artist? I just focus on these patterns. So what then, does it mean to you to be an artist? Can wallpaper be considered art then, or artful? I try to give them their own life.
What can we expect to see for your new collection, due in ?
It has different gears that I get to spin and turn and see how they intersect and intertwine and I like that. My new collection is going to be an attempt to reinvent a global Chinoiserie relative to the history of Chinoiserie wallpapers. As a response to that, I started a brand in which the responsibilities and the daily tasks I do resonate for me more with what it means to be an artist than what I see a lot of people doing who we define as artists.
But you are a painter by training, no? I think that my solution is to plead no contest to what people want to call wallpaper. But I think art often requires the most polarized contradictions.