Interview with Levalet

Charles Leval, aka Levalet, was born in 1988 in Epinal (France). He grew up in Guadeloupe, where he first delevopped his passion for the urban culture and the visual arts. He after moved back to France to continue his studies of visual arts in Strasbourg; his work, then, was more focused on video which was fed on an assiduous theater practice. 

He obtains the aggregation in 2012, that same year his work started to take place in the streets of Paris. He has since participated in numerous exhibitions including several solo shows and participated in several international meetings.
The work of Levalet is primarily a work of drawing and installation. He staged his characters in the public space, creating a game of visual dialogue and semantic within the present environment. Where the characters interact with the architecture and expand in situations often bordering on the absurd.


Hey Levalet, today you will talk with MoW about five of your artworks that were inspired by music. Can you start by telling MoW why you chose to create artworks inspired by music?

I think there's a huge porosity between the Arts. What interests me is to evoke the sound through the visual. Each one of us makes up its own idea of the sound that may come from the drawing, which adds a dimension to the installation. The character of the musician also interests me because it is the ultimate figure of the poet, a poet that produces beauty that can not be explained with words.

Would you say there is a specific music that inspired your artworks?

I don't think so, there is not really a particular music that inspired these works but rather they each remind me of one musician universe. The character of "Hit Hat" would be a Chet Baker. The one from "Orphée", would be a Johnny Cash. (see artworks below)







Do you have a favorite piece between the ones presented today?

"Sérénade" (on the left) maybe my favorite because I think this is the one that is most effective in terms of contextualization. The image is directly evocative of a situation as the absurdity of the gap between an old practice and the modern world.





Music Room





Is there any other specific word you’d like to say about the artworks presented today? 

Perhaps I can clarify that the "Music Room" takes its title from the eponymous work of Kandinsky. He himself worked on evoking sound through visual signs. In "Music Room", the xylophone blades come play this suggestive role while punctuating the composition with the arrangement of their abstract form.




La leçon de piano





Why is music important to you, in your life and in your art? What is the kind of music you would listen to ?

I listen to lots of music especially when I work, but I would say that music guides me more than it inspires me. I do not listen to a particular genre, it depends on my mood and my desires even if I come back mainly to jazz.






What is the song you liked the most lately? What album ? What was the last gig you went to ?

I discovered recently Chilly Gonzales that I listen to repeatedly. And his song "Manifesto" that I would like to share with you today. (click the video on the right)

My last music favorite album is the clarinet player Yom and particularly his album "Silent Exodus". (listen to the album by clicking the video below)

The last concert was Oxmo Puccino at the Olympia.









Are you a musician yourself?

I played music since I was a child but I have no musical projects as this remains an amateur music practice. I started to play saxophone then learned to play some instruments (self-taught) like guitar or clarinet. I am more interested in music as a practice rather than a way to get a tangible result. I improvise a lot, I do not record anything.


Thank you very much Levalet!



Levalet will be showing his latest show project “Everyday Life Circus” at Galerie Openspace in Paris from May 7 to June 4. There will have an opening reception on Saturday, May 7, 2016 from 6pm. 

GALERIE OPENSPACE / 116, boulevard Richard Lenoir, Paris 11e


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