CharlElie Couture just moved from his former studio to a new space with a store front. He has not changed neighborhood, “his’ neighborhood, the Hells’s Kitchen, which lies west of Midtown between 30th and 59th. Mind you! CharlElie will not be able to appreciate fully the myriads of restaurants on 8th avenue (that he has tried before!). He is on a strict diet and has lost a lot of weight getting ready for his next concert tour. His next record FORt rEVEuR – his 24th album- will be released in France in December. I had the VIP treatment and listen to one of his new songs en avant premiere, a great mix of rap, jazz and clever French words.
Famous French singer CharlElie Couture has come to New York in 2004 to explore an other facet of his artistic personality as a painter, photographer and visual art “performer”. With his signature look – bold head, goatee and black reflective glasses -, CharlElie had never under-estimated visual impact.
In fact the man started in visual arts studying painting at the Beaux Arts in Paris. Music and writing came next, all remixed in Total Art. Yet, CharlElie became such a well-known singer, offering an alternative to Brel or Brassens in the late 70’s, early 80’s, that it became a challenge for him to change role. In America, where he came with his industrious wife and partner Annie and their two daughters, he could redefine himself as a painter and PhotoGrapher. Which he did with great success, producing many paintings, publishing two art books inspired by the architectural grid of the city and building a chore of die-hard collectors and fans.
CharlElie is a happy man in his new space. He enjoys interaction with the street. “People come in and buy my books and my limited editions tee-shirts. By the same token, they discover my work.” And if they see shelves of records and are curious to ask, they might learn about the Total Artist. In his new gallery-studio CharlElie can work in the back, creating privacy by shutting up the French doors or open up to the man in the street. No need to bow and scrape to all galleries owners in town since he has a gallery of his own. CharlElie is a free man, always have been. He has found the space to exercise fully and creatively his freedom.
NY- Contemporary ARTshop Gallery
362West 36 th streetNY 10018