Valerie Carmet is a French born, New York based artist who uses vintage and esoteric materials including mosaic tiles, stained glass, ceramics, and even discarded toys to create original works that provoke conversation and engage the senses. She gives objects a second chance just like she had a second career…
After a career in business in the Fashion industry, Valerie was able to dedicate herself to her art and started to create pieces in mosaics. Today, Valerie Carmet has expanded her artistic field to Pop Art and her work has been shown in prestigious galleries and Art Fairs in the USA and over the world.
I’ve had the chance to meet Valerie who’s cheerful personality is well reflected in her colorful work and her way of seeing “beauty in what others might dismiss”. Her path and success demonstrates that passion can lead a long way. Thanks Valerie for sharing about it!
Valerie, tell me about your artistic path
As a child I always knew I was meant to be an artist but my parents were not supportive and they did not allowed me to pursue a career in the arts, so I went into business.
Fortunately for me, my MBA took me to New York for a first job in the fashion industry for a french company. After 10 years in that world I had an opportunity to follow my calling so I took the leap of faith in a new career in the Arts.
I went to Italy to study mosaics, painting, sculpting and ceramics. I was hired by a mosaic studio upon my return and my new adventure began….
MOONS © created by Valerie Carmet
Who are your main influencers?
So many to choose from …. from worldwide known to emerging ….Picasso, Monet, Gustav Klimt, Chuck Close, Andy Warhol, James Rosenquist,…. Patricia Nix, Vik Muniz, Bernard Pras, Ann Carrington,…
The “ToyBox Collection” is an expression of our constant desire to play, reflecting the image to the viewer, inviting them to reconnect and live once again the great moments of play.
You work with mosaics and small objects that you combine. where does inspiration come from?
My approach is to see beauty in what others might dismiss or discard. I use the old and the new, the vintage and the collectible as my palette of paint and color to play with! When I place them together with my sense of colors and inspiration a new beauty is formed. Little things that cross my view become part of my work. Ceramic objects, chipped unique plates, broken glass, a beach full of broken seashells, my kid’s discarded toys gathering dust all those are given a second chance, a second life in my art pieces.
What do you like most in your work?
Probably the freedom to be able to create something new all the time and experiment with all kind of mediums as I am becoming more and more a mixed media artist. A friend of mine called me an “Assemblage artist”….I am sure she just wanted to show off and throw a french word in it !!
What do you want to achieve with your art?
I want my work be about beauty, color and aesthetic.. I want to invite the viewer into my world of play and imagination and bring them to a place of happiness, comfort, enjoyment rather than pain or discomfort. One thing that I always dislike is this feeling of “ill at ease” when I see the artist’s struggles and tortured mind through his art.
Was there a specific moment or person that was key in your career ?
I have to acknowledge one person in particular who changed my life by supporting me, believing in my talent and investing in me: my husband Olivier Thiery.
Do you have an anecdote that you’d like to share?
Hum… let me think / will have to get back to you on this .. My family tells me there are a million but won’t help me find one to tell…
What is the question you’re asked the most?
How did I manage to switch from a corporate career to a full time artist career?
What is the question you like to be asked?
Are you happy to do what you love?
What are your projects for the coming months? I am working on a series of 8/10 large scale paintings in mixed media and back to my roots with a theme related to fashion and my favorite designers. I want to show that fashion is art and art can be fashion…. I will also be showing in art fairs all over the world ( Paris, Miami, NY, London,…). This is a big year for me .
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