East Side Gallery Berlin: Can you tell us what 101 Basix is?
C.S.: 101 Basix is the name I gave to my small art studio in Los Angeles California in which the premise is to slow down and appreciate the people and things we have in life rather than what we don't have. It's easy to take things for granted. A quote I love is "Learn to appreciate the small things, for one day you'll realize they were the big things." I make art that reflects this approach to life, some of it is just using components like old hardware I might find and creating pieces starting from that and working from there. My wife calls me a hoarder, I would disagree. I'd use the term, Curator.
East Side Gallery Berlin: What other mediums do you work with?
C.S.: I enjoy working with Steel, Brass, Copper and Wood with which I weld, cut and hammer life into. Steel is great because it's so massive and permanent yet very malleable when using the right tools. Using the right Tool is key!
East Side Gallery Berlin: Where are you from?
C.S.: Originally I'm from Québec city, great little french speaking city, however, I've been living in L.A. since 1989. I met my wife while working in Cancun Mexico and moved to L.A. to start my life with her. She's an amazing woman.
East Side Gallery Berlin: What is it that inspires you?
C.S.: I like things that move people to think and to be provoked. That's one of the reasons I love Berlin. As a result of the political and geo-divide as illustrated by the "Berlin Wall" amazing art has come out of it. Amazing writing, music and art has come from unthinkable hardship. Look at Anne Frank's diary or Victor Frankl's "Man's search for meaning." Another great quote is "Art is meant to comfort the disturbed and disturb the comfortable." Society has become so complacent with their day-to-day lives that they no longer produce exciting ideas or question the status-quo. They surround themselves with people that look and think like the. It doesn't take much to stimulate the mind, coloring in a coloring book with crayons even incites a chemical reaction within the brain that stimulates powerful optimism within us.
East Side Gallery Berlin: What do you enjoy about what you do and what do you find difficult about the same?
C.S.: What I find difficult is not being around people on a daily basis. I miss the interaction, dialogue and camaraderie. I usually work alone creating something. Also, as an artist, it's easy to question the validity of what you do. My daughter once said to me, "Daddy, are you still tinkering in the garage." and for some reason that stuck with me. That was the impression some people had of what I do. Also, a creative mind sometimes manifests itself into a very disorganized work space. I find that very hard.
What I enjoy. Hmm, that's easy...I've seen people rekindle a relationship with an estranged sister or son all because they read the right quote on a piece of work I made. A quote that struck a chord within them. Two quotes I can think of that actually altered the course of two people I met were "Learn to trust the journey even when you don't understand it." and "Learn to appreciate the small things, for one day you'll find that they were the big things." Two individuals I met on the same day, one was homeless and lost contact with his son, the other was very well off but estranged from his sister. Worlds apart, but on the same day I met these two and both of them reached out to their son and sister after years of not having spoken. That alone makes it all worth it. It still gets to me when I think about them.
East Side Gallery Berlin: What message do you want people who see or buy your work to walk away with?
C.S.: That life is so short. That the moments you have with your son, your daughter, wife, mom & dad, sisters and brothers are so fleeting. We don't have as much time as we think we do. So train yourself to live each moment in the here and now. Easy to say, very hard to do. We always seem to get caught up with the B.S. life throws at us and we lose site of what is really magical. Once these moments are gone they're gone. No "Do-Over" button available. I've learned that the things that are truly essential to the heart are invisible to the eyes. That is to say that life isn't so complicated, the important stuff boils down to the basics...101 Basix.
East Side Gallery Berlin: Thank you Christian
C.S.: likewise...thank you.