Gilles Eugene, known as Goodÿ, is a Guadeloupean artist appreciated for the quality of his work, the sincerity of his philosophy and the “special” that resides in his works. With twenty years of international career and without network of influences or institutional support. i-CAC certified artist, member of the CNFAP, ambassador for Guadeloupe at the Mondial ART Academia, Goodÿ’s career is far from being finished.
C – Your art invites itself into new spaces, is it always centred on questioning ? What do you want to transmit through your works ?
G – In my works, there is a simple message that is centred on questioning. Questioning and searching deep inside ourselves through our senses. To look differently so that from our feelings we can approach our futures in listening and respecting differences. A questioning that speaks to us of tensions, friction, gaps, and the richness of the diversity that makes our world unified: it is all a question of choice. Today we are all the product of our encounters and those of our parents before us. However, the encounters of the past are truncated and veiled by lies, forgetfulness and misunderstandings. It is important to know in order to build. Nothing is done without the past. To build a tomorrow on the oblivion of yesterday is what is asked of far too many peoples!
My work plan was to start with the city with its hard walls and to go towards the social individual in a form of “social archaeology”; the more I advance towards the individual, the more I dig into his past. An approach that I have called “Regard sur l’évolution du Monde” (A look at the evolution of the world), hence the essential umlaut on the “Y” of Goodÿ. This umlaut is my gaze, my two eyes that scrutinize societies above my cheerful, sometimes sympathetic, often serious air that translates my pseudonym Goodÿ. I am constantly looking for this individual questioning which will lead the viewer to a form of introspection in order to set up a process of “Construction-Deconstruction-Reconstruction” (CDR). All this in an attempt to inscribe us in a dynamic of respect for our differences, which is, in my opinion, the key, if not one of the main keys, to the safeguarding of our humanity, of our living together. A respect for our differences is important in order to avoid the smoothing out of History, Culture, Identity and in the long run a genetic, even physical and psychological smoothing out. Our apparently liberal society resolutions are creating a uniformity that is not visible to all, but experienced by all.
“The digital world allows me to go further, to cross borders that my financial means could not have crossed”
C – Your artistic approach on Facebook is philosophical and spiritual, particularly through the sharing of your illustrated quotes. What is your relationship with your audience? What has digital technology brought to your art?
G – Facebook and social networks in general are just a digital extension of my approach and my work. Therefore, you will find the same philosophical and spiritual imprint. This allows me to increase my audience, but does not change my desire to share.
The digital world allows me to go further, to cross borders that my financial means would not have been able to cross, to access organisations, associations and people. It has also allowed me to spread my work, my philosophy and my projects. I have been in the digital world since the beginning, because working alone I had to set up a certain number of memory, monitoring, distribution and marketing tools. I was even ahead of a lot of tools, I found them limited. Today the world is plunging towards an excess of digital technology, and in so doing, the limits of the tools I had have been erased.
C – You have recently celebrated twenty years of career, numerous exhibitions in Italy, Russia, Colombia, England, the United States and the Caribbean. What has been the greatest challenge?
G – My international career has just begun since 2015. It is thanks to this anchoring in my “multiple-plural archipelago” territory, called Guadeloupe (…) To achieve this, I am surrounded and accompanied. Surrounded by my family, by the confidence of my wife and children in my projects, which weigh on the whole family, and by the support of the Guadeloupeans for the most part, but also by other supporters from the sister islands, particularly Martinique. I am also surrounded by a few rare and precious friends who do not hesitate to tell me things frankly. I am accompanied by the love of my profession, the search for excellence, the will to do and the desire to share with the people to whom I show my work in all sincerity: the public of virtual and physical exhibitions. It is important to stress, however, that it is a titanic task to develop a career, projects and work alone.
This “alone and otherwise” has been my challenge since the beginning of my career in 2000. A challenge that is based on the success of an artistic career while remaining physically and spiritually anchored to my Country Guadeloupe both in creation and marketing. I am a proponent of “Cartesian positivism”: I first think of all the possible problems and pitfalls, however improbable they may be; I look for solutions; and even if I only have one small percent chance of succeeding, if I want to go there, nothing will stop me!
C – How does Caribbean culture influence your artistic work?
G – The answer will be very short. First of all, the definition of Caribbean culture as I feel it sometimes disturbs me, like a kind of basket where you put all the laundry so as not to have to sort it out… I am not influenced by this kind of catch-all culture! I am not influenced by this kind of catch-all culture, because in my opinion, this is the case in the subconscious of many people so as not to have to face the notion of particularity to which the notion of difference is added and which is often understood as a schism. And as I cannot ask each reader for his or her point of view, I will stop at this one, the one that bothers me, which will avoid any confusion.
I prefer to remain precise, especially when people talk to me about culture. I am influenced by my Guadeloupean culture which has similarities with those of other Caribbean islands, but also particularities that make me the unique individual that I am while being like the others. Culture is something too precious to dilute, even if it is, more and more.
It should be noted, however, that there is a Caribbean culture which would be better defined and which, even if it does not influence me, exists and is more widely situated beyond the culture of each people who make up the adjoining geographical area, but this notion of Caribbean culture is, in my opinion, poorly defined or badly used.
Just as I could have been influenced by the French culture and beyond it the European culture which would have beyond it a Western culture… from where some, to make it even simpler, will tell you that they are citizens of the World, therefore they are influenced by a universal or world culture?
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I like your paints.