Vincent Priesley, an artist known for his unlimited creativity, has made a return to the GBTH. On September 23rd, he unveiled his latest installation, DÉCOIFFÉ. In the interview below, Vincent allows us to glimpse behind the curtain, offering insights into his creative process and the mindset that drove the creation of his most recent body of work.
Difficult Conundrum: Seeing your work in person is an experience. Whenever I visited your platform while you worked, or when I got to see the completed installation before the opening, I couldn’t help but wonder, how does one come up with something like this? Could you share some of what your process looks like from idea to completed piece?
Vincent Priesley: I have no memory, so every time I begin something, it's with a fresh mind. It's like being a child making their first drawings, imagining freely without external influences. That's why my creations are unique; they don't resemble anything else. Sometimes you can see this childlike quality. This is just how I am, and it's reflected in my work. My process is simple: during my sleep, I dream and see what I need to do. It's as if my unconscious guides me, and I follow its lead. Later, I sketch what I saw in my dream to ensure I don't forget it. My process is mysterious because I navigate it unconsciously.
DC: Color, texture, and spatial arrangement also play a very important role in your works. Can you share how you utilize these elements to convey the emotional and conceptual aspects of your installations?
VP: I enjoy it when colors don't blend; I love the element of surprise they bring. It's like something that shouldn't happen, yet it does. There's a wealth of emotions within colors; they're the positive energy that makes my world more beautiful. I guide people along a path, inviting them to delve deeper and deeper into this vibrant canvas so they can experience it intensely.
DC: Love seems to be a prominent theme in your works. How do you navigate the fine line between your personal story and creating art that is relatable to a broader audience?
VP: Those who know me understand that I have a profound love, and as a Buddhist monk once told me, “Being in love isn't just about another person; you can also fall in love with certain things.” I'm a passionate individual, and I'm deeply in love with art. Art, like love, is accessible to all; all it takes is opening your heart to discover it.
DC: DÉCOIFFÉ is a celebration of hair and the diversity that comes with it. Do you see your installation as a commentary on societal perceptions of beauty and acceptance? If so, how do you hope it might challenge or reshape these perceptions?
VP: We all have hair on our bodies, and it's something that connects us. Some people desire them greatly, while others do not. Through my creations, I aim to demonstrate that hair can also be beautiful. I showcase hair by enhancing its beauty, and sometimes even by adding it to areas where it doesn't naturally exist. It's as if these parts, like nails, would be more beautiful with lovely, long hair.
DC: And lastly, what do you hope viewers will feel or experience as they engage with DÉCOIFFÉ?
VP: I want to surprise people. I want them to feel the jolt of the unexpected, the explosion of my emotions. I want people to ponder their own body hair and question whether a hair can be beautiful. And as they gaze upon DÉCOFFÉ, I hope they come to realize that the displayed hair can also be exquisite, like stumbling upon a poem for the very first time.
Click here to visit DÉCOIFFÉ by Vincent Priesley @GBTH