Charles Pada - Urban Art


Where does your passion for art come from?

My departure from France for Japan in 2007 marked my entry into the artistic world. Changing country is to throw yourself into the unknown and develop your curiosity and your ability to adapt. Tokyo is a very dynamic city, punctuated by a continuous play of sound and light. Design has a very important part in everyday life, whether in the marketing of the most usual products, in the decoration of restaurants and shops or even in improbable clothing (the famous cosplays, but not only!) Finally, to travel from Paris to Tokyo is to discover a new culture: we relive and discover new perspectives.

This change literally introduced me to a world where particular attention is paid to the image. So I got into the local game and started to acquire what I thought was beautiful, even before its usefulness. Like many collectors these days, I started to accumulate a collection of toy designers, very accessible in Japan. This was followed by local and international meetings which fueled my interest and also helped me to discover new artists and medium.

In 2010, I moved to Hong Kong, which later turned into a major Art platform in the region. Designer toys were already well established there (Michael LAU, Coarsetoys). However, the apartments are very small and expensive in HK. I gradually migrated to Art that I could display on my walls or store under a bed (the boxes of toys are very large). The screenprints were an excellent entry point, with an affordable price while keeping this borderline aspect, dear to collectors.


There is always a starting point for a collection. Do you remember of your first piece?

Yes, but that is not necessarily what really marked my passion. I prefer to evoke my first thoughtful purchases, as an experienced collector: works by Pejac, which I never tire of even after many years.

The masterpiece of your collection, the one you are most proud about?

Not one but rather a series of pieces. I have a particular attachment to what the artist Pejac produces, as already mentioned. I am lucky to have many of his works on my walls and in my drawers.

Where do you buy your works? Online, at fairs, at galleries?

When I started, I bought a lot online. However, for the past few years, I have made up my mind much more in the gallery or directly with artists.


What are your favorite artists of the moment?

Even if tastes change over time, I try to be consistent over a long period. My list is therefore not "of the moment" but more the fruit of a reflection on artists that I wish to follow through the next years. Pejac and Thomas Canto are in my European top. More recently, the majority of artists who punctuates my collection remain Japanese because they are local and accessible: LY, Kosuke Kawamura, Yusuke Hanai, Kyne, Hiroshi Mori, Taku Obata, Meguru Yamaguchi, even if the latter is based in the United States. However, I am not insensitive to those who have already achieved an international dimension, such as Kaws, Futura 2000, Barry McGee or Hajime Sorayama. But, beyond the fact that they are difficult to afford, they lose me in the mainstream and marketing aspect. I appreciate their works during exhibitions, but less at home.


The role of the collector today according to you?

It is essential to the ecosystem. Whether through financial power or criticism, it theoretically plays a role in the recognition of the artist or work. This position is regularly undermined by the fact that the artistic world is not regulated and that manipulation is common, both in the definition of prices and in exposure by social media. The collector is an important player in the secondary market. He must be informed and responsible. Finally, I don't see the collector as a client who has to create "demand" and influence "supply". He is certainly a decision maker, but he must remain in his place as a passenger and let the artists take him to unknown lands. A collector must know how to trust the artist and lend himself to discovery.

What are your criteria of choice in the acquisition of your works?

I try to combine the emotional with the rational. My first fundamental criterion is that a work must please me by its aesthetic aspect and possibly by the message it conveys. Some objects are not visually beautiful, but have a charm, the ability to make people think. This follows the very identity of the artist or artists who created the work. I therefore favor meetings to understand the genesis and the execution which gave life to the final object. A non-affordable artist or gallery has an important impact on my final choice. Finally, I always fight against impulse buying and value thinking time a lot, with the risk of losing an opportunity. After a few years, thoughtful purchases still outweigh frustrations.

What advice would you have liked to have when you started your collection?

Over time, I realize that the better I know an artist and the context in which his creations are made, the more I ultimately appreciate the pieces I own. For example, I recently bought two photos of Maxime Drouet: subway trains painted entirely brutally by him. Obviously to make such photos, there is an exciting story behind made of scouting, then adrenaline and action. Knowing them gives an additional dimension to these simple flat photos, especially when by the purest of chances I was subsequently sent a video of these same trains ... still in operation! So my advice: don't settle for the surface, dig in and find out in depth who is the artist of which you have an artwork, you will appreciate it all the more!

Our next talk party will be about art and brands. What does this thematic evoke for you?

Do not think in terms of money, plan for the long term, buy an artwork only if you intend to exhibit it at home and if you can plan with it over several years. This is what for me separates the decision of a financial investment from a choice of the heart.

What brings you MyStudiolo?

An index of what I have, wherever I go. It is an essential tool for a collector because it allows you to manage a large collection in an organized way and to access it quickly. Whether at an opening or a visit to a gallery, meetings between collectors or with artists, it is very common to evoke his tastes and the diversity of his collection. Having all this information at hand then fuels discussions that often lead to developing relationships.

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