Could you do this to your magazine collection?
A couple of weeks ago I was sent a copy of Recover Project by French artist Lucas Beaufort. It’s a magazine of sorts, made up of images he created by painting onto the covers of skate and snowboard magazines (plus a few ads) and it’s all sponsored by Converse.
With page after page of blob-headed monsters sitting around on kerbs, waving and apparently watching the world through closed eyes, it’s a totally charming project. So I dropped him a line to find out why he turned to magazines for his canvas.
What made you first start painting on magazines?
I started out painting on canvas seven years ago (I’m 32 now) but as soon as I began, I wanted to paint on everything. Bottles of wine, trees… even on my little pug. The idea of painting on magazines came from a little experimentation. I tried and it worked. The first one I painted was Vice – they were stoked on it and they offered me a subscription.
Why magazines and not, say, album covers?
Simply because I’m a huge fan of magazines. I have millions of different magazines from the skateboard, snowboard and lifestyle area.
So do you use skate magazines just because you had lots of them knocking around, or is there a specific aesthetic you look for in a magazine?
I’m from that world – I mean everything came from my love for skateboarding. It’s been with me all my life; I started when I was a teenager and it’s still in my head. I will never give up!
I also love snowboard magazines, but I have to say that I prefer the aesthetic of the street.
So who are your little monster people?
They are my family – they were in my head when I was a kid. I was always dreaming about scary creatures; so much so that my mum thought I was possessed. Then, when I started painting, it’s like all those monsters came out.
I definitely feel better today. They are all my friends now.
What do you think to the other artists who work on magazine covers? People like Hattie Stewart?
I think it’s cool. I didn’t know Hattie Stewart and I’m glad not to be the only one to think about it. To me it’s giving these magazines a chance for a second breath, and it’s also a lot of fun.
And what do the magazines themselves think to your work?
They all share it on their social networks, so I guess they like it. The best thing in this project is that I now have almost 30 subscriptions to magazines from all around the world. I’ve never been so connected as I am now.
And you’ve now collected your work in a magazine of your own – what made you want to do that?
So far I’ve painted on more than 250 magazines, and I had this idea for a book last year. I talked about it with Luidgi Gaydu, the French team manager of Converse, and he was down for it. I’m already thinking about another edition.
And finally, do you ever feel just a little bit bad about painting on a cover?
No – it’s crazy how much I love it. At the very beginning it was a game but now it’s part of me. I never felt bad about it to be honest.