Chloé Besson: Franco-American Artist Reminds Us to Challenge The Status Quo
Sometimes, a little happenstance can bring tremendous meaning to your life.
A few years ago, Chloé Besson’s college gap year delightfully turned into a period of self-discovery, awakened curiosity and exposure to the world of art. If you’re wondering, she worked as a volunteer and traveled in South America for 4 months. Once back in the states, she accidentally got a job with a photographer in Chicago. Upon her return, she pursued a BFA in Printmaking and Photography at the University of Colorado, Boulder and focused on developing her craft as an artist, designer and photographer.
I fell in love with the whole life of being an artist. The creative process is the most important thing to me now.
While art, specifically photography, remains her raison d’être, she wholeheartedly acknowledges the difficulties of working in this field. Sustaining this lifestyle sometimes translates into working 2-3 jobs, which can be a stressful, anxiety-inducing balance.
I’m not living off of my art, yet. I have a part time job. I had to finagle this situation for myself. All I want to do is pursue this process, but it can be challenging to make money off of it, while also trying to be happy in life. The reality is that the formula is different for everyone.
Social media remains a blessing and a curse as well. While Instagram has allowed her to connect more easily with her art supporters and creatives, she worries that photography is losing its special essence. The over-saturation of pictures directly affects the world of professional photography.
People don’t realize how much creatives do. I run into a lot of people who ask me for my photography services and in exchange say that I’ll get free wine and exposure. People don’t realize that this is my job. I’m a working artist. It is work. They don’t realize how much goes into it. There are a lot of necessary expenses and a lot of demanding time, depending on the medium.
Beyond using art as a release of creative energy, she sees her art as an opportunity to challenge herself and her viewers. She wants to remind us that what we see everyday, the things and concepts we take for granted, should be in constant reevaluation. For Chloé, this also means taking an honest look at her own work industry.
The art world is such a weird thing. It's pretentious and dirty, but also rich, beautiful and completely necessary. There are people who make things just because they need and want to make things, because they can't help it. Some people are selling the most basic things for hundreds of thousands of dollars. Others are doing the most technical things, and they’ll never sell a piece in their life. And then there’s everything in between. It’s just comical - the pursuit of creativity.
The Untitled Ones (Many Faces)
Her most recent series, The Untitled Ones (Many Faces), started in April 2018 and is blowing up on social media. The mixed mediums showcase parallels between distressed or abandoned environments, such as decimated landscapes, and neglected parts of the human form and portraiture. Through the process of juxtaposition, she transposes the elements of the natural world and those of the human form as a nod to the interdependency of human and environment.
Want to support local artists?
Avoid buying generic art pieces at large chain stores
Reach out to artists on social media, follow their work and go see their art gallery openings
If you want a piece of art, artists are usually willing to work with your budget, so don’t be shy and contact them!
Check out Chloé’s work on Instagram and her website, chloebesson.com