It’s not every day when you can walk the streets of Houston and see a spectacular work of art worthy of showcase on a side of a building. For the people enjoying their bike ride or stroll on Fannin near Tuam, seeing a 60-foot-high by one city block-wide Michelangelo-type painting in the works is a spectacular sight.
How did this come to light?
French-American artist Sebastien Boileau, in partnership with UP Art Studio and the Texan-French Alliance for the Arts and the Midtown District, teamed up to present the largest mural ever produced in Houston. Not only is this project going to raise public art awareness within the community, but proceeds raised from this mural will help fund a children’s hospital mural project in Houston which will begin production in 2014-2015.
I had a chance to catch up with Sebastien “Mr. D” recently. In his own words….
Eric: If you could tag any building in the world, what/where would it be?
Sebastien: If it was allowed (the illegal days are behind me), it would be the castle of Versaiiles. I was born near Versaiiles and would love to have an art show inside the castle being a son of the city. I would like to do installation and art in the building. As for an outside job, my target building in Houston is the AT&T building off I-45. Every time I am driving on I-45 it calls my name.
Eric: What was the biggest obstacles in successfully launching Eyeful Art?
Sebastien: The language. I came to the US with very broken English. Culturally it was not that difficult. After all, we, Europe and America, are cousins. But picking up the language was the biggest obstacle I had to overcome.
Eric: What are some of the works that you have created that you are most proud of?
Sebastien: Without a doubt I am really happy with this current art project. As for indoor art projects, I am very proud of being able to take part in the first graffiti show in Houston set at the Station Museum. My exhibition at “CALL IT STREET ART, CALL IT FINE ART, CALL IT WHAT YOU KNOW” is one of my proudest works.
Eric: Have you ever received any crazy art requests?
Sebastien: Probably one of the most recent, was a building on Westheimer called Biscuit Home. It’s a company that sells all kinds of linen for the house. They fixed up the building beautifully and they wanted me to pour paint all over it. The irony of life. People are starting to ask me to do things to their property that years ago would never have been considered a ‘commissioned project’. Projects that used to get me in trouble are now becoming commissioned works.
Eric: What celebrity do you get mistaken for?
Sebastien: All jokes aside, Viggo Mortenson. When the beard and hair is down, I cannot even go into Starbucks without having people come up to me.
(Seriously, he can pass for Viggo quite easily).
Eric: Name one thing about you that most people don’t know?
Sebastien: I am extremely goofy, but only those close to me really see that side of me.
Eric: What is one your favorite quotes?
Sebastien: Michelangelo – “I have suffered more than any man has in labor and bad health yet I remain patient to achieve a desired goal.”
Eric: If you could meet anyone living or dead, who would you meet?
Sebastien: I can’t really come up with a person that I am so intrigued by. There are people who have done great things, but regardless of who they are, they are just like you and me.
To celebrate the completion of “Preservons la Creation”, come to Midtown Houston on Saturday, June 7th from 3:00 to 11:00pm. Location – 2800 San Jacinto / Northeast Corner of Fannin Street and Tuam Street. Tickets can be purchased here.