We recently talked Fine Arts with senior class of ’16 Stephie Key, aka Cherry Lazare.
Where do you come from and what made you choose to study in Paris?
Where do I come from, that’s a tough one. I was born in New Zealand, but grew up traveling between London, Singapore and Sydney. I moved back to New Zealand when I was 11 but I left home at 17 and came to Paris. I kind of spent a few years floating around Europe doing odd jobs like working on a goat farm, working in a gallery situated in Hitler’s old propaganda bunker, then eventually decided to go to university and was drawn to Paris.
Tell us a bit about the major you’re in.
I started in Photography and switched to Fine Arts. For me I was starting to become a lot more interested in film and performance. In photography I was a lot more restricted in this aspect. I wanted to play around a little more.
Since beginning the course, tell us briefly how you’ve evolved as an artist.
Immensely. I think when I started off here, I didn’t think of things in regards to how other people would see my work. Since being here, I’ve realized that every single thing counts like the frame of the video, even the room smells differently with people being there since I do performance. Definitely something that has been important has not necessary been having guidelines of a strong concept, but at least having a strong sense of where your ideas come from. Also on a technical level, I have improved a bajillion times. I have more confidence in my own work to show other people.
Describe to us a bit about your senior project.
I used to take self portraits between 12-15 years old. When I was younger I used an alter ego as well though I never thought it was a legitimate form of expression. When I started my education at PCA, the professors started to really push me towards self portraiture, they asked why I shouldn’t keep taking photos and they commented on my strong look so ‘Cherry Lazare’ was born after my second year. It’s a lot easier for me as an artist to use an alter ego to put my work out there.
For my senior project, Cherry Lazare has decided to start a company. She’s been delving into witchcraft at the moment and she has been into love potion. I’ve been doing print ads and a video commercial. I’ve actually made the love the potions, the products, and I’m going to be running a love-magic class at the gallery.
What kinds of electives have helped you prepare your senior project?
It’s a bunch of things. I think definitely the performance classes have helped me. I’m taking a liberal studies theatre course at the moment that I’m really enjoying since I haven’t had any professional acting or performance training before.
How do you overcome artistic roadblocks?
I’m going through that at the moment when sometimes it’s too much. Emotionally, I tend to just try and relax and tell myself to breathe. I like cooking so often I will cook and think stuff over. The more you stress out, the more things don’t come out. I learnt very early on that I had to focus on one theme per semester, and work out a way to involve it into each project that I was given. Whilst your focus is in that world, you can still find ways to progress it in some sense.
Have you participated in any competitions or company projects?
I did the Mauboussin project where I won second place. Even though I did not receive a cash prize, Mauboussin have expressed interest in manufacturing my piece as well!
Where do you see yourself post graduation?
World domination. I want to push Cherry Lazare into a global icon of doll, make up, and perfume. I’m also interested in working in film so I would like to explore some of that.
The senior Fine Arts show will be held at Galerie du CROUS de Paris from May 9-20.–
Check out more of Cherry’s work!
INSTAGRAM – @ cherrylazare