we ask inspiring Painter Victor Schegin “Seehund ART” questions about art and life.
Who are you and what do you do? I’m Victor Schegin, a young French painter. I sign my paintings Seehund.
Why do you do what you do? I dream a lot at night, and daydream a lot as well. Painting frees me from an accumulation of imagination. It’s the way I best communicate deep feelings with people, and also with myself. I look forward to waking up every day to dedicate more time to visual arts.
How do you work? I use photographs, mostly mine, sometimes copyright free ones. I think: this atmosphere would match this object well, and this person those stairs. Either I look at photographs for inspiration or I have an specific scene in mind and do research to paint what I imagined. During my latest dystopia-themed series, I took a photo of a mother and a daughter in the street. Looking at it, I noticed the girl was observing something but I didn’t know what. I imagined and painted what she was looking at. This is how my painting « Bright Future », where a little girl stares at a homeless man, was born.
What’s your background? At the age of 15, I discovered graffiti and became fascinated. After my baccalaureate, I studied journalism. I learnt a lot I still use today: better communication, filming and editing skills, which help me handle my social networks and take photographs. The links between photography and painting are central to my work. I taught myself how to draw and paint, immersing myself in its novelty. Drawing kept me busy during my classes, in transports, in the evening at home. At the age of 19, I realized I found more pleasure in figurative arts than in lettering and became passionate. My first paintings (2015-2016) were heavily influenced by my graffiti period: use of sprays, markers, and drips. In 2017-2018, I took oil painting and drawing lessons with Paris-Ateliers. I also attended workshops dedicated to drawing nude living models at the Grande Chaumiere Academy, in Paris, where Giacometti came to practice. Since 2017, I attended various classes in different schools, including live model sessions at the famous Ecole Nationale des Beaux-Arts de Paris. I acquired new techniques and painted realistic portraits like “Laura”. After that, I created my dystopia-themed series, which now just came to an end.
What’s integral to the work of an artist? Picasso said “It took me four years to paint like Raphael, but a lifetime to paint like a child.” An artist should feel free whilst creating, but most are under the influence of rules fixed by themselves or what their learnt. That way, many artists, like Picasso for instance, unlearn the best they can to be less compelled by knowledge when painting. I find I’m most compelled by my perfectionism. Even though I’m learning a lot and enjoying it, I start letting go when I paint, which is great! When I overthink, painting is less pleasant. Instead, I now follow my feelings and take pleasure. Also, I am convinced my painting communicates best with the audience if I sometimes listen to my instincts, rather than try to “better” my painting. Painting is a unique moment in life where nothing’s forbidden nor irreversible. Freedom is integral to the work of an artist.
What role does the artist have in society? The artist’s true role in society is to create opportunities for individuals to take a break from their reality and experience a new point of view. An artwork is a reminder of humanity to its audience. It offers a possibility to think and feel differently.
What has been a seminal experience? Meeting Gilles Fourgassie, who was my oil painting teacher for 2 years and became my friend.
What art do you most identify with? I’m interested and moved by Robert Proch’s work on gravity and space. I like the use of drips as an aesthetic element itself in the works of Leonardo Cremonini or Ted Pim. I’m impressed by Dali’s technique in the painting of Gala looking at the beach, transforming in an Abraham Lincoln portrait if you look at the piece 15 meters away. I’m moved by Les Amants by René Magritte. I like the palpable atmosphere in Edward Hopper’s pieces, the paintings of women by the impressionist Konstantin Razumov and I admire Vermeer’s compositions.
What work do you most enjoy doing? Beginning new paintings is magical for me.
What’s your strongest memory of your childhood? Moments of happiness with my brother.
Is the artistic life lonely? What do you do to counteract it? Artistic life doesn’t force loneliness on someone: being alone often or surrounded by people is not defined so much by your activity, but rather by your personality and choices. However, in order to work, I find I am more productive on my own.
What do you dislike about the art world? I just got into the art world, I try my best to understand it rather than judge it.
What do you dislike about your work? I don’t dislike anything in particular about my work for a simple reason: when my painting doesn’t satisfy me, I can always change it.
What do you like about your work? I like that my style is born and starting to be recognizable. I’m happy that my visual identity isn’t too specific yet: I don’t have a brand that’s mine and is present on every single work – for now. Instead I learn, explore and find a lot of ideas.
What research do you do? I search for reference pictures whenever I don’t have a photograph I took myself that meets my needs. I also watch documentaries about famous painters.
What themes do you pursue? My dystopia-themed series just ended with more than 15 beautiful works. I am currently focusing on exploring my artistic direction, relying on my gut feel to figure out where I want to go next.
What’s your favourite art work? I can’t choose one single favourite. The first big crush I had on a painting was for “Bakkuda” by Fin Dac, when I saw it at the Urban Art Fair in 2018.
What memorable responses have you had to your work? I hear a lot that my paintings resemble Edward Hopper’s.
Name something you love, and why. I love to paint with oils. I love their texture, their brightness and ability to make gradients.
What is your dream project? I like Walt Disney’s quote: “the difference between a dream and a project is a date.”
Name three artists you’d like to be compared to. Robert Proch, Salvador Dalí, Edward Hopper
What’s the best piece of advice you’ve been given? The best advice I’ve been given is to take my time.
Professionally, what’s your goal? I’d like to travel the world exhibiting my works, to talk to a lot of people and to connect with them.
What wouldn’t you do without? There’s one thing I can’t imagine: living without painting.