Ingrid Lafleur on Art and Pleasure Monday 15 September, 2014

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A native of Detroit and a family of artists, Ingrid Lafleur is a dedicated creative whose work is intent on bringing art to the “masses.” An art curator, hosting shows and exhibitions in cities as far-flung as Paris and Johannesburg, Lafleur wants to make visual art accessible, as ubiquitous “as music or fashion.” Her art […]

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A native of Detroit and a family of artists, Ingrid Lafleur is a dedicated creative whose work is intent on bringing art to the “masses.” An art curator, hosting shows and exhibitions in cities as far-flung as Paris and Johannesburg, Lafleur wants to make visual art accessible, as ubiquitous “as music or fashion.” Her art tour company, Wanderlust, organizes art excursions around the world, perfectly designed to highlight the cultural and artistic peculiarities of the cities visited, all the while imbued with a dose of the luxurious.

In this interview, we discuss with Lafleur her path to art curation, Detroit, and how pleasure can never be divorced from art.

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How did you get interested in art?

I grew up with art. My parents were art collectors, so our art collection is a part of our family. On the weekends my father would take me to museums and art spaces in the Detroit area including museums in Chicago and Toledo. He made me read every label and every pamphlet they gave. It was grueling for me, young with a very short attention span, but it worked. Art is my life.

When did you realize that you were an artist or decided that you wanted to pursue art as a career?

I never really made a “decision” to become a curator. I went to grad school in New York and began putting on shows of artists I love. Now I see myself as more of an art educator than a curator, although I still organize exhibitions. I have one coming up this July in Johannesburg, SA at GoethOnMain that features the Detroit artist collective Complex Movements.

A large part of the work I do is exposing people to the wonderful world of contemporary art and culture. I do this mostly through Wanderlust, a boutique art tour company. The goal is to take the intimidation out of art and making the experience of art more enjoyable. Our tours include culinary art, small independent art and design spaces and boutique shopping. Each tour is curated with the sensibilities of an aesthete in mind.

How do you think your surroundings have influenced your artistic style?

I’m a huge advocate of Detroit, meaning I believe Detroit is a beautiful and elegant city that is going through a fascinating transition. The latter part alone has drastically affected my curatorial style. I originally thought of opening a gallery when I returned home three years ago, and then quickly realized how many citizens and visitors did not know all the creative and innovative spaces that already exists. This was how Wanderlust was born. Also, I enjoy curating exhibits outside of Detroit that feature Detroit artists so that they may gain more exposure in the international art world.

What are your ultimate dreams for your art?

The ultimate dream is for people to be as familiar with contemporary art as they are with music or fashion. I hope to help make that happen.

What is your favorite thing about making art?

My favorite thing about curating are the conversations I have with visitors. To know that I may have inspired someone or presented a new perspective through my exhibits and tours excites me to no end. It is the reason why I do what I do.

What is it that you most aim to express when creating?

Pleasure is at the heart of everything I do. I follow the pleasure principle where every experience is 360 degrees of satisfaction and bliss. 

How would you define, “living unchained”?

Full expression of self that generates deep pleasure for self.

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Written by Ari Melenciano and Nesrien Hamid. 

Photocredits: UrbanBushBabes.com and Mail & Guardian.

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