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In Conversation with Jean Paul Langlois

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If you missed the recent announcement, we're hosting a party this Thursday. In a bid to Make Gastown Great Again, we're throwing open the doors and pouring beers to celebrate our 13th Anniversary. The party will be paired with the brilliant and hyper-colourful work of Vancouver artist, Jean Paul Langlois. 

We sat down with JP to learn a little bit more about his work, his inspirations, and give a taste of what to expect Thursday evening. If you haven't RSVP'd yet, hit up the Facebook event and check that little box. You're going to want to. 


What was your introduction to Spaghetti Westerns? 

At fifteen, I dropped out of high school and made some older friends. They exposed me to foreign films and art films. When all I'd ever seen was shit like Indiana Jones or the Dumpling Gang, a movie like Fistfull of Dollars blew my little teenage mind. 

What draws you to the imagery of the Wild West? 

My love of country music? Joking. I love the starkness of the landscape, the look of some gunslinging thug just sitting on his horse. There's something timeless, perfect... One shot tells the whole story. 

Do you have a formal education in colour theory? What makes you decide to paint a horse pink or a cloud green?

I've just been painting a long time. Eventually you figure out how colours affect each other. I usually get inspired by seeing a set of colours together, maybe from a cartoon or some fancy new sneakers. Once I start, I just work it out as I go.


Jean Paul Langlois, Apache Boy from Winnetou


What's your favourite colour? 

Anything but brown. 

How do you think Western themes apply to contemporary times? 

Not much has changed—cowboys are still killing Indians, lynching blacks. Everyone's looking for that gold, packing guns...

Have you seen some of the modern Westerns? Do they hold up to the classics? 

I like the genre blending Westerns like Bone Tomahawk or Dead Birds. Tarantino's last few movies were good too. The Australian film The Proposition is an all time fav. But there's a quality to the classics that can't be recaptured. That being said, I watch a lot of old garbage just to find the occasional gem.


Jean Paul Langlois, Magnificent Brutes


What spurred the shift from the Fake Indians series to these new works featuring samurai and apes?

It's just the next logical phase. The story needs new blood, different characters. They all look good on horseback so they fit into my world.

Do you have a favourite Japanese classic?

I love Yojimbo and The Hidden Fortress but Zatoichi: The Blind Swordsman movies are my fav. He's a very deep character. There's actually a Western remake called Blindman with Ringo Starr... It's not the best...

If you could share a beer with one director and one painter, who would they be?  

Emily Carr and Peter Jackson. Joking, although her monkey was probably entertaining.

I think Richard Prince and Werner Herzog. I'm sure Werner would hog the mic but at least he'd be funny and interesting. And I'd just like to be seen hanging out with Richard Prince. Both those guys just do what they wanna do—they don't give a fuck. And most of what they produce is gold.


Jean Paul Langlois, Chief Big Heap


What's your favourite thing about Gastown?

The commitment of the street people. They just keep that party rocking. No matter how far away welfare day is, rain or shine, in the doorway of a fancy bistro or the middle of the street they just rocking it out, keeping it real.

What should guests expect at the opening Thursday?

A party is what has been promised. So we shall deliver a party! 

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