The Dreamers – An Interview with Joshua Why

 Joshua Why is a young 3D artist based in Paris. One of his last pieces of work, The dreamers, is an extraordinary series, in which Joshua is questioning the idea of identity. We naturally jump on the occasion to have a little chat with the artist and to dig into his world.

KALTBLUT: Tell us a little about your creative background, how did you get into 3D and 
what really pushed you to do so?
Joshua Why: Since I was born I never stopped creating things, it first began with music creations, photographies works and artistic installations. My first meeting with software was in high school, at this point I discovered photoshop.
Then, I went to graphic Design School but it never really interest me because It wasn’t enough artistic and free mind. I’m feeling really free and creative when I’m trying something new with learning by myself. So I came in 3D by intuition. 
As I love photography but never wanted to be one, I found in 3D software the best alternative way.
My first project was a video clip for Glass Animals, an English band. Thanks to this video I learnt a lot about creations’ software and the unlimited potential of these tools.
The possibilities to build something never seen in the real world is an exciting idea. It is most interesting when you give life to powerful characters like The Dreamers.

In this particular series, The Dreamers, you mention Matthew Barney and Orlan as inspiration. How this two artist inspires you?
Both artists put in the front of their work the question of identity. We’re living in a society that conditions our body as a specific genre, Male / Female. 
But Orlan and Barney say no. Identity is moving, is hybrid, is always changing from something to something else. 
Orlan and Barney offer a new point of view which is disturbing the viewer by the way they’re creating weird and mysterious characters. Thanks to Orlan’s work hybridization and self hybridizations.
In The Dreamers, this is what I’m trying to do. In other words, blow up the line, to feel and think the body in another way. This is a series that allows us to question the nature of our identities.

Your work is somehow very stylish. What is your relation to fashion?
Well, I always loved fashion. It makes me want to dress up in an experimental way. Fashion shows us how clothing can be an extension/ prostheses of the body. 
In The Dreamers there is always an extension like that. Sometimes clothing and another time an object connected to the body. We can call it « an augmented body ». I like the mystery and the powerful thing that a relation between bodies and clothing can provoke. And in the end, It’s about the model more than the clothing.

Your illustrations are so exquisite and very unique, what are your general inspirations?
Inspiration is coming from everywhere. I’m inspired by the weather, the seasons, nature. And also by music, literature, philosophy, mangas and movies. News and Sciences are also great material of inspiration. For example, the human body is currently the centre of some debates. 
Debates about implants, symbiosis, virtual bodies, augmented bodies. This is fascinating. A huge change is coming with transhumanism.

What is the message you want to get across to viewers of your work?

There isn’t a specific message. I want the viewers to feel it more than understand it. This is an experience of the body, an invitation to meet alterity. If I could print this series, it would be exhibit in a huge room like Jean Louis David’s paintings ( Coronation of Napoleon I at le Louvres ). 
So we could feel a presence, live an immersive experience and find a soul in these virtual bodies.

You’re based in Paris, how did all COVID-19 impact you and your work?
A good question indeed…I guess it impacted me in a psychological way, mostly. 
I’m working as a freelance and much of the time I spend is at home, this is the part that didn’t really change.
Honestly, the most terrible thing is that cultural places are currently closed. Like Museums, Galleries, Cinemas, Theatres.
 It’s a huge impact on creators and artists like me because it feels like we aren’t useful for society. 
It shows us we live in a system that underestimates the place of art and artist. This is a dangerous thing.

Have any unexpected benefits come out of this situation for you? What do you wish 
for the future?
Well, I had more time to work on ALMA, a short animated film I wanted to finish!  In the future, I wish I could print my work in the real world so as to show it to people in a physical way. I also have a musical project called XLM. A project which is really linking with The Dreamers’ series.
I wish Artists must be more seen, mostly when we’re living in a crisis like that one, we need art.

Designed by Joshua Why
3D Concept and 3D clothing by Joshua Why
3D model By Joshua Why ( using Daz 3D )
Instagram: @josh_why