Taking a look at Gabriel Dufourcq’s art work, you’ll inevitably have your deal with the icons that has been featured. However there may be greater than meets the attention as a result of laying behind the long-lasting determine are newspaper headlines and authentic archives as previous as 200 years, associated to the political and pop icons. At first look, an art work introduced to us might converse of our preconceived notions, however Dufourcq’s art work invitations us to examine with better element questioning our established certitudes. Doing so, it might maybe assist to shed mild by offering extra data.
Chatting with Gabriel Dufourcq, the artist takes us via what it means to be an artist and the way past his formal background in Economics and an MBA, his holistic lifestyle stimulates his creativity and drive his pictorial and stylistic growth.
You originate from France and also you are actually based mostly in Singapore. Inform us about your first steps as an artist?
I don’t actually suppose there are any first steps as an artist. It’s extra like issues regularly reveal themselves to you over time, and also you finally find yourself creating one thing which others name “artwork”. If I recall, I really feel the beginning lays in a honest and profound have to create one thing, to offer beginning and reveal your interior self in by some means by connecting concepts and inspirations. Materalising an concept for an art work is finally making house in your thoughts!
I’m initially from France however have spent the final 12 years in Singapore. After spending few years on the highway beginning in Madrid then Rome, adopted by a few months within the Center East and the Horn of Africa, I lastly landed in Kuala Lumpur in 2007. The cultural variety coupled with the mental pleasure of being out of my consolation zone is one thing that additionally creates many “sparkles of creativity”. It’s releasing the thoughts of your individual stereotypes and permitting you to increase your individual mental horizons. Discovering new flavours, colors, philosophies, mindsets, considering and non secular requirements create a really fertile floor for the expansion and the revealing of your inventive expression.
So like I mentioned, there aren’t any “first steps”, it’s extra like a religious journey, rising within the silence of our minds. I don’t have any formal Artwork training or coaching. As an alternative, I studied economics and statistics. One can go to highschool to review arts however finally, like entrepreneurs, an educational background just isn’t what makes you! It took me years to name myself an artist. I didn’t wish to self-proclaim as such. For me, it is a title to be gained and must be given by others in recognition of your work. It’s only when folks begin calling you “artist” that for certain you’re one.
Classic newspapers, archive papers and vibrant pop-style colors are recurrent throughout your work. What led you to affiliate these slightly reverse mediums?
As I discussed earlier, the inventive course of is gradual and subsequently this got here slowly to me as an actual thought course of. I began with easy newspapers collages after which started portray iconic components onto them to create a dialogue — a parallelism between the background and the icon. On this means, we’re relating the precise intentions of my work, which is to have a double-reading and provoke a mirrored image to the viewers on these preconceived icons
My artworks require two layers of studying: First you’ve a really acquainted pop icon, which is an easy visible component that may be simply repeated (the precept of Pop(ular) Artwork). Then there are the newspapers and archive paperwork I work with that could possibly be 150-200 years previous, and so the aim is to create a dialogue between historic components and extra modern components. It’s about bringing modernity to previous recollections or historical past into modernity. I attempt to incorporate a “back-to-the-future” component into my art work and create dialogues between two very completely different time intervals, the twenty first century and 18th or nineteenth and twentieth century.
For instance, once I draw the Maharaja’s face in Fluo pink on an previous Indian paper from the nineteenth century, the distinction of the boring paperwork and vibrant colors is admittedly like travelling via time. Additionally, the worth of those items stems not solely from the precise artwork however the historic paperwork which are a part of the art work. These can value 1000’s once I purchase them from auctions or vintage collectors however are sometimes simply mendacity dormant in some library earlier than I revive them utilizing artwork.
Via my art work, I aspire to open folks’s eyes to historical past and remind them of the place they arrive from. The query of origins is central in my work. It’s particularly essential within the twenty first century the place we now have mass manufacturing of Pop artwork icons, like Muhammad Ali or Marilyn Monroe. However nobody is aware of actually their full story, past a reputation or a operate. In distinction, once I work on a portrait of Ali with 300 newspapers titles within the background, I’m reviving all the weather that constructed the icon. When folks see the portrait, everybody acknowledges Ali however to actually get to know him you will need to dive into the background studying.
How do you select the icons and personalities you’re portraying in your artworks? What’s your inventive course of like?
I began with political icons as I used to be fascinated with how these figures might develop into well-known. Except for twentieth century dictators, I’ve been specializing in these universally identified personalities like Mandela, Queen Elizabeth, Churchill, Kennedy and others.
In keeping with this collection, I additionally portrayed Lee Kuan Yew as a tribute to Singapore, who helped with constructing and fixing the historical past of the nation’s artwork scene, but in addition as a result of Mr Lee‘s legacy is past the achievement of many international political leaders in my eyes.
That’s the way it began after which I regularly shifted to extra widespread icons like The Beatles and Muhammad Ali who additionally had super social and political impression.
Maintaining with popular culture, in some methods, has deviated my inventive model of double-reading as it’s now influenced by extra industrial icons. However anyway, an artist shouldn’t be doing the identical factor again and again… Consistency is essential as I discussed earlier, however collectors expect to see development, evolution trajectory and talent to repeatedly evolve. Collectors don’t wish to purchase one other “Printing Machine” model art work, and being an artist can also be with the ability to discover new territories, completely different types and methods, increasing our personal boundaries
What’s the most difficult half about creating your art work?
The method of amassing and constructing historic archives is bodily difficult and really time-consuming however that isn’t the toughest half. Probably the most difficult a part of creating artwork is the flexibility to guage your self and ask, “Does my art work need to be proven?”. I by no means ask my buddies nor my household, as a result of I wish to keep away from any complacency and false confidence. I often maintain an art work to myself for a sure period of time earlier than releasing it publicly in order that I can ponder it alone in my residence studio and take the time to guage what I created.
One among my favorite tales is The Little Prince. Within the story, the Prince travels to seven planets earlier than arriving on Earth. On the primary planet he lands on, he’s greeted by the only inhabitant, a King, who makes him his Minister of Justice. The Prince remarks that there isn’t anybody else to guage on his planet and so the King asks him to guage himself. To this, the Prince replies, “that’s the most tough factor of all. It’s far more tough to guage oneself than to guage others. If you happen to reach judging your self rightly, then you’re certainly a person of true knowledge.” And I completely agree with that.
Extra realistically the 2 main challenges I face are time constraints to create what I’ve amassed in my notebooks and on papers, and secondly judging which of my artworks need to be proven out of the numerous items I’ve created.
What feelings do you hope the viewers expertise when taking a look at your artwork?
That’s the hardest query but! I might love to have the ability to really feel the feelings of my collectors after they have a look at my art work. As an artist, I already know what my work means and what feelings it elucidates since it’s by essence an expression of my interior self, mirroring a sure notion of my actuality.
However I want to really feel what they really really feel, what catches their eyes, and what invitations them to pause in entrance of the work and even to accumulate it. In communication there’s all the time a distinction between what one intends to say and what different hears and interpret. I really feel this to be the identical with artwork.
“Nothing touches a murals so little as phrases: they all the time lead to roughly lucky misunderstandings. Issues aren’t all so tangible and sayable as folks would often have us imagine” — Rainer Maria Rilke
A murals is nice if it has arisen out of necessity. That’s the solely means one can decide it. On this notice, my newest works from the collection “Oedipal Disobedience” contain the usage of blended media. Robots on this collection are painted in a put up expressionist model, that are extra advanced to learn and extra open to particular person interpretation. It’s also the results of extra mature ideas and technical experimentations and numerous influences.
I do not likely imagine that artists ought to impose their definition of what folks should really feel or perceive from their work. In case your artwork is nice sufficient, it would converse to folks, however simply allow them to respect it and type their very own interpretations.
You may have began a brand new collection specializing in robots, inform us extra about this new inventive enterprise?
As a part of my inventive endeavour, it’s a pure development, pushing my boundaries and difficult myself with a brand new stylistic strategy. In brief, it’s a fusion of my technicalities and completely different influences aiming to query our modern objective and trajectory. In lots of my works, I embody the maths equation from Chaos Idea, impressed by my economics and statistics background. The speculation’s basic circumstances fascinate me as it’s the begin and finish of every part. It echoes my non secular affect once I embody Greek symbols of Alpha and Omega, which signify eternity.
These robots are an invite to ponder, and self-reflect on what the long run appears like, and the way robots might exchange or complement humanity. The form and dimension of my robots are remastered model of non secular effigies, like these utilized by the Incas and in Voodoo. My robots are appearing because the non secular effigies of this twenty first century, the brand new totems of the Digital Age.
What’s the function the artist performs in society?
I’m not certain that artists should personal a particular function in society; a really mounted and constrained idea. I imply a restricted timeframe conditioned by norms and bias. The inventive situation is earlier than all a self-centred necessity to discover our innermost feeling. I’m nobody to impose my ideas on others. If folks discover a widespread message in my work, it’s nice that it has contributed to their very own reflections. However artists by themselves don’t have any particular function, their works may need one by contributing past the temporality of the artist.
When creating, I merely deliver to my very own life and the sunshine I wish to see on the earth. It’s a bit just like Gandhi’s quote, “be the change you wish to see on the earth.” I create what I want to see.
In truth, an artist ought to simply present an escape, a dream state for others to plunge into and really feel at peace, impressed, as they benefit from the artwork piece. As a closing level I’d prefer to share certainly one of my motto in life: Who’re my inventive irritators and to whom am I a inventive irritator? If it’s not the common artist function, it’s no less than my guideline…
How is Singapore inspiring you in your day by day life and in your private evolution as an artist?
My journey in Southeast Asia began 14 years in the past and has been a steep studying curve since. I used to be not an “artist” once I landed right here. And I might have in all probability by no means been if I had stayed in Europe. Loneliness, away from my native nation, has been an eye fixed opener from a cultural, non secular, historic viewpoint. Singapore’s multicultural variety has been a real accelerator, fuelling the sparkles of creativity in my thoughts. Even after 12 years, day by day here’s a new alternative of discovery and questions. Just lately I actually preferred this assertion I got here throughout on a public promoting within the prepare: “Singapore just isn’t boring, you’re boring.” I merely can not perceive why folks discover Singapore boring. There are such a lot of flavours, colors, and variety right here! It’s a fixed effervescence that give you so many alternatives. Some folks made use of the alternatives to begin their very own companies and start-ups, I used it to develop into an artist.
The 5 phrases that finest describe your artwork?
Introspection, private want, meticulous, lonely, mixture.
Inform us about your main tasks and highlights throughout 2021?
Covid-19 affected lots of my current tasks. I used to be speculated to do an artwork truthful in New York a couple of months in the past and an exhibition in Paris again in March. Wanting on the optimistic aspect, I’ve been specializing in maturing my model and creating new works which are nicely obtained by my collectors and the general public.
The subsequent huge milestone will likely be towards my robotic collection. I really feel I’m at the start of a journey with one thing huge on the finish. Additionally, I’m at present ending a residence at Intercontinental Lodge in Bugis and planning to attend the Singapore Reasonably priced Artwork Truthful this coming November (if restrictions are lifted). By 2022, we’re planning some greater issues abroad principally within the US, London, and Paris so keep tuned!
How can the LUXUO and ART REPUBLIK readers buy an art work from you?
For the most recent releases, head over to my Instagram or my web site, then contact me by way of WhatsApp or electronic mail. I ship my works worldwide, from Singapore to Rio de Janeiro and Johannesburg to London. It is extremely essential for me to have a private reference to each collector, even briefly; to talk and advise them on the completely different items, their tales and thought processes. Shopping for an art work, it’s earlier than all shopping for part of the artist story and thought course of. It additionally permits my collectors to be my inventive irritators, typically bringing to life new works, as a collaborating effort.
If you happen to have been to call one mentor who has impressed you in your life and path as an artist, who would that be?
I don’t have only one! There are many individuals who gave me unbelievable items of recommendation alongside my journey or supported me, from my mom to my spouse but in addition many buddies and even unknown folks. My childhood in addition to my life experiences, have been vital sources of inspiration, making my artwork nearly a type of psychotherapy.
If pressed, maybe one mentor I might spotlight can be Michael Brimm, an INSEAD trainer throughout my MBA, who gave me the phrases I used earlier of “inventive irritator”, advising us to determine who’re these inventive irritators in our lives. It has been a guideline since.