Interview: Jean-Baptiste Besançon

Jean-Baptiste Besançon

Bordeaux, France.


Could you tell us a little about yourself? How did your work in art begin?

I am 33 years old, I was born and I work in Bordeaux (France). I had an aesthetic influence by my antique dealer parents and taller I always had the pleasure of using my hands to create. And little by little I felt the need to immerse myself completely in the painting and to make it a discipline, to learn its techniques, its rules, to better emancipate and use it as a language, a means expression. Over time, searches became canvas and I began to enter more and more into a process of creation.

Please tell us about your paintings. How does the new work begin? Do you use any sketches or it is pure improvisation?

I have a relationship with painting that is direct and raw. I do not sketch. Preparing my composition or my colors beforehand would remove all spontaneity. When I start a painting it’s as if I did not do anything. I like this white page feeling. Then it’s the first gesture that tells me a direction.

“That’s what I do that teaches me what I’m looking for” Pierre Soulages

Tell us about your studio? How much time do you spend there?

I already have the chance to have a studio to talk about it, this is not the case for all painters. Originally it is a storage place, I pushed the furniture and I created a work space. I do not have a window, the lighting is the same at any time. There is a sense of timelessness. The floor is rough, covered with paint, in a corner there is a wooden easel which I rarely use. In one corner a pile of crumpled canvas, composed of research and testing and on the other side my tools to stretch the canvas and assemble the frame. In contrast, brushes, brushes, paint pots. I’m here all week.

What does your usual working day look like? What music do you listen to?

I start by taking a coffee and taking it to the workshop. Then I analyze what I did the day before. Either I throw the canvas because it does not suit me, either I rework it, or I leave it as it is. Then it’s more random. I sometimes work for several days on a canvas without ever going out anything. Usually a productive period takes place where I paint and I paint at the same time on others. There are not really any rules, it depends on the moment. Then sometimes doubt comes, I like the doubt, it is healthy and constructive, it allows me to understand what I’m looking for. I do not necessarily listen to music, sometimes the radio.

What inspires you most of all to create new paintings?

here is not one thing that inspires me more than others. What surrounds me inspires me, what I feel, like any painter. I let myself be guided by all that. I trust improvisation and I give a place of choice to the gestures. The imprint and the material are also elements that I particularly like. When I contemplate a painting by Hans Hartung or Andre Marfaing (among others) I feel what their canvas contains, It is a language that I understand, I understand their painting. the infinite in an enclosed space. I love this discipline and what drives me to continue is what I have not painted yet.

What about your plans for this year? Have you already planned any exhibitions?

Yes FORMATO14 is a private exhibition in the house of a collector in Madrid, planned for February. For the rest of the year I had proposals but no dates yet.

Your thoughts that you want to share with our readers.

To persevere, to start again, to build, to advance, to destroy, to question oneself, to face one’s doubts, to share.

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