Did you choose your means of expression?
I discovered engraving when I went to the École des Beaux-arts de Nancy. I soon recognised an opportunity to make the most of my taste for drawing and I rapidly became a ‘fan’. Engraving is a captivating artistic field with a wealth of various technical possibilities. What interests me in my work is the freedom to explore the endless options provided by drawing. The engraving studio represents a space conducive to this experimentation dynamic. The very technical aspect of this discipline undeniably invites a great deal of reflection around executing an image and therefore stimulates my creativity. This medium has become my main means of expression, also motivated by a desire to broaden to the maximum my knowledge of all techniques related to it.
Is this medium secondary to or closely linked to your subject?
It is closely linked, as engraving puts me in a specific thought process around images. The material used can influence or motivate an image alone…
How does a work session take shape?
I have quite an intuitive and spontaneous relationship to work. Ideas often come to me all of a sudden, in a flash and then I throw myself into the execution almost immediately. It’s not my thing to spend a long time preparing or rigorously planning things. What excites me is ‘doing’ above anything else. Therefore I trust an instinct of sorts to progress with my work. The reflection tends to fall into place more afterwards and serves as a springboard. Most of the time before embarking on a new engraving, I do a quick sketch in my notebook to get my idea down. I sometimes do a little research to learn about a subject, write down a few thoughts, but not much more.
Can you explain to me how your work has evolved since starting out?
To begin with my approach to etching was perhaps more ‘classical’. These days, I no longer do an engraving simply to reproduce an image, I question more what the medium itself can express and how to exploit or distort it. Today therefore it’s not the printed result that interests me, but the creative process behind it.
ON A PERSONAL NOTE
Do your origins and culture play a role in the work that you produce?
I came from the Vosges I can’t help wondering if this environment has influenced the strong presence of nature in my drawings…
What are your sources of inspiration?
My research is often based on the symbolism of representations. Mythology, tales and more broadly literature are a source of inspiration that I regularly draw upon. I also greatly appreciate medieval art. I love the highly stylised manner of the representations of this period. Also I continuously collect images that inspire me and that I’ve found on the Internet during my research. This collection has become a sort of base that I turn to when I’m lacking in inspiration.
Do you take the news into account when you work or do you detach yourself from it?
The universes that I elaborate freely lean toward a form of timelessness. Most of the time the figures are naked, in settings with no architecture, so that the temporal context of my scenes can never really be identified. My purely phantasmagorical work is therefore completely detached from current events, without any anecdotes. It’s important for me that my images can stand the test of time. This is partly due to the fact that I often refer to myths, to original and therefore timeless stories.
ON A MORE
Are your works more of a dialogue, a trace or a denunciation?
I think I can speak of dialogue in the sense that my images are a world open to imagination, where we can each project what we want. Observers often share their perceptions and interpretations with me when they look at my work, which leads to a discussion that can sometimes introduce a new perspective or fuel further work. I like this freedom of projection and appropriation of the images. I propose rather than impose.
Do you wish to make viewers wonder or do you prefer to question them?
The images that I mould are sufficiently ambiguous for those looking to become lost in them and explore their imaginations. My aim is in fact to engage them by creating a sensation or an intense emotion rather than to question them.
How do you view human beings, and consequently your work?
I observe and regret among humans a loss of connection with their surroundings, roots and their very nature. Through my pictures I fantasise about a sort of return to an original state. I like to be able to project myself through this universe. Whether mankind, animals or plants…creatures of all kinds establish links between them, like in a sort of lost Eden. They literally merge.
Is art poetry or social intervention?
Art can be what it wants. For me, it is essentially poetic.
What projects do you have in progress or forthcoming?
I’m currently working on producing my first stop-motion animation film, produced from my engravings. I consider this project an important step in my career, part of a logical process at the same time as opening up a new dimension for me.