Interviews | March 27, 2023 |

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Image courtesy of Jean-Philippe Deugnier

Interview: Jean-Philippe Deugnier
Luca Curci
talks with Jean-Philippe Deugnier during VISIONS – CANVAS INTERNATIONAL ART FAIR 2023, and HYBRID IDENTITIES – BORDERS ART FAIR 2023, held in Venice, at Palazzo Albrizzi-Capello

The Franco-German artist Jean-Philippe Deugnier draws his inspiration from the Bauhaus, the Support-Surface movement, Edward Hopper and Vilhelm HammershØi. For 27 years, in parallel with his professional life, he worked with experimental images, then became a full-time photographer and artist in 2013, multiplying exhibitions, Artfair and receiving several awards. He is a member of the international contemporary art movements SCIARCISM for his work on abstraction, TRANSFIGURING, for his work on plastic photography, and co-founder and theorist of the OPTICO-NARRATIVE movement, with his work on optical art and kinetics.

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Image courtesy of Jean-Philippe Deugnier

Luca Curci – What are you currently working on?
Jean-Philippe Deugnier –
I have 3 directions of work :
– Optical art, in particular the notion of afterimages and chromatic games.
– The non-figurative, inspired by the grammar of lyrical abstraction and codes of simple shapes and symbolic colors. For sculptures and also Pictures.
– Semiology, with work on the signs and writing. A work that once again combines colour and its aesthetic resonance.
Actually, I am focusing on glass sculptures, always abstract and driven by colours and geometry. I am working, for a city near Paris, on a big sculpture that will be put outdoors and made by a special technic called “glass slab” mixing glass and Epoxy Resin. I will also begin in a few months, sculpture by cellular concrete. Pieces including glass took inside concrete. As you see, I am trying always to learn new technics and be challenging.

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Image courtesy of Jean-Philippe Deugnier

LC – What’s your background? What is the experience that has influenced your work the most?
Regarding Arts and photography, I am a self-made man. I have a degree in nuclear security and I worked for years in medical nuclear healthcare and photography was my hobby. Turning 45, I create my medium size company called “images et patrimoine” to make corporate photography for big companies in Germany, France, Belgium and Luxembourg. Technically, I am influenced by science, colors contrast and geometry. I am also influenced by the Danish painter Vilhelm HammershØi, for the softness of his painting and also by the Bauhaus, the constructed color and geometry. The experience that has influenced my work the most is the experience that you may have in front of a work. As an artist, I also experienced art from another artist. I like to see art as an experimental space. Experience for all, whatever your age, your culture or your sensitivity.

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Image courtesy of Jean-Philippe Deugnier

LC – What issues do you intend to deal with in the future?
I am looking for galleries, collector groups, Art foundations, etc… That liberates me from the commercial part and let me be free to create and produce.

LC – Do visitors’ suggestions enrich yourself and your art?
I do speak sometimes with visitors. I’d like their motivation to see, buy and admire art. Especially mine, of course.

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Image courtesy of Jean-Philippe Deugnier

LC – How is your creative process?
For Pictures, I do make them all by myself. For the print, I only use the industrial medium. For Sculpture, I am working with a famous glass maker in the centre of France. I am making maps and then, it is a 4 hands work. They have the machine and the oven to create and design glass. After that, I redesign part of my sculpture using sandblasting in a special machine. This is a delicate part of the work, because it defines the way you will see the sculpture and the effect of light on your eyes, through the glass.

LC – What do you think about the concept of this exhibition? How did it inspire you?
I like the idea of an exhibition in an XVI-century palace. It’s a great place to exhibit both classical and contemporary art. Palazzo Albrizzi-Capello is a really beautiful place, in the centre of the city, but also in a quiet part of Venice.

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Image courtesy of Jean-Philippe Deugnier

LC – What is the message linked to the artwork you have shown in this event? How is it connected to the theme of the entire exhibition?
Vision is what you see but also what you believe to see. In my work, pictures and glass, I try to put some games with light and color. Permit me to hold up as an example what I wrote to explain a project with abstract pictures: “This project takes place inside a larger project about the subject of Alzheimer’s disease and particularly the subject between the short and the long time memory. This pictures, project counts 11 pictures, printed on a lenticular sheet, presents two parts: the left one who is motionless, and symbolizes the long time memory, the one who stays alive for the patient, and the second half part, the right one is movable and symbolizes the short time memory, the one who is the most impacted by the disease. There are 3 colors transitions on the right part. This is a switch between primary and complementary colors, to put some optical game and enhance a visual experience. Those pieces of work have been presented at the MMOMA of Moscow for an international exhibition in October 2021, and have entered the permanent collections of art of the “Kyiv Art Gallery” the national museum of Modern Art of Kiev, in Ukraine, in September 2021. I use either my own shots or images on glass plates, copyright-free (portraits, family photos, handwritten letters) dating from the XIX-XXth century, which I scan and rework in chromatic contrast, allowing a game of optical and requiring increased observation of the image. So, I push the viewer to take an emotional and introspective journey.” Vision is a part of the perception that you may have in front of a work of art, sometimes working together with feeling and touching.

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Image courtesy of Jean-Philippe Deugnier

LC – What is your idea about ITSLIQUID GROUP?
– I like the staff, young, professional and multicultural. All people that I met, were passionate by art and listening to the artist to promote art but also to give a perfect experience to the visitors of the exhibition. I will surely work several times with it.

LC – Did you enjoy cooperating with us?
Yes, during the opening event I had some conversation with the staff. They are all passionate about the arts. They are all proactive and when you ask for something, the answer comes very quickly. And they are very charming. They propose I jump from “Vision” to another exhibition called “Hybrid Identities”, at the same place. It was a great Idea.

LC – What do you think about the organization of our event?
It is well organized. The presentation of the different artists was perfect. They asked me to participate in another event (Hybrid Identities in May 2023) and I accepted naturally. Also, the promotion through Social Media is very well done.

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Image courtesy of Jean-Philippe Deugnier
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Image courtesy of Jean-Philippe Deugnier
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Image courtesy of Jean-Philippe Deugnier

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