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Rencontre avec : Hadrien Durand-Baïssas

Initially a designer, the Parisian artist Hadrien Durand-Baïssas (born in 1992) today prefers multidisciplinarity and builds a multifaceted work, ranging from drawing to music, including installation. We discussed with him his career, his artistic practice and his reflections.

Muuuz: Can you summarize your journey for us? How did you start to draw?
Hadrien Durand-Baïssas: I started drawing in a drawing workshop in Paris when I was in high school. Most of the time, I drew during my lessons instead of taking notes, but in the end it paid off since I joined Atelier de Sèvres just after the bac. Then, I studied graphic design in Paris also to then work as a freelancer while continuing my artistic practice. Today, I work as an artistic director and visual artist in New York.

Why did you choose to settle across the Atlantic? What stage represents this stay in your journey?
Living in New York is a huge step in my journey. I moved there because I was thirsty for adventure outside France, and also because many projects awaited me there. I think it's a crazy city where artists are treated differently than in France. In New York, I have the impression that art occupies a major place in everyday life: we very often meet people there with crazy energy who take us on projects all the more crazy than the other. It is also this excitement that pushed me out of my comfort zone and to test new mediums such as light installations or 3D.

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How would you define your artistic practice? What subjects do you cover in your works?
I don't know myself how to define my artistic practice. It is a bit unstable and accidental. I loved practicing only drawing for years and I will never get tired of it, but life is full of surprises. When I am seduced by new practices, I am immediately tempted to incorporate them into my artistic work. I have been worried for too long about having to practice only one technique, and this is often what is expected of an artist. Today, the idea of ​​staying locked in a single technique worries me. I think that creation is a vast process that can be applied in an infinite number of fields. I now discover new palettes of artistic expression such as immersive installations. For my subjects, I first drew with Rotring pens to represent endangered animal species, then ancient allegories in a science fiction universe. Today, I continue to treat this atmosphere in light installations with a futuristic tone. I reflect on geometry, unexplored impressions, as well as on the place of technology in our current era, its use for artistic purposes and its impact on our civilization. I question this progressive evolution of man towards a new hybrid species half man half machine.

Where do you get your visual, conceptual and artistic sources of inspiration?
Many of my inspirations come from what I discover while browsing the internet and visiting new New York museums dedicated to art and technology. Very often, I am inspired by current graphic design or surreal digital creations. I am fascinated by the worlds of 3D graphic artists and vapor wave like Baugasm, Lordess.foudre or Dorian Legret, but also by those of minimalist designers and artists of the Light art movement such as James Turrel, James Clar and Refik Anadol. Classic or modern paintings are also sources of inspiration, not forgetting the sculptures of ancient Greece and Rome. Caspar David Friedrich and Salvador Dalí are the painters who inspire me the most. Anything that catches my eye to the point where I can no longer pick it up or questions me is a source of inspiration. I then study the work, the composition, the technique used, the overall effect, the subject and the artist's approach.

Your installations and your scenographies are immersive. What place does the viewer occupy in your works? In which space for reflection do you invite him?
In my installations, if the observer feels immersed in a universe that takes him out of his daily fog, immerses him in a world different from his usual environment and gives him the impression of landing in a dreamlike branch close to that of his dreams, my bet is successful. My installations allow me to solicit the viewer by giving him different sensations that we cannot necessarily feel in front of a graphic creation. The viewer is no longer a simple observer but becomes an actor in the work. Above all, I wish to reveal to the viewer new horizons and reflections to push him to become not only an actor of the work, but also the conscious element that will give life to this set, that is to say the essential link. of my facilities. Without the viewer, they would only be a surreal setting left abandoned like an archaeological vestige to discover. It is through reflections on space, time and our place in this space-time that I try to capture the attention of the observer.

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Have you ever started exploring new ways to create during confinement?
Like many people, confinement was a good opportunity for me to refocus on my personal projects and my priorities. I worked on the creation of websites for the high-end turntable brand Pro-Ject Audio USA, as well as for the North American brand Sumiko Audio. I also worked on songs. Although I mainly put forward my plastic work, I am also a musician: I compose and produce with analog material songs that are connected to my graphic universe and that reflect my daydreams in a cosmic atmosphere. I also took advantage of this unique moment to better understand how I could associate this musical universe with my artistic creations. The idea of ​​making animations and videos that would combine both musical and visual atmospheres particularly caught my attention. With these new ideas, I agree with what I explained previously: continue in this freedom to mix different mediums to discover and share new sensory experiences.

What are your next projects ?
I will continue to develop AG Studios, the creative agency we created with friends in New York. I am currently working with clients on the graphic identities of their brand, as well as on the creation of their websites. I will also take advantage of the reflections I had during confinement to produce new series of works, visual, musical or even in situ. I also plan to produce the projects that attract me the most while trying to reveal a heterogeneous whole having for spine a dreamlike and surreal vibration in which I recognize myself.

To learn more, visit Instagram profile et the website of the artist Hadrien Durand-BaïssasAnd AG Studios website.

Visuals: © Hadrien Durand-Baïssas

Léa Pagnier

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