World Fine Art Professionals and their Key-Pieces, 149 - Julien Guettab
Two years ago I saw in the Korzo Theater Julien Guettab winning the Piket Prize for painting 2017 of 8000 euros. Julien is originally from Mauritius, but grew up in the heart of Paris.
Julien likes to work with paper, and paper is associated with books for him. For a long time he has been fascinated by old books, in particular the encyclopaedia. He conceived the idea to create his own, imaginary, encyclopedia, in which he made drawings of experiences and situations from the past.
All those fragile pieces and non-crystallized moments became elements for a new story. The drawings are intimate, small and have a whisper-like tone. They are pages of his own, new encyclopedia. Julien: "There are many themes in my encyclopaedia: archeology, architecture, objects. The topics of the themes are classified together. "
The house of the family where Julien grew up was near the Opéra, near a large bank, where his mother worked as a documentalist. Julien: "I spent all my childhood next to the Opéra. It has become a symbolic place for me. For the bank, my mother updated the business news and classified the articles and filmed items in the archive." It was only recently that Julien became aware of the relationship between his mother's work and his artworks. "It was a shock for me to realize this."
When he was very small - he was adopted when he was six months old - he began to discover the world. He did so in the real world and in the world of the encyclopedia. In this way he discovered the different types of animals and objects. "It is fantastic when you discover something new. I also did that by making playful drawings.”
But besides all those small drawings he makes very different work on textile fabrics of quite a large size. They are multi-colored, bright and have a loud tone. Julien: "The one part of my work is contemplative, the other part explicit. Sometimes these fabrics are transparent and all the flashy colors of the rainbow are there. Very kitschy. At my graduation exhibition this year I made two cabins with disco balls and flashlights. People liked to enter these booths. Behind it were my drawings on the wall. I thought it was a nice experience, those booths and behind it the drawings. One screaming, the other very calm. It corresponds to the two sides of my personality. There is no real connection between the two. I need time for that. "
He now really feels like an artist. "Before I graduated, I was an artist in the making, I was not complete yet. The academy, the Royal Academy of Fine Arts in The Hague, KABK, helped me a lot to say what I wanted to say. By experimenting a lot, I have gained experience to say what is happening in my head. "
Before he was at the KABK, he spent a year at the Rietveld Academy. "But I was kicked off." Fortunately, he was accepted by the KABK. "I have always felt very much at home in The Hague and at the KABK. They accepted me as I am, and that made me happy. "
Finally, what is his philosophy? "I have a general approach. I try to put the whole world in my drawings, exactly as it happens in an encyclopedia. I am an idealist in art. Art can save the world. In all darkness, the violence and the bad energy, art is light, very fragile. It is a candle in the storm. "
Until the end of January 2018 Julien Guettab's drawings can be seen at gallery Nouvelles Images in The Hague.
1) My eyes are bleeding, 2) A night in Teheran, 3) About soccer, 4) About the berry, 5) In my basement, 6) Night in Paris 1, 7) Versailles 2, 8) Animal Kingdom 1, 9) Night in Paris 2, 10) Night in Paris 3, 11) Doppelgänger, 12) Heterogeneous components, 13) NEST, foto Jhoeko, 14) Julien Guettab