It seems very difficult to categorise your art, between painting, photography, sculpture… How would you define it?
Jean-Marc Bustamante : Well I would say that the “photographic” irrigates imbues all my work, beyond any other medium. The photographs of drawings that are shown at Thaddaeus Ropac Pantin are the logical culmination of my researches to enrich our perception.
What was the technical process in producing those New Works ?
JMB : This set of works is very important and it took me a long time to overcome the technical difficulties. From the original drawings, with their own forms and colours, to their technical production : enlargement, printing, showing. What matters in the end is the final result, the confrontation with the work and all the different feelings it produces within the viewer. I must say I am very satisfied with the result. It’s beautiful, it’s nothing, it’s everything, it’s ambiguous and manifest at the same time. It’s enjoyable, and it is what I expect from art.
Do you think the opening of such a gallery in Pantin signifies a global decentralisation of contemporary art and a new way to show it?
JMB : Not necessarily. It’s about the freedom that a gallerist allows himself to be able to show art in all its forms. I was amazed to see so many people coming to the gallery. Parisians from the art world usually don’t cross the ring road to see an exhibition. So maybe an initiative like this is going to inspire people. I think it will. It also allows people from the neighbourhood to discover a certain kind of excellence. I am very enthusiastic to see people taking their time to see a show, and not just switching from one gallery to another in Le Marais.
You were recently appointed as director of Les Beaux-arts Paris, you also directed an art festival in Toulouse for a while. Do you think it’s part of your job as an artist to teach, educate and share? Especially with the general public ?
JMB : To each his own truth. As far as I am concerned, sharing is a necessity. I need it as an artist but also as a citizen. If I hadn’t been an artist I would have dreamt of being a city mayor. In a certain way, this is what has happened to me with the direction of Les Beaux-Arts. I feel blessed about it, despite all the work and great responsibilities.
You have had a long career. In your opinion, what has changed in the way the public perceives contemporary art?
JMB : It’s a vast question. Globalisation has destroyed certainties. Evaluation criterias are blurred. Contemporary art became fashionable in every classes of society, for better and for worse. In the end, what really matters is to be sure of what you do. Let’s take our time, open our eyes, and something good will always come out of it.
New Works, Jean-Marc Bustamante
January 15, 2016 – March 5, 2016
Thaddaeus Ropac Pantin
69, Avenue du Général Leclerc