François Jauvion is an artist connected to hundreds of artists, some of whom have disappeared and others who are alive and well.
Is he a collector ? Is he an artist promoter ? Is he a curator or archivist for a museum of singular art ?
Art inspires art
Artists have very often been inspired by the work of other artists. Picasso, for example, was constantly inspired by the great masters. The “Picasso and the Masters” exhibition at the Grand Palais in 2008 compared his paintings with those of great masters such as Titian, El Greco, Velázquez, Goya, Delacroix, the Impressionists and many others.
Other artists have even worked directly on reproductions of their peers’ works to transform them, such as Lydie Arickx with her suite of “Family Portraits” painted on photographs of portraits of Flemish masters (exhibited at the Château de Biron in 2018).
Artist collectors or artist promoters
Some have been collectors of artists they loved. This was the case of Jean Dubuffet, who bequeathed his collection of outsider art to the city of Lausanne, which created the Musée Collection de l’Art Brut de Lausanne. Or Michel Nedjar, one of the founders of Aracine, who also gave his collection to the LaM in Villeuneuve-d’Ascq.
If François Jauvion lives surrounded by the creations of other artists, he has gone even further. Indeed, he has created more than a hundred watercolour plates, each of which presents a singular artist that he loves. In 2020, with the support of the Galerie Hervé Courtaigne, he published a large book “L’imagier singulier de François Jauvion”. Today, he is working on a second volume on new artists.
Focus on François Jauvion
We met François Jauvion at the Halle Saint Pierre in Paris on the occasion of the release of his imagier and the exhibition of the plates of this book. We were even able to visit his workshop during the summer of 2020.
In 2021, it is with our Artistes Actuels hat that we decided to make a report on his work, his workshop, his inspirations, his creative discipline… and the preparation of the second volume of his singular imagier.
François Jauvion had a first career as a freelance layout artist. He created vehicles, trains, animals, buildings… for companies.
Yet he always wanted to devote himself to art, but he does not regret this first professional life, which provided him with useful skills and a regular income. “From the age of 18, I told myself that I would only do art. But I think I did well to go through the model making process because it allowed me to acquire the necessary freedom to create.
Indeed, François Jauvion gradually began to create works of art in parallel with his job as a model maker. In 2014 he participated in the MAC Paris contemporary art fair and soon after decided to take the plunge and stop making models altogether and devote himself entirely to artistic creation. He creates snowballs, relics, clock-sculptures and impressive sound triptychs.
From a life as a model-maker to the life of an artist
Encyclopaedist of singular art
In 2016, François Jauvion started working on the boards of his “Imagier Singulier”, which occupies an important place in his life as an artist. He has indeed spent more than 7000 hours working on the first volume !
“I’m basically a manual artist, not a designer. At the beginning I didn’t dare to choose straightforward colours, but I’ve made progress since then. When you work, you always improve”.
photo credit: François Jauvion, on his Facebook account
The singular imagier, instructions for use
In order to produce a board, François Jauvion first of all finds out about the artist and his works via the internet. If the artist is alive, he tries to contact him to talk to him. His objective is to immerse himself in his world.
Each plate is identical in its construction with the artist (nude) in the centre and all around his creative universe. At the bottom of each page, François Jauvion has written a small text which, thanks to numbered references on the drawing, helps to understand the artist’s creative process.
Obviously, artists are very interested in the way François Jauvion reproduces their creative universe, but not only. Artists are people like any other in fact! Some men are concerned about the size of their sex on the drawing and some women are demanding about the colour of their underwear !
For the second volume of the imagier, François Jauvion structures his plates a little differently to leave more room for the artists’ works. The result is truly superb: more ample and even more generous in form and colour.
At the same time, he continues to work with the material with a series of clay models for portraits of artists he admires. “Modelling is the continuation of my work as a model maker, it brings me back to the studio and I missed it.
Jam session by the duo Klum-Klick
Drawing, watercolour, modelling… is that all? No! François Jauvion has, like cats, several lives. Thus, he works with the artist Laudac to create with four hands.
Under the name Klum-Klick, the artistic duo creates large-scale, colourful and expressionist works. Their creative sessions in “improv mode” can last 10 hours. At Artistes Actuels, we don’t know Laudac (yet) but it seems that the two artists are very different (but just as special !).
“With my friend Laudac, we are like musicians who have a great time when there are several of them. We don’t hesitate to cover each other’s work, we don’t have any ego, so it works well.”
Volume 1 of his Imagier singulier is available in our shop or on order in all art bookshops: edition lelivredart, ISBN 9 782355 323560
But, we give you a tip ! Go to his website, or Facebook account, and buy a copy directly from him, he will sign it for you !