Yanis is a 26 years old french artist born and raised in Paris.
He used to be a painter before turning into a digital artist in 2018. It was a natural transition for him when he discovered the endless artistic possibilities of photography practice. He wouldn’t give up on the painting so he mixed both practices.
Yanis works on the visual connections between dreams, nightmares, and reality. The place of the identity is central in his works as he uses his own body through different filters, lights, framings.
It gives different roles to body shape, identities, perceptions.
He also creates landscapes, visual narration through scenes that involve multiple characters. His work is all about the creation of a parallel universe.
The productions lead to discovering an oniric world with different codes, with elements from the real world. Every print created is made by the mix of several photographs of objects, a ground, wall or tree texture, and nature element. The usage of color ink in his art allows the superposition of shapes, illusion of movements, adding some extra color and creating the strength of dynamic composition.
– Master degree in esthetic theory in Paris 8 University in 2020
– Master degree in art history in Paris 1 Sorbonne University in 2019
– exhibition in the “Salon des Arts et du Multimédia de Pontoise” in november 2019
– exhibition in the club the Mirano in Pigalles, Paris, in february 2020
When did you begin painting and how did you get started?
Yanis: I started really young. As soon as I could hold a pencil, I started to draw and paint.
I practiced it more seriously when I started the university. There were a good stimulation and a great atmosphere during my art bachelor’s degree. I was hanging out with people who wanted to work in the art world, so it was helpful.
What is the message you are trying to give with your art?
Yanis: I’m trying to bring a new way of thinking about current art and how we consume pictures. My art is like a big treasure hunt as I use a lot of daily life elements into my compositions.
I try to create immersive and personal mythology based on common archetypes. Despite different cultures, people around the world have common inner representations inside their minds which allows connections through art for example.
Can you tell us a bit more about the transition from painting to photography, and how did you get inspired to mix the two?
Yanis: I have a complete autodidact practice in photography. I learned by myself how to have an interesting point of view, how to play with the lights, the contrast, the angles. It was amazing to see how many diverse effects I could add on a simple picture. When I figured out how to transform the reality of a photo, I wanted to try to change the reality of my paintings.
I just realized that I could reach a new level of emotions, create an all-new dimension to my work.
What is the process from taking a photo to a final artwork, do you envision it from the beginning or is it a different process?
Yanis: It depends. Sometimes, I just walk on the street, I spot something on the ground, in the air and I take several photos. I see something aesthetic in the object or decor element I photograph, and I start to collect a series of photos on my phone. That is the first step of the process.
After this, I play with the picture by changing the initial colors, modify the shapes and I try to associate it with another modified image. It could be two photos together or it could be my photographed painting with a photo. I can use the same picture for several productions, but I always switch one of the photos.
It is difficult to guess the final result with this process and the combinations are endless. This is where the magic works for me. I can produce a lot of prints this way.
When I look back on my artworks, I just notice some recurring themes like the perception of man identity, the idea of life and death processes, oneiric scenes, loss of contact with reality.
I think that the mix between two experienced practices like photography and painting helps me to build an alternative world, to express hidden feelings of the subconscious.
There is also a small portion of my artworks that have been done with a precise thought in mind and in this case, I focus on the composition and the approach is completely different.
Describe a real-life situation that inspired you?
Yanis: I created many artworks, especially paintings, after unfortunates events in my life when emotions were strong and got stuck inside my body. I did not know what would come out and how.
Besides this, people’s madness inspires me. When someone loses control on the bad as on the good side (I find it more interesting with the bad side).
I feel like, it is in this precise moment that I fall with this person in an alternative world, and I create something like visual evidence.
What artists influenced you the most and why?
Yanis: Dali was the first artist to ever influence me. I used to watch artbooks of his work when I was really young. I couldn’t understand anything at this age but I remember the sensations, the deep interrogations that I had when I was watching a painting like The Persistence of Memory with all the melted clocks, Dream caused by the flight of a bee around a grenade, one second before awakening with distorted animals, giant fruits and bodies.
The Specter of Sex Appeal fascinated me as it scared me with this huge monster standing next to a little child.
When I studied him at school and saw many Dali exhibitions, I understood much deeper his approach, his fantasies, and the building of his legacy.
Amedeo Modigliani was the second artist who touched me. It was again a childhood fascination for his way to paint women with slender bodies and lifeless eyes.
How does creating art make you feel?
Yanis: It makes me feel alive. It develops my concentration, my inner mind. It slowly becomes a need when you dive into the art world.
How has your art evolved over the years?
Yanis: I have new tools to create, new challenges to achieve. So, it’s just growing with me in life. It doesn’t mean that I don’t experience artistic setbacks, but every single step, and life experience, modify my art vision, and the way I use energy into this.
What is the best way to reach people that are interested in your art?
Yanis: To keep producing on artistic platforms and to be involved in art events like exhibitions and art competitions. An artist needs to take every good opportunity when it presents itself to him.
That’s what I am trying to do. Passion brings people to you. It is important to continue to create and maintain an exchange with people.
Are there any upcoming shows or workshops we should know about (or canceled due to the Covid-19 situation)?
Yanis: I applied to some interesting shows and I had a good opportunity for an exhibition in Paris, but everything is on hold due to the Covid-19 pandemic. I am afraid that some of the shows will be canceled definitively if the situation continues to get worse.
Do you see your art as serving a purpose beyond art?
Yanis: I live in a society where things changed a lot lately, under the last French government. It is hard for me to not be politicized with all the problems that the French population faces. An artist needs to deliver a powerful message, especially in those difficult times.
It doesn’t mean that I need to be on the frontline for every fight the society lives but I need to take part in some important fights I can embody with my art.
So, I need to think about my contribution to a political battle through art in 2020. The young artistic scene has the power to shake things up. I don’t reject the oneiric aspect of my art but it’s time to upgrade the global message.
For now, if what I do can inspire somebody to start creating and express his ideas through art, it is already a wonderful beginning for me.
What are your plans for the future?
Yanis: To keep improving in my art, to stay curious, and to be part of some good art projects in the near future.
Later, I would like to work in a museum on heritage conservation or in a gallery in the promoting sector.