Jean-Pierre Sergent


Films Interviews transcriptions (2019)

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03 November 2019 | Duration: 3:29 | Besançon Fine Arts & Archeology Museum | France | Journalist Maxime Meuneveaux, Rencontre: le regard d'un artiste. Interview by Jean-Luc Gantner.

The Musée des Beaux-Arts de Besançon welcomes Jean-Pierre Sergent this autumn, who presents a monumental work of 72 paintings of Plexiglas, a kind of recognition for this artist born in the Haut Doubs and passed through New York, before returning to live in Besançon. Meeting with this passionate person who is interested about all the cultures of the world, whom some have nicknamed The "shaman". Report by Jean-Luc Gantner.

There you can see that she's piercing her heart with a knife into her chest! (Suicide of Lucretia, Cranach). We can see her sex here, it looks like there's water sprouting out of her sex too, it's like a spring (In front of the Nymph at the Spring, Cranach). It looks like a woman masturbating, I think it's great! It is the desire and the imagination that have remained intact. We can still feel the artist imagination there, we feel an imagination that has not been too influenced by the dogmas of religions or morals. (in front of Suicide of Lucretia, Lucas Cranach). I like painting done before the Renaissance, like the Primitive Italians. That's a great period, as they didn't have much idea of the perspective, which bothers me a lot! Because, when you create something into perspective, it is an intellectual construction, there is no such thing as perspective in real life... So necessarily, it is a framework and I often I want to get out of the framework in my work. And so, the perspective has destroyed human imagination somehow! If I hadn't been to New York, I would have stopped being an artist a long time ago, because I learned to do my job there, to fight endlessly. It's true that it's a perpetual struggle; and above all, you must believe in yourself, because artists can find solutions in New York, that's right: there are international artists, so we do have examples to follow and we want to become succesfull like them!
I always talk about different cultures in my work, because we see here, in these works, drawings that come from India... There are also many Mayans drawings, there are some Japanese mangas, there are Aztec trees, there are Hindu yantras, that we see right in front of us! There are Japanese sakura flowers, Japanese cherry blossoms... For me, what is important is to respect cultural diversity as a whole, because we often talk about the disappearance of biodiversity, but human cultures are also disappearing! It is so pleasant to live together and to be able to live within different cultures.

Installing the paintings:

JPS: Put it down gently... How des it looks? Is that okay?
Assistant : That's perfect!

JPS: I always remember the Navajo Indians, in their adobes, when they painted a deer (which they had killed), they always drew on a wall or on a tipi; the Sioux on their tipis; they always added a line, an arrow of vital energy. And here, we see a Courbet deer (Deer Hallali), the deer is cornered, the hunters kill it, and where is the energy remaining? Where is the vital energy gone?
I am very proud and honoured to exhibit here in my home Town, because people may not know it, but I have been living here in Besançon for fourteen years, and this is my first solo exhibition in this museum. So it is a great honor and privilege to exhibit here! And then, you saw it! It's a monumental installation, it's a bit my Sistine Chapel! That's amazing!

A few words about Jean-Pierre Sergent's exhibition 4 PILLARS OF THE SKY in 90s

10 November 2019 | duration: 1:30 | Besançon Fine Arts & Archeology Museum | France

I am a French New Yorker artist and have been working in Besançon since 2005. I present here at the Besançon Museum of Fine Arts, these large wall installations, in total, there are 72 paintings (80m2) and 18 panels in each corner of the museum. The title of the exhibition: The four pillars of the sky, which people can discover when they walk up these stairs. The title of the exhibition: THE 4 PILLARS OF THE SKY. It is a reference to all mysticism and to the Axis mundis, those places where one can communicate with the gods or the spirits, My paintings speaks of life, rituals, rituals that are disappearing nowadays. We are talking a lot about biodiversity. But, at the same time, so many cultures are disappearing today! One can feel really lonely to face our destiny ! We can see Mayan, Egyptian and Inca civilization patterns. It's quite a mix! I work with anything that fills me with joy!