> Please introduce yourself, in your own words. What are your interests?
I am 32. A European Master of Philosophy first introduced me to the educational world, which I am still involved with. I have been training to be a French teacher for the last four years; this year I'm back in school to complete my cursus with technical knowledge. I enjoy learning and I think that one must continue to learn all along their life.
> Where did you begin with artistic endeavours? How did you come across Abstraction or Surrealism?
I started to take pictures while I was studying philosophy: somehow I thought that a picture could perhaps express an idea - a concept - in an intuitive and immediate way. At this point I started to manipulated images in order to create scenes and scenarios which could bring me a step away from reality. These were my first contacts with surrealism. Abstraction came when I wanted to let something through in my work about the fluidity of the world in front of me.
> How would you explain the concept of Abstraction or Surrealism to someone with no experience with the genre?
I'd say that abstraction and surrealism occur through a momentary suspension of alteration of the categories that we usually use to apprehend, filter, and sort our perceptions with. Then these perceptions - the reality - appear to us in a raw manner; they literally turn the mind around. Abstraction and surrealism both invite us to let go of everything we've learned; of everything we believe.
> What inspires you to use Abstraction or Surrealism in your work?
On one side, there's the endeavour of mastering photo-manipulation technologies, and on the other, there's this faculty of taking note of the accidents that I wish to cultivate.
> What do you want to express with your artwork? What is the idea you're trying to put across?
I am not really focused on one specific goal with my work, thus it would be difficult to answer this in a single sentence. I worked with self-portraiture to produce an objective version of myself; to manipulate my personality as though it were a mere image. My traditional portraits, rather rare, express the continuity of the human figure with its environment; the extent of the concept of skin to the objects which surround us. I shoot the night and urban industry because I am fascinated by this paradoxical beauty which tends to occult the stars. The lights of the night tell us many things about the human condition and its fears. I focused myself on the nuclear industry - and I will continue, provided I find some time - because this energy is able to radically transform the planet, and has a terrible psychological and phantasmic impact. It also results in some very singular architecture.
> What are your 'tools of the trade'? How do you create your art?
My tools include everything that's able to produce a photographic image, but it analogue or digital. I have a tendency to stick to my DSLR, just because it's so easy to use, but I also use Polaroid and other film cameras, and sometimes I manufacture a pinhole camera out of a matchbox. In any case, I spend a lot of time in post-production. However, the more that my professional life takes over my free time, the more I concentrate on the shooting of an image and less on the editing time.
> Do you think the quality of a piece depends more upon technical perfection, or the message contained therein?
Of course I think that the message - the idea - is much, if not all, of an art piece, but I also have to admit that us photographers tend to too-often shield ourselves behind a wall of technical details. I try not to fall into that trap: I don't live off my photography, so I don't have anything to prove in that regard.
> Who are your favourite visual artists, and why?
Right now, there is just one name; that of Gregory Crewdson. I discovered his work in a bookshop while I was interrogating myself on how, and why, I shoot the night. I sometimes I wish I had a similar set crew, to organise the same sort of smoke-filled ambience as his meticulously-composed compositions...
> Which dA Groups would you recommend to someone looking to get involved with abstract and surreal art?
I don't really know; I've been rather passive on deviantART of late!
> What advice would you give to an absolute beginner in the genre?
Shoot out of the box!
> Any final words on abstract and surreal art?
Oh, yes: there's another world out there. It is the same world, of sorts; but unfiltered, uncut.
> In conclusion, pick nine works from your Favourites that you particularly enjoy.