Pierre Barbrel verrà crocifisso

Ho parlato in inglese con Pierre, un figo.

Who is Pierre? Pierre is a French 27 year old visual artist that uses photography as a medium with a background in literature, the fashion industry and education.

How you would describe your approach to art, religion and sex? I see artists as being very close to shamans. By that I mean that they bring us back to our primitive nature and give us access to hidden symbols with sublimation. They also make us see through things, see beyond reality, thus connecting us together and making us grow. I’m not religious but I’m fascinated by religions as myths – the use of wonderful tales to explain where we came from, where we are going, how to live together, all the while trying to make us less frightened by the meaninglessness and short amount of time that we are alive. Obviously, sex is the origin of life and is linked with our primitive instincts and passions. So, I guess I’m trying to figure out how to build a vision of the Human Condition: birth, growth, emotions, aspirations, conflicts, and mortality.

Digital trasformation, real portrait. Perfect collage? I used to do collages before taking photographs, but I wanted to fully own the artwork without using the work of others. In a way it was also a bit messy, hard to get into. If I’ve learned anything from when I was a fashion designer, it is how to go straight to the point and to get rid of anything that makes the vision or the meaning less clear. Clean the messy mind. I use digital alterations to create other spaces and dimensions as doors for the intangible Mind/Spirit to appear.

What do you appreciate in other creative fields and what inspires you? Everything! I’m really eclectic. So, I’m passionate about paintings from Bacon to Bouguereau, sculptures with Wildt, dance with Bausch, music by Richter… I think inspiration comes from anything, anywhere, and at any time.

In specific, is there anybody do inspires you? Absolutely, and many! My models are always my family members, my friends and my love stories. They are the first ones to inspire me by the way that they live and thrive, I am curious about their cultures, their education, their stories and the choices that they make.

What’s your relation to your body? I cherish my body. I think we live in a world that makes us feel shame about bodies and nudity. They are always being compared, judged, covered and abused. We really need to think and see bodies in a different way: I see them as temples, bridges between the realms of the Mind/Spirit and the material world, links between Humans. Beauty is everywhere, in anyone.

Which are the characteristics of your “art”, your trait? I have always been fascinated by religious art and its representation of transcendence. I try to recreate the experience of my confrontation with epiphany. The idea of a shining revelation coming out of the darkest night. My leitmotiv is the materialization of the soul through the body, as a form of incarnation.

Describe a perfect moment for you? Perfect moment… My first solo exhibition was about Kaïros. Kaïros is an ancient Greek word meaning the right, critical, or opportune moment. It’s a moment of inflection. In Greek mythology the god Kaïros is represented by a young man with a long ponytail. When he crosses your path there are three possibilities :

  1. You don’t see him;
  2. You see him but you decide not to do anything;
  3. You see him and you catch his hair, you catch the opportunity.

So for me the perfect moments are the rare moments of inflection. When your path is about to take a turn and that you are living in the here and now, and that you are aware enough to make it happen.

Project? Many! Lately I’m working on what I just talked about bodies. I will have this exhbition next year in Lisbon intitled Autodafé, meaning « Act Of Faith » in portuguese. It’s kind of punishment by fire from Inquisition to condem heretics and apostates. It’s going to be a reflection of the thresholds of Nudity/Intimacy/Sexuality and Judgment/Censorship/Punishment and their links. This project came to me after having been censored by Facebook for nude pictures of my latest project: Farewell Mother. I think the system is really intrusive and hypocrite, social networks and data are changing the notion of our intimacy step by step and it was important for me to start working on this topic.


Editor, Albert Ferrari