Frédéric Kappa, artiste plasticien & multimedia
The general approach_
“The work is the process. ”Growing up in the 1970s, I am from the generation that experienced all the artistics trends of the twentieth century on an equal footing, as they pre-existed us. We therefore appropriated various artistic currents, and amalgamated different trends.
I usually work by theme, but ultimately it’s a question of style, for me the theme is a lever, and the technique just a means of activating it. Caught in a duality between abstract expressionism and graphic precision. I use painting and screen printing on a photo basis, and starting from a project, I am guided by spontaneous reactions. I did a lot of skies, or rather clouds. Play with the double meaning of the cloud, sometimes seeing it as an abstract form, or just seeing it as the cloud. Raw expression of nature, mixing with my own expression.
I take a lot of inspiration from pop culture (both pictorial and musical), without really deciding if I’m part of it or not. What interests me in pop culture is this like a “Pagan” approach”, unashamedly sanctifying our desires. It’s so contemporary! This idea of wanting to enjoy life, your body, your individuality … Pop artists, mainly from the music scene it is true, have been from the 60s, the new pagan idols, the new gods. Creator of a new mythology, a new way of life. It’s an idea that inspires me a lot.And like in this pop culture, in the broad sense, there are commercial things, but also a lot of very underground things. Many contemporary artists have done both! I also fully subscribe to this approach. Pop culture wants to be transgressive, and I want this transgression. I want to make some works accessible, others less. Create a style of form, but not get attached to it, exploit it, take it to its decadence, and revive it from its ashes through other themes, and so on …
I think we never say it enough, but in fact what is important for the artist is his intimate intention. For me it’s a stalking job! “Track the intention”, in the sense that Carlos Castaneda understands it. The intention in this sense goes beyond the artistic field, but an act of exportation of oneself and of the world, spiritual approach, even divinatory …Questions constantly arise: “But why did I give such materiality to this sky”? Seems like welive in such a material world that even the sky seems to be for sale. And isn’t it the case, they will buy back your CO2 quota … The sky can symbolize our dreams … What are we dreaming of? … Here it is a question here of a more microscical and personal description of my work. But I prefer to leave it to everyone to interpret it freely. Like the surrealists, ideas come to me when I’m in a transe, or when I’m half asleep. Afterwards, when I have to extract the raw material from the dreams, it is necessary to finalize. This is where a relentless hunt comes in.
We could also refer to the process itself. I spoke about the process, and in the framework I work with, the work becomes the process! I always have a camera in my workshop, I take photos of the sains, the first drafts, the potholders, the accidents, the protective sheets, the successive stages … which will then serve as a basis for my digital work.
I talk about of pop art, but in this context, it is more about setting up the process of the product, than the finished product. The artists who have influenced me the most in this direction are not only visual artists. I would quote, William Bourroughs and Brion Gyssing, Génésis P-orrige, Julian Schnabel … And of course also Kippenberger, Wharhol, Richter, works of antiquity … But I am a sponge. I also absorb old walls, fences, what I see on the web and on television, photos taken during trips …
In the same vein, I also use cut-ups, and especially superimposition of images in successive layers. This last approach is especially visible in my digital work. I sometimes integrate subliminal images, archetypes, but creating a new dimension a new reading. Clearly creating paredolia in the viewer. And an image that is not revealed at first glance. Subliminal images of a sexual nature are sometimes used; as they do in advertising – I intend to use their weapons – but with the difference that I do not want anything ostentatious, nor be in the manipulation. But on the contrary, to show how the human unconscious works, its repression mechanisms … Sexuality is constantly used without our knowing it in the advertisment, publicities. Techniques developed by Bernays, but which I prefer to show in reverse. Because philosophically speaking, I think they are interested in becoming aware of it in order to free themselves. This is part of a choice of this vision of dreams, fantasies, symbolic and imaginary dimension.