Arthur Bessaud - Urban Art
Where does your passion for art come from?
I remember being fascinated as a child by billboards in the street which exhibited works of Vasarely. I think this is my first memory around "street-art", even if it was rather art exhibited in the street. I also painted and photographed a lot during my adolescence, which necessarily leads me to discover many artists and currents.
Among them, urban art particularly challenged me by its liveliness, its accessibility and finally its "youth": it is a current still in full structuring, evolving and that's what I like, being able to attend inside, or even to be an actor. Besides, I realize that in my docu-video series "Unmasked" (Démasqués in french) that I have been posting on my Instagram account @arthur_vlog_streetart for 3 seasons, it is the ethnographic dimension that fascinates me. Therefore, I try to show what is urban art through the works, but also through the people who hide behind the artists I film, their daily lives, their intimacy.
There is always a starting point for a collection. Do you remember of your first piece?
I started with two works actually. On the one hand, a serigraph in diptych of Cleon Peterson and Shepard Fairey, with patterns characteristic of each artist repeated in black and gold, because I had seen a report on Wynwood where they had just collaborated. On the other hand, a flop of Seen on canvas, and guess why…because I had also just devoured several archive films on the origins of graffiti in New York!
The masterpiece of your collection, the one you are most proud about?
It’s not at all a “masterpiece” in the classic sense of the word, nor one of my most expensive pieces. This is a little rison of Alëxone and I am very proud of it since it crystallizes many things. First a friendship between the two of us and the completion of a beautiful project at the Necker Hospital where Alëx painted a vast 50 meters long wall of which I was the curator, then because this print is the first that I was editing for my new online gallery. It foreshadows a beautiful series of print releases with many other artists whose I love their works, and on whom I will be producing my episodes this year for "Unmasked".
Where do you buy your works? Online, at fairs, at galleries?
I would say half online and half in galleries. When I think about it, I realize that buying online is more like a "reason" purchase, that is to say artists who I have been around for a while and whose I have been waiting the good opportunity to obtain an edition or a work. In galleries, it is almost systematically an impulse buy: often it is artists that I discover and really love.
What are your favorite artists of the moment?
The ones I'm working on for "Unmasked", obviously! So Alëxone with his ultra funny and dreamlike universe, Tanc for his multiplicity of techniques and his mastery of abstract and color, Maxime Drouet for the very "raw" and "free" aspect of his outdoor work on the abandoned trains, Jaeraymie for his unrestrained search for meaning in the work he develops…
The role of the collector today according to you?
I would say promote and enhance the work of artists. By sharing it with the greatest number, by explaining their approach, by supporting them financially...
What are your criteria of choice in the acquisition of your works?
I have to meet many artists on a daily basis to make my video documentaries “Unmasked” or even more simply to show snapshots of their work via my Instagram account, which allows me to delve deeply into their work, their history, their creative process… It's a (very positive!) gear that makes it always difficult to get out without having to get me a piece of their work. So the degree of my knowledge of the artists' work plays a lot.
What advice would you have liked to have when you started your collection?
Over time, I realize that the better I know an artist and the context in which his creations are made, the more I ultimately appreciate the pieces I own. For example, I recently bought two photos of Maxime Drouet: subway trains painted entirely brutally by him. Obviously to make such photos, there is an exciting story behind made of scouting, then adrenaline and action. Knowing them gives an additional dimension to these simple flat photos, especially when by the purest of chances I was subsequently sent a video of these same trains ... still in operation! So my advice: don't settle for the surface, dig in and find out in depth who is the artist of which you have an artwork, you will appreciate it all the more!
Our next talk party will be about art and brands. What does this thematic evoke for you?
Vast topic which can come back to the question of art for Art, or to what extent art is legitimate if it is put at the service of a project whose purpose may seem only commercial?
What brings you MyStudiolo?
It is an excellent tool for centralizing and cataloging my works, and the export catalog that it offers allows me to easily share the pieces with other collectors, discuss, discover or introduce the artists I support!
IGTV : Démasqués