Portrait of the artist
Tell us about yourself, how did you become an artist?
Very attracted by drawing in the first place, I joined an artistic high school, then I went to graphic arts school and finally to a photography school. I went from drawing in pencil to drawing light.
What is your background? and how did it inform the focus of your creative exploration or the medium you're currently working with?
Before heading to photography I studied graphic arts and gradually this led me quite naturally to a photographic practice. We find a very graphic point of view in my photography, the composition, the shapes, the colors…
What ideas interested you in the beginning of your practice, which ideas have you continued to explore, and where have they led you?
At the beginning of my practice I was quickly interested in the notion of institutionalizing works and how to question them and give them another reading, in another period, another temporality.
Who were and are the biggest sources of your inspiration?
The picture generation, Bern & Hilla Becher, American colorist photographers and many others…
Where do you find inspiration?
Depending on the project, there are different sources of inspiration. For the part of my work that questions the history of art, obviously the work of artists and artistic movements are my main source of inspiration but also other media such as the Internet, television are other sources of inspiration . Regarding my photographic practice, travel, stories, legends define the starting point of my photographic series. In these two practices there is a marked interest in forms, the notion of passing time and destruction / reconstruction.
Is there are a single work, project, or series that is pivotal in your current trajectory?
My first pivotal artwork was "killing becher" on how to destroy my inspiration to create something else, which was the starting point of my more conceptual practice in reference to art history ... Recently, my series Tokborné made in lebanon at allowed to tell differently my discovery of a country and a new culture.
How did it begin? and how did it evolve?
For" killing becher", it was for me a way to destroy the fathers, to succeed in detaching myself to move forward.
For "Tokborné", the starting point was the desire to discover the culture and the country of my companion far away from mine.
What were important lessons in the process that you’ve carried forward with you?
Sometimes, you have to step back from your work, go back to it to see more clearly what you want to show and how to show it.
What are you working on now?
I am working on a research between photography and sculpture (volume) once again linked to the history of photography.
And also on another proposal in the form of dytique from my series "Tokborné"
If you could go back in time to the very beginning of your art practice and give your younger self a single piece of advice what would it be?
Have more confidence in what you are doing in you're art work and be able to assert and defend it but keep exploring and trying.
About the Artist
Based in Paris, France
Swen Renault born in 1990, working and living in Paris. Passionate about art and its history, he studied different formations, one in 2009 in Graphic Design (Paris school of Graphic Design ) followed directly after his degree in 2012 from another formation in Photography ( National Art School of Photography, Arles) from where he graduated in 2015. Currently, photography and more broadly the image is the main subject of these artistic achievements. His interest arises on everyday things but also on our contemporary relationship with images.