Statement

    “NYC 33 Years After Trump” ; mixed media ; 94 x 133 cm ; 2017

Baptiste Tavernier is a French artist who has lived more than a decade in Japan, where he studied extensively traditional Japanese arts & crafts and martial arts. His artworks all share the common theme of mazes & labyrinths.

The labyrinth has served throughout centuries as a symbol marking the centre of the world and a metaphor for the city. Roma, Troy, Jerusalem, Arab cities’ souks, Paris and her Catacombs… Tavernier continues this tradition and builds upon it: looking down at the world’s great cities, he finds inspiration in the logic of land and water and the maze-like patterns of human settlement. However, going beyond simple cartography, the lines he draws unfurl into paths and walls that restructure those territories, from which emerges a surreal universe. Although the labyrinth’s myths generally refer to long-lost civilisations, the world he depicts is set in a distant future, a prospective result of the sum of modern societies’ choices. Depraved cities are its central character.

Tavernier’s surreal labyrinthine metropolises address the impact of human decisions on our environment. Social and political erring ways, careless urbanisation at the expense of nature, blind consumerism, self-diluting wanderings into virtual spaces… He embodies our delusions into the duality ruined_city / black_matter. The black matter feeds on our mistakes and inexorably crawls toward the urban reef, ready to submerge it.

As each work thus glimpses into the future, at the final moments of societies, Tavernier hopes they can foster in the general public’s mind a new consciousness about the environmental catastrophic trajectories that leaders around the world now seems to follow.