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 works all revolve around the theme of mazes and 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… I continue this tradition and build upon it: looking down at the world’s great cities, I find inspiration in the logic of land and water and the maze-like patterns of human settlement. However, going beyond simple cartography, the lines I draw 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 I depict is often set in a distant future, a prospective result of the sum of modern societies’ choices. Depraved cities are generally its central character.
In my labyrinthine abstractions I try to 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… I embody our delusions into the metaphor of the ruined city that turned into a forsaken maze.
As each work thus glimpses into the future, at the final moments of societies, I hope 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.