26 Jan
French artist Bertrand Fevre creates the ultimate porcelain mug

Bertrand Fevre was the winner of the recent International Creation of Limoges Porcelain Award, a competition held this past summer inviting artists all over to create an original work of art using only Limoges Porcelain. The competition was hosted by the eponymous French city of Limoges, as the town has gained worldwide renown for their skill in manufacturing the finest of the pristine material. Fevre took home First Prize with his striking piece Ceci n’est pas, translating to This is not. Fevre was inspired by a most banal object used in our daily routine: a mug. Very French of him to find art within what you sip your morning coffee out of. “If we would like to call this work, we could say that it is pop-surrealist artwork,” explains Bertrand, who felt its universal symbolism was something every person could relate to. “My work is always about human as an individual,” he explains. Suspending 33 separate pieces that come together to create one massive porcelain cup, the craftsmanship is quite extraordinary — each piece hand sculpted and poured. Fevre was able to partner in his work with one of the Raynaud clan, a family who after three generations of contributing to world of porcelain have perfected the art of china wear. What this victory means in the Big Picture we may not be sure. Bertrand is just a simple Frenchman, he claims, one who hopes to have a simple life filled with art and creation. How honorable; he seems to be on the right path, and have the right idea thus far. But we certainly can’t wait to see what else is in store for him…

What first inspired you to do this piece?
On this project, my plan was to work on an icon which could be universal and also represents the identity of Limoges’ porcelain. A representation of both the industry and the knowledge of the porcelain of Limoges. I had the chance to meet passionate and very sensible craft makers.

As far as materials used, what about porcelain first appealed to you?
Ceramic is an incredible medium of creation. It has multiple qualities that makes it a noble material with a modern look. Porcelain is resistant, it can be trans-lucid, it is used in hi tech industry and has acoustic skills. One of the important aspects of the sculpture that we cannot actually see is that  when the different slices bump into one another they make a nice poetic chime sound.

Who is your biggest influence?
On this work, I’d say that my two biggest influences are Andy Warhol and René Magritte. I’d love to work on Magritte’s pattern. Opposing the concrete reality to the  function of the object. For contemporary artist I mostly like George Rousse, Sophie Calle, Johan Creten, Chris Marker…

How old were you when you first began to truly appreciate art as an entity?
I don’t really remember. I’d say between the age of 8 and 10. I remember I had an uncle that was an artist; watching him work made me discover how interesting art and especially painting can be. It was magical to see the creation of a painting out of a human mind.

Hit the Jump to continue reading our interview with Bertrand Fevre , with a gallery below illustrating a bit of his creative process..

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“C’etait magique de voir un tableau se construire de l’imaginaire et de l’observation d’un homme.”

Can you pinpoint a moment when you first discovered for yourself that you were an artist?
I remember at school I wasn’t into classes that much. I started to draw portraits of my teachers. One day when one of my drawings had been confiscated from me, the teacher kept it for himself. Then I started to think I might have a skill and that I should try to dig on this.

What does art mean to you?
I see art as a mean of expression. It both is an aera of liberty and restriction. But what I mostly like in my art is the idea of duality, between material and non material, concrete and abstract, real and fiction…

What is your ultimate goal?
It is quite a big question. I often ask myself: “What are you doing this for?” I don’t have the answer yet. I move onto my projects that bring me new questions… I haven’t a game plan.

OK, where would you see yourself in 10 years?
I like to imagine myself in the south of France, with an nice studio, my girlfriend and a tiny family. Something simple but cozy.

What’s next on the Fevre horizon?
My projects are always based on human and humanity. I’m working on three different projects with a European cultural center. They’re on their way, it’s hard to speak about something that is not finished and that is still evolving. But I won’t forget to send you news as soon as I can.

What music do you listen to when you work?
I love electronic music and especially the french touch: Vitalic, Daft Punk, Brodinski, Radioclit, DJ Mehdi… I also like bands such as Die Antwoord (Evil boy), Crookers… Lately I’m listening to old tunes of Joy Division.

Nice, a couple of our favorites in there too. So finally, if you were lost in a supermarket, where would we find you?
“I’m all lost in the supermarket, I can no longer shop happily, I came here for that special offer, Guaranteed personality…” For real, as a typical french boy, you’ll find me near the wines, not far from cheeses, or really closer to the foie gras… good food! What else?

A close-up of Bertrand’s award winning “Ceci n’est pas” piece…

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