A drawing… A line! Meeting with Damien Deroubaix
The dark, expressive features: the graphic darkness of Damien Deroubaix’s drawings reveals a vital force surpassing a fatal outcome. In an apocalyptic configuration, the artist, nominated in 2009 for the Marcel Duchamp Prize, multiplies the forms and techniques of creation, with a large place devoted to drawing, the primacy of everything. A style at the crossroads of Max Beckmannet’s morbid objectivity and Ernst Ludwig Kirchner’s engravings that reveals the abundant universe of highly coded scenes by this artist, nominated for the Drawing Now 2019 award.
Marlène Pegliasco: Could you present your career path?
Damien Deroubaix: I was born in 1972 in Lille and grew up in the suburbs of Lyon, before entering the Beaux-Arts de Saint-Étienne in 1992 to become a painter and engraver. Then I spent a year and a half at the Academy of Fine Arts in Karlsruhe, Germany, and on my return to Saint-Etienne, I created the BIS exhibition space (9) in 1998 where I organized exhibitions until recently. I settled in Berlin for many years. Today, I live between Meisenthal in Moselle and Paris.
M.P.: Your work seems quite dark, chaotic. What are your inspirations?
D.D. : Do you think so? The world in which we simply live. Until a few years ago, I had a critical and politicized view, seeing painting as a way to reveal the world, and to lay a small stone to improve it, then, realizing that my fellow artists are often the Heralds of Capital, I refocused on what painting is, which gave rise to my exhibition “Headbangers Ball” which has just ended at the Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art in Saint-Etienne.
M.P.: How do you work?
D.D.: I have several workshops, painting sculpture in Moselle and another painting in Paris, plus the engraving and lithography workshops with which I regularly work. I have an assistant, Marie-Pierre Brunel, a talented young artist, who helps me with many tasks. I work every day, on several paintings at once. I draw before during and after the realization and also independently, but the drawing is in any case at the heart of the work, in my notebooks or on larger formats, some of which can be very large.
M.P: What attracts you to engraving, a technique seen as classic and outdated?
D.D.: The answer is in the question.
Portrait of a draftsman:
If you were a drawing: Rembrandt van Rijn’s engraving “Landscape with three trees”
Your favorite technique: It depends on the times, currently graphite on Japanese paper.
The most unusual medium for drawing: I am very classic.
“Drawing is like thinking
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