“So, an artist is selfish because they have something they want to express and they make it happen through art.”
Jun 23, 2021 | By Luxuo Malaysia
Looking at Gabriel Dufourcq’s artwork, you will inevitably have your focus on the icons that have been featured. But there is more than meets the eye because laying behind the iconic figure are newspaper headlines and original archives as old as 200 years, related to the political and pop icons. At first glance, an artwork presented to us may speak of our preconceived notions, but Dufourcq’s artwork invites us to inspect with greater detail questioning our established certitudes. Doing so, it could perhaps help to shed light by providing more information.
Chatting with Gabriel Dufourcq, the artist takes us through what it means to be an artist and how beyond his formal background in Economics and an MBA, his holistic approach to life stimulates his creativity and drive his pictorial and stylistic development.
You originate from France and you are now based in Singapore. Tell us about your first steps as an artist?
I don’t really think there are any first steps as an artist. It’s more like things gradually reveal themselves to you over time, and you ultimately end up creating something which others call “art”. If I recall, I feel the start lays in a sincere and profound need to create something, to give birth and reveal your inner self in one way or the other by connecting ideas and inspirations. Materalising an idea for an artwork is ultimately making space in your mind!
I’m originally from France but have spent the last 12 years in Singapore. After spending few years on the road starting in Madrid then Rome, followed by a couple of months in the Middle East and the Horn of Africa, I finally landed in Kuala Lumpur in 2007. The cultural diversity coupled with the intellectual excitement of being out of my comfort zone is something that also creates many “sparkles of creativity”. It is freeing the mind of your own stereotypes and allowing you to expand your own intellectual horizons. Discovering new flavours, colours, philosophies, mindsets, thinking and religious standards create a very fertile ground for the growth and the revealing of your artistic expression.
So like I said, there aren’t any “first steps”, it’s more like a spiritual journey, growing in the silence of our minds. I don’t have any formal Art education or training. Instead, I studied economics and statistics. One can go to school to study arts but ultimately, like entrepreneurs, an academic background is not what makes you! It took me years to call myself an artist. I didn’t want to self-proclaim as such. For me, this is a title to be won and should be given by others in recognition of your work. It is only when people start calling you “artist” that you know for sure you’re one.
Vintage newspapers, archive papers and bright pop-style colours are recurrent across your work. What led you to associate these rather opposite mediums?