Didier Le Grand, a multi-faceted talent, sees art as an interrogation of multiplicity, where consciousness and unconscious mingle to touch our sensibility. Originally a fashion designer, Didier Le Grand has devoted himself to the world of photography, which led him to architecture and art of living.
What is the reason of your visit to Lebanon? My visit aims to find out about this country where I was born, where I plan to settle.
Tell us your story with photography … First of all, as a fashion designer, photography has become self-evident. Gradually, the image became an introspection, a quest, an answer.
Why did you leave fashion? I am in search of meaning and fashion didn’t give me answers, it left me in aesthetics exclusively, with no choice. On the other hand, Art has opened up horizons to poetry, philosophy, observation where all this universe is conjugated.
Your photos are unusual. What are your main characteristics? Perception, capturing the energies of a place or people, finding a meaning, depth, with a symbolic research on each topic. Then comes the conceptual part, that will help to implement the project also, how to highlight it, for example, which medium to use to transform the image in an object.
Your palette is wide and varied … Where do you draw your inspiration? My source of inspiration comes from this alchemy between the conscious and the unconscious, my sensations, my personal analysis, the elevation of my spirit from the world around me. I also work in communication with companies in order to give them a consistent visual identity as part of their activity.
Most of your exhibitions are organized in France and elsewhere. What are the works you exhibit in Beirut? I have exhibited several times in France, Malaysia and Russia. I now plan to make an exhibition about Lebanon, an approach full of sensations and symbols, filled with energy and nostalgia between the past and the present.
For Didier Le Grand, art is … Art questions, questions us, submits to us. Art is the crystallization of the present moment.
What is the role of the artist today? To provoke an interrogation, to revolt, to love, to give meaning, for meaning goes beyond aesthetics. To be attentive, to have his own sensitivity to the life surrounding him, his own experience and succeed in depicting it on the canvas.
Your works mingle between the unusual and the photomontage … Photomontage allows me to put my subject in motion, a whole life summed up in an image, to nourish it with details and invisible, to stimulate the unconscious, the image becomes then introspection.
And what about the «Interiors» …? I realize a personalized work according to a place, an encounter. I try through this exercise to find the link between the personality of the inhabitant and his place of residence. I suggest a multidisciplinary creation. Through photography, conceptual installation, object, design, happening …, I combine disciplines, techniques and materials, using mastery, combining modernity and tradition.
Do you have a particular work dear to your heart? Undoubtedly the next!
What memories would you like to mention about your journey? The most striking memory is to have draped the «Venus de Milo» at the Louvre during the ceremony of the 10th anniversary of the Pyramid of this Museum.
If ever you feel a different vocation than photography, which one? No other. Interview by Mireille Bridi Bouabjian