Jean-Baptiste Besançon lives and works in Bordeaux, where he was born in 1985. Self-taught, he was introduced to visual arts at a young age, and has established a sustained rhythm of production and renewal in his painting practice.
In the studio, Besançon works simultaneously on several canvases laid horizontally. He moves between them, brushing and orienting the paint in either large flat areas or more concentrated strokes, without erasing the traces left by his tools. The ecru and woven threads of the scraped cotton are often visible and integrated into the work. His palette primarily comprises black, Payne grey, Prussian blue, English red, certain greens, sienna and ochre, blended directly on the canvas. He employs water as a central element in the process, soaking the surface of the canvas, thus triggering chromatic changes.
The compositions at times include a point of entry, which draws in the eye before it ventures to the rest of the work. Some pieces derive their energy and movement from large diagonal strokes, while others hinge on unexpected, spontaneous forms. Summing up his research as an abstract painter, Pierre Soulages said, “It is what I do that teaches me what I am looking for.” A similar intuition is evident in Besançon’s approach: his compositions reveal themselves, discovered in the course of their execution.
Having been painting for over 10 years, Besançon has become engaged in an intensive enquiry into the discipline, seeking to deepen his understanding of his practice. “My paintings used to be experiments,” he says. “Now, I have my own way. I need to paint; it is not just a pleasure.”