Artist Françios-Marie Banier paints on of his photographs in his studio… And by artist I mean: photographer, painter, playwright and novelist. (And I thought I did a lot of things!)
Many of you remember this artist from the campaign he did with DVF in 09 which featured some of his most beautiful painted photos(some of which are featured below), I became interested in him because a friend of mine is heading up a project with her children’s class and they are using his work as the inspiration. In addition to making gorgeous photos and paintings, Françios-Marie paints his photographs. What I like about them, well, whats not to like about an artist layering his work with more of his work- but particularly the way some of the photos are completely transformed into different pieces, while on others, the paint sits above the photo separate from it.
A little bit about FMB:
At a young age, Francios was at odds with his parents, and began to befriend artists and art patrons around Paris…When he was 16, he met Salvador Dalí, who would send his car to bring the boy to his suite at the Hotel Meurice to discuss art.
He published his first novel at 22. Around the same time, designer Madeleine Castaing (who was 75 at the time) helped him launch a career in photography by purchasing a dozen of his photographs for 70,000 francs.
Over the years, Mr Banier befriended many well-known public figures and celebrities, including Pablo Picasso, Yves Saint Laurent, Pierre Cardin, Kate Moss, Mick Jagger and Princess Caroline of Monaco.He is also a good friend of Johnny Depp and his wife Vanessa Paradis and is the godfather of their daughter.
In the 1970s, Mr Banier shared a studio with designer Jacques Grange in the 70s before gradually buying the different studios and apartments around his space.
I started looking through his site and found one of the only articles on him written in English, in a Vanity Fair from 2006. You can read the scanned article HERE. I pulled some of my favorite little quotes from the article along with some of my favorite pieces of his below:
” I am very much solitary. In the morning I wake up and I write for four hours. I can write like a machine!” Then I lunch alone and go out on my motorbike alone, with no preconceived plan, around paris, making photos of anonymous people-10 or 15 rolls each day, hundreds every year! My energy comes from despair. At night I paint until 10 or 12. This weekend I made 40 drawings, 20 photographs and wrote 50 letters.”
I used to be mad to experience the genius of others, now I have found my own.
People say I am a factory, but I am a factory about to explode!
If I don’t know how to paint something, I write it directly on the painting. I believe in the power of words.
In my paintings I have the color the energy the fantasy that I can’t get in my photographs.
Half an hour of my life- and fifty years! Ive discovered my own language. It may be madness, even silly, but it all has meaning. I already know the rules so I can break them!
My photographs expose the soul of others, while the paintings expose my own.
I love getting a glimpse into the mind of compulsively creative people. I also think this artists has been fortunate to have lived at a particularly amazing moment in time…. His youth was peppered with the artists all-stars of the past(Picasso and Dali!), but he’s still only in his 60s and young enough to make a million more things happen.
I once read an article about the different types of geniuses in creative fields, those that peak early and completely change their discipline and those that work slowly, honing their craft throughout their lifetime…
I think everyone would like to think their greatest work is ahead of them, even if they wrote The Great Gatsby in their twenties, or painted Demoiselles d’Avignon at 26.
I don’t know how I got onto this tangent…(I’m going to expand on the idea in another post.) Maybe its because I was inspired by a man’s lifelong commitment to art and creating?
Enjoy the photos, and the quotes. They really move me.