Alexandre Rataxes is a talented up-and-coming painter, illustrator, writer and photographer based in Paris. He talks exclusively to DRECK magazine about his inspirations in art and fashion and his future plans.
Tell us a few things about yourself. When did you first start doing art?
My name is Alexandre Desmidt, or Bleu Rataxes. I am 23 years old and I live in Paris, born and raised. I have been doing art since I can remember, using different types of media, such as drawing, painting, writing. I write a lot too : thoughts, essays, short stories, short plays. So there wasn’t a real beginning for me as an artist, but let’s just say that my artistic activity increased drastically when I graduated high school and started studying literature, philosophy and drama in prep school. I was 17 years old at the time.
Which artists have been the most inspiring/influential to you and why?
I read a lot, and since a big part of my work is illustration, I am inspired by characters and atmospheres from the plays and novels I read. Obviously, I am greatly inspired by Art Nouveau in general, and more specially by artists like Klimt, Schiele, Gustave Doré etc. I am greatly influenced by fashion, some designers in particular even though I keep my eye open at every fashion week for new talents : I love Mcqueen of course, Lanvin, Thom Browne etc. In the theater world, which is one the richest source of inspiration for me, directors like Bob Wilson, Vincent Macaigne, Patrice Chéreau, though their art, influence me a lot. The work of Pina Bausch and Martha Graham, for modern dance, make me dream. Some film directors really influence my thinking and my creative process as well : Terence Malick for instance, David Fincher, or Jim Jarmusch.
What are you trying to communicate through your art?
I try to tackle different topics that really interest me. One of them is gender. I believe that beauty is something that cannot be defined by genre, and so all my characters are androgynous. I aim to intertwine the beauty standards traditionally associated exclusively to masculinity or feminity. I want to create images and characters with faces, bodies and souls that are absolutely new, leaving behind obsolete norms and criteria. I also believe, deeply, that cosmic phenomenons can have a dramatic impact on earthly life, and especially on people’s minds. I think our minds, our souls can be momentarily shaken, unhinged, manipulated, changed during a cosmic episode such as a comet, an eclipse, or solar flares for example. That way, my thinking and my work can be linked to the works of Maeterlinck in theater. He is one of my favorite writers. Finally, death is always present in my work, like an invisible guest sitting on the last chair at the dinner table. Because I tend to think that everything is more interesting when death is on her way.
Name three artists you’d like to be compared to.
I don’t really understand this question. As an artist, I like to be associated with other artists with similar visions, who are reaching for the same goals. But being compared, when you are as young as I am, is not a good thing. That’s what I think. So don’t compare me to anyone ahahaha.
Are you working on a project right now?
I have a few different photographic projects in mind, that I will undertake as soon as I find the time and the money ahaha. I am currently working with a young and talented play director, called Laura Thomassaint. I am in charge of creating all the images around the play, to communicate over it, besides creating a video to show on the back wall during the play. I am very excited about this. The play is called Je voudrais en aucun cas qu’on me vole ma mort.
Any particular plans for the future?
At the end of this school year, I will have my master’s degree, and will enter art school in Paris or London to improve my skills in digital design. After that, combining my strategic and creative skills, I will be able to undertake my projects from beginning to end. And that’s when the magic really begins! I cannot wait Apart from this near future, I am planning on producing a movie, handling the project from writing the storyline and the script to filming the scenes, and all the steps in between. I already have all the ideas : I have chosen shooting locations, actors, costumes, and written most of the main scenes. I just need time and funding.
Interview by Yannis Skarakis