Joséphin Bastière

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The HyperBrut art
- Reuse -

On this Reuse page, I explain how in my way of drawing, painting, writing, I was able to reuse the balance that is in this brush stroke on this door :

The reuse of balance in this brushstroke, or more generally in the GesteBrut, first started with the paint. Because to confess, this door I had undertaken to repaint was the door of my new room in a roommate’s house and when I had just settled in this room, I felt good but not enough. The walls were damaged, dirty and apart from the window with its sky, I had no place to rest my eyes.

To avoid renovating the walls, the solution I found was to paint flat colors on sheets to dress up the room. At first, I imagined flat tints filling the whole sheet, but I didn’t have a place to paint at that time. This was in early 2014. I then decided to use large sheets and to paint these flat areas of color not on the whole sheet, but only inside, thus transforming my sheet into a studio which allowed me to be able to paint in my room while avoiding as much as possible to make spots on the floor.

But then the question arose as to what shape to use to make the flat areas. To answer this question, I thought of making a rectangle inside the sheet, with straight lines, but after a few tries, I started to give up because it was quite tiring and risky. Finding the center, making a rectangle with the right proportions, drawing the lines well, filling without overflowing… Then, while waiting to find a solution, I started to paint the door and after the first brush stroke, I decided a few days later to reuse this balance shape to make the flat colors :

And as you can see on the picture above, I took a large brown sheet of paper and put it on the floor, then I put my feet on it to avoid the sheet moving, and I made a brushstroke, to try to find the same balance shape as the first brushstroke on the door. But having already planned things beforehand, I felt that I wasn’t going to get it back so easily, so I decided to make my brushstroke on the left-hand side of the sheet, leaving me space on the right-hand side to make further attempts. Then, once I had done it, with my feet still on the sheet, and not sure if I had succeeded, I did it again. I did it again, but decided to make two brush strokes, side by side, in one go. I thought of this idea because I thought that by doing two brushstrokes I could concentrate on getting the second brushstroke done, so I could be less vigilant about the first. Once this was done, and I felt I had no more room on my paper, I lifted my feet and noticed that my feet had left marks, something I had not anticipated. Seeing these marks, like stamps, frightened me as much as a stain, but also gave me the feeling that it was a signature. A signature that showed me the balance of the three brush strokes. I was so excited that I decided, with a smaller brush and a different colour, to sign it too.

Then, noticing that the balance appeared, in a burst of confidence, I took a new sheet of paper to make a rectangle of colour, a rectangle that would be made without worrying too much about its shape. I then put the sheet on the ground, then this time I put a foot on the sheet, inside the rectangle I was going to make, then I told myself that to make the rectangle I was going to start with the corners that I was then going to connect with the sides, to then fill in. So I made those corners. But when I made them, I moved my foot, and I still had the sensation of a signature, a signature that showed me the four corners :

So I stopped, even though I really wanted to finish. And I took a new sheet of paper to make a rectangle again, starting directly with the sides. Then once I had done it, as I was planning to fill in the inside, I realised that it was balanced, like the first brush stroke on my door :

I stopped again, even though I really wanted to finish. And I took a new sheet to make a rectangle again, this time starting directly with the filling. I put the sheet on the ground, put my foot on it, then I made a filling with several brushstrokes, which I tried to do quickly with as little control as possible. Then in the rush, at one point I realised that I wasn’t going to be able to fill in where I had put my foot. And that made me pause, and then I lifted my foot, and I saw that the whole thing was again similar to the first brush stroke on the door :

So I stopped again, even though I really wanted to finish. And I took a new sheet. It was not the same colour as the previous ones, it was my last sheet. I put it on the floor, and then I realised that I was going to have to put my foot outside the coloured rectangle, as if I had to start signing from the beginning, make the rectangle, and then finish my signature. And that’s what I did, but I made the rectangle with corners, then sides, and finally I filled it in, in one brushstroke :

This series of experiments, which I called flat and balance, was my first attempt to reuse the balance of GesteBrut. A few weeks later, I made a new series. This time I had planned to use white sheets, of better quality. I found it interesting that the colour of the support was important, as I was not doing my flat colour on the whole support. For me, seeing the support around the flat surface was like seeing the workshop. I also planned to use new pigments and mediums, in order to experiment with different colour schemes and balances. Then I had an idea. I thought that instead of using a traditional brush to paint my flat areas, I would use a sheet of paper, thus allowing me to have less control over the realization of my rectangle since the presence of the sheet of paper between me and the rectangle would block my view, and moreover the sheet of paper would be difficult to handle to spread the paint, thus provoking more hazards. Then once used, I would be able to recover the sheet and its balance of spread paint, making it a GesteBrut brush sheet.

So I took one of the white sheets, put it on the floor, sat on my buttocks at the bottom of the sheet, both legs half-bent in front, on either side of the sheet. Then with a tube of purple oil paint, and a future brush sheet, I started to do my flat. But once the paint was on, just before using my brush sheet to spread it, I realised that it was balanced. And I stopped, even though I really wanted to finish :

Then I took a new sheet of paper, put the paint on, spread it out, and kept the brush sheet, which I hung up for the occasion, on a large sheet of paper, adding a signature :

Then I did other experiments, like sprinkling pigment to find more balance of GesteBrut, or spreading it this way, then that way, etc.

And in addition to the white sheets, something I didn’t tell you about, I had given myself a nice coloured sheet that I kept for the end :

After this series, a few weeks later, I made a new series with several coloured sheets, and succeeded in finding a workshop to paint :

Then at last, I was able to decorate the walls of my bedroom, and thus offer myself several places to rest my eyes :

And between these different series, I found an American frame. It was a local craftsman who had painted the whole frame in white, but he had left the inside unpainted, as this is normally the place where a work of art is installed to be framed. This frame was an order, but the client had not come to pick it up for a while. The craftsman agreed to sell it to me, and I left with the frame to decorate my room as well. I show it to you because I find it a particular example of GesteBrut. Between the craftsman, who only paints the edges, and me, who doesn’t paint all the way to the edges, we both manage to make rectangles :

That’s it for the painting part.

As for the drawing, the reuse of the GesteBrut balance took a little more time. You have to know that at that time I was already used to drawing. I used to draw as a child, as a teenager, and most of the time it was on small sheets of paper. Then, when I started to attend live model sessions, I switched to large sheets. It was a difficult thing to do, but it allowed me to unleash my features :

These strokes, I made with different tools, like charcoal, black stone, pastels, felt pens, watercolours, or others, and I already found in them something close to the balance of GesteBrut. But since I had moved into this new bedroom, I didn’t have much space to store what I was producing. So, realising that I had to find a solution, I decided to change my drawing habits.

The first thing I changed was the size of my sheets. I went back to small A4 sheets, something that had become difficult for me, but that allowed me to store more drawings more easily. I chose white printer’s paper, with a weight of 200 grams per square metre, which gave me the feeling of a real sheet to draw on, as well as offering me an economical support, allowing me to produce without having the cost as a primary concern.

At the same time, I changed my tools, preferring a black point pen, which offered me something simple and economical. In addition, I had an idea in mind, the idea was, with both parameters, white sheet and black point pen, I would be able to take digital photographs of my various productions, and thus I would be able to store them a second time, but in digital format, more transportable and shareable. And I also had the idea that I could print them on larger or smaller sheets, and that I could also add colours, or other lines, thus making a kind of base that could evolve, while transforming the A4 format into something dimensionless. I also imagined that with this digital aspect, I could combine different drawings with each other. This is why my form of drawing is closely linked to the worlds of reproduction such as engraving or silk-screening, as well as to the worlds of volume, sculpture and digital. And this transforms my handmade drawings into photo negatives, while at the same time transforming the prints into photo positives, treating both forms as originals.

Another habit I have changed is the place and time of drawing. I used to draw during live model sessions, or on specific occasions. With this A4 size and black tip pen, it was easy to carry them with me all day long, and as a result I found myself able to draw all the time, anything I might encounter in my daily life, whenever I felt like it.

Another habit that I changed was my drawing technique itself. When I was in high school, I had a maths teacher who was blind. What impressed me the most was her ability to write lessons or draw graphs on the board. With one hand, she would put her index finger on the board, which served as a reference point, and with the other hand, equipped with a chalk, she would draw her letters or the abscissa, the ordinate, and the various curves, not perfectly but with enough precision to amaze me. I was inspired by her to change my drawing technique. Instead of constantly going back and forth between my paper and the subject, I tried to use her technique little by little. In addition, this technique allowed me to learn a random aspect, a random aspect that echoed the balance of GesteBrut.

These different changes of habit occurred simultaneously, because to me it was only when taken as a whole that they formed a coherence. And I saw in this coherence a profound change in my workshop. I use the term « workshop » to refer to my place of production, my production machine, my production time and my storage place. That’s why I mentioned the American framework earlier, before making the transition between painting and drawing. The craftsman had a workshop, that’s why he could paint the edges of the American frame. In painting what I changed mainly was my application, while in drawing what I changed mainly was my workshop :

I drew what was in my daily life, and I also drew live models :

Then I gradually started to draw from imagination. This happened because I could get tired of drawing things I saw after a while, and imagination gave me the opportunity to change that :

I was also able to use this set of techniques to copy existing photographs or paintings :

Then I could experiment with combining different drawings with each other :

As for writing, I wasn’t used to it, but I wanted to try this medium. And finding myself with sheets of paper and pens all the time, I started practising quite quickly. The first opportunity came when a social network on the internet offered me to write a message for my brother’s birthday. I decided to take one of my drawing sheets and write the message for real. Then I took a digital photograph of it, and sent the message to the recipient:

Happy birthday my brother.

After that I continued to write about things coming from me or from outside, about things I wanted to say or things I heard :

To write you must have the possibility to write.

The necessity of an individual process.

We do things without realising it.

There was the sound of wind, dripping water, and the sound of cars digging tracks in the wet asphalt.

I am sure you can see here, that today I took the time to stretch myself.

Take,from this artwork, what may help you.

Then balances of GesteBrut appeared quite quickly. Like this sheet below, on which I had written an A but crossed it out, because I had changed the beginning of my sentence. And after crossing it out, I realised that the whole thing was balanced, a bit like the first brush stroke on the door :

Afterwards, I took a new sheet of paper to give my crossed-out A a title :

This is a drawing.

Here’s another example of GesteBrut balance that I experienced while writing:

I wanted to write a sentence, and that sentence started with I, wich is Je in french. And once I wrote the I, I realised that it was equivalent to the first brushstroke on the door. It was the first stone to write what I wanted to express. And I stopped. I also realised that it was like a portrait of me at that moment.

Then, as I was thinking, I said to myself that if my sentence had started with You, the You would have been like a portrait of me at that moment, thinking of someone. The same goes for the He, the She, the We, the Us, the You, the They, the They. So I started to write them down, one by one :

Then, once I had done so, I wanted to write all these pronouns on the same page, in order to show that even taken together, they remain one and the same portrait of me :

Once this was done, I realised that a variant of all the pronouns taken together could exist, and that this variant could therefore downgrade what I had done earlier in the first brush stroke :

Then I realised that with all this together I could make a book out of it :


And the fact of being able to make books, reappeared quite quickly and naturally. One day when I had a live model course at the university, I went to take the bus, and on the way, which was quite long, I drew and wrote, then I attended the course, and I went back by bus. And when I got home, I realised that all the things I had produced that day, which I had kept in chronological order, formed a GesteBrut book. I then took photos of them, and I entitled this book : A workday.

But once I had taken the photos, I realised that I had put my production in disorder, and that the particular way this disorder had taken shape, formed a new GesteBrut book. And I called this book : A daily work.

On another occasion I went to a party with shows, to which a friend had invited me. As it was my new habit, I had drawing and writing materials with me. When the evening was over, I realised that what I had produced was a GesteBrut book, and that as well as being able to change the order, I could add or remove things. I called this book : One evening of celebration.

These steps of reusing GesteBrut in drawing, painting, and writing allowed me, in addition to the conceptual approach, to discover HyperBrut art in late 2014. And following this discovery, I continued my production. You can find a whole selection of examples of this production on the next page Evolution.