Art, shapes, geometry and architecture: seeing through the eyes of Jean-Baptiste Monnin

For most of us architecture is just the set-design in our everyday lives. But for Jean-Baptiste Monnin it’s the leading star. When he looks at buildings he sees the small architectural details that many of us just pass by. For him, architecture is never static; it’s the backbone of his art.

Jean-Baptiste was born in France 1986. He moved to Berlin six years ago after he’d fallen in love with the city while on vacation. With a background in architecture and fine arts, he has developed a unique style. The process behind the drawings in the series “Basculement” always starts with a trip, either in Berlin or somewhere else, to find a modern or contemporary styled building to photograph as a reference. Afterwards, Jean-Baptiste spends approximately a week redrawing the photo. He reframes, reverses or rotates the picture to create the abstract urban landscape he’s envisioned. “I want to give the feeling to the viewer that they can go inside the picture and walk on this landscape” he says, while sipping on a cup of tea. The last part of the process is to fold the big canvas, like one would do with architectural technical plans.

“It’s for me really important to physically experiment with the architecture. To travel inside, to touch it, to see how the light reacts on the material. Architecture is never static. It depends on its environment and the passing of the time.”

Jean-Baptiste’s portfolio not only consists of drawings; he also takes photos and makes sculptures. Even though these art forms differ from each other, his style and point of view are consistent; one can see that it’s a Monnin piece regardless of the medium of the artwork. When asked how these different art forms complement and/or differ from each other he answers: “For me, all these artistic forms are indissociable from one another: Photography can be part of the process of creating a drawing, or sketches are essential for the production of sculptures”…

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