Guillaume Hebert is a French visual artist who focuses on photography. He excels in combining painting with photography in creation and presenting balance and classical taste in images mixing virtuality and reality. Nature and naturalism are key objects and themes in his works, in which different imageries are a little bit surreal in misperception and comparison, leading to ecocriticism and cultural critique. For Guillaume Hebert, the dimension of nostalgia is important because photography starts from painting. He is enchanted by the view held by painting for it allows him to learn and even imagine the history.
In 2018, Guillaume Hebert’s first solo exhibition opened in M Art Center (Shanghai) presenting the series of Rocks from Other Hills. In the same year, he presented Updated Landscape series at the 8th Circulation(s) festival from March to May, in which he was awarded the 2018 Public Prize by the expert panel and voted as the favorite artist by the audiences. Moreover, Fisheye, the avant-garde photography magazine in Paris, selected his iconic works as the representative work in 2018. So, it is his distinctive style and keen discussion of the current situation of culture that put him under the spotlight of over 20 major magazines around Europe and America.
From 2019 to 2020, M Art Center (Shanghai) held solo exhibitions for him many times. In Sea Etude, the sea is the object of meditation in the process of his creation. Apocalypse is a record of his metamorphosis after the baptism of life. Beyond the Ordinary expresses his shock and grief facing the ever-changing environment and cultural collapse. Stanley Fung, a contemporary photographer who shares the same compassion and understanding, commented that, “Looking at the unearthly poetic and spiritual touch of Guillaume Hebert’s work, and weighing and considering about the philosophical thinking and the production course behind his creations, I cannot help but think of the pioneer in German romantics – the poet Friedrich Hölderlin.”
Artwork: Updated Landscape-7
Artist: Guillaume Hebert
Edition: 3/3 (3+2AP)
This artwork was shot in the south of Taiwan. The artist infused the work with Aeneas and the Sibyl, Lake Avernus by English Romantic painter William Turner, and slightly adjusted the tone of the sky and the shade between the painting and the photograph. Sports or recreations have become an indispensable part in people’s daily lives. We not only learn and practice them, but also watch, enjoy, and consume them. However, Greek and Roman myths have been disappearing from today’s education and losing their social and cultural positions. So, Turner’s painting disappearing behind the basketball court is an implication by the artist that history is overshadowed by the entertainments of our time.
Artwork: Updated Landscape-34
Artist: Guillaume Hebert
Edition: 1/3 (3+2AP)
This artwork was shot in Taipei, combing Philips Koninck’s An Extensive Landscape With A Road By A River. The playground in the center of this image is set in the landscape of yesterday, and the facilities are all made of plastic. The artist sees the scene as a metaphor that humankind is dying. Our children are a new generation living far away from the ecosystem of plants and animals, while the light of manmade objects has become their enlightenment so that nature is getting further away, and the land is becoming poorer. Therefore, we have entered the “Anthropocene”, a geologic time created by humans when biodiversity is in a vast decline.
Guillaume Hebert’s artworks are not just composite shots, but the results of “meetings”: the meetings of masters’ works and pixel aesthetics in the digital age. Meanwhile, they are also conflicts between yesterday and today that witness the lost world and new things being created at the same time. This series of works is beautiful not only for its aesthetics, but the perception they offered to the audiences lingered.
From left to right:
© Guillaume Hebert, Winter, 2019. Courtesy of M Art Center (Shanghai)
© Guillaume Hebert, Updated Landscape #19. Courtesy of M Art Center (Shanghai)
From left to right:
© Guillaume Hebert, Updated Landscape #4, 2017. Courtesy of M Art Center (Shanghai)
© Guillaume Hebert, Lion, 2019. Courtesy of M Art Center (Shanghai)
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