Check out the wonderful works of visual artists Jacques, whose work explores themes of gender, beauty, and sexuality. WINGS had the opportunity to ask them about their art, story, and more. Hear what they have to say about it.
How did you get started in art?
I’ve always been fascinated by art, I’ve always felt the need to communicate through images. I think art is a powerful language that often manages to reach people more than the use of words. It is a form of communication capable of allowing anyone to give their interpretation, managing to make you feel part of something bigger. When I started attending art school, I began to open up to new forms of artistic communication, there I met my current partner to whom I owe a lot of my personal growth, it helped me so much to be able to compare myself with him. I think that to make a serious change in the world, art needs to be there.
Tell us about your favorite piece and why.
I think my favorite pieces are the two wooden silhouettes. I’ve always had a great passion for design, it attracts me a lot how these silhouettes interact with each other in the space, redefining it. I like the idea that they are not confined to a canvas. For me, they are a celebration of freedom and beauty. In my work, seduction and sexuality are very important because they are the basic elements of our life and our psycho-physical well-being. I think it’s essential to explore issues that are often considered taboo for the society in which we live.
You are part of an art duo, Ian et Jacques. You both grew up in Italy, can you tell us about those experiences, and does this part of your history influence your art?
Ian et Jacques, other than being the name with which we introduce ourselves to the world of art, hides within itself an entire world in which two similar souls have managed to find their own common hiding place. We met five years ago due to a fortuitous event, coming from two realities, very different and very distant. Ian was born and raised in Viareggio, in Tuscany, in a very open reality. Even though it’s a small seaside town, the LGBTQ+ community seems to be well integrated. He was able to live his adolescence years with tranquility, being able to experiment freely with his approach to others and the world. I, on the other hand, grew up in a very closed reality, in southern Italy, were choosing to live one’s homosexuality and personal expression freely, unfortunately, means having to find oneself very often in violent and repressive situations. In the summer of 2014, we met, and since then we have never separated. Together, both studying art, soon found ourselves working on common themes, questioning ourselves about the place that the image of gender identity occupies in the world, and why it was so crucial to be seen in binary gender terms in order to be accepted by the rest of the society.
Your work explores themes of gender, beauty, myth, and nature. Can you tell us about some of your inspirations?
One of our major sources of inspiration is old Hollywood, an environment in which the archetype of the construction of beauty lives in a world of its own covered with a golden patina, distant and unattainable. We are convinced that gender expression is fundamental to free ourselves from what are social chains. We believe that becoming the image you have of yourself is the strongest thing you can do, the act of creation par excellence. Beauty has many shades and possibilities of being considered as such. We want our work to encourage others to break free from preconceptions and embrace their true self.
What future plans do you have for your work?
Now I’m focusing on many painting and video projects that I can’t wait to reveal!