YOANN FOURNIER RECEIVED A GREEN CARD
FOR A ROAD TRIP ON THE CALIFORNIA ROADS ...
Between beaches and the Mojave desert. Santa Monica, Newport Beach, Hollywood ...
Vision translated onto glossy paper for a patchwork of images
between surf and old rides.
Hello Yoann, could you please tell us a bit more about you ? How old are you ? Where did you grow ?
Hi ! Let’s start from the beginning... My name is Yohann Fournier, I’m 30 years old... I grew up in a small town close to Marseille, then I moved on to Biarritz.
You make photo collages, you’re photograph... can you talk a bit more about your work ? When did you start to be interested for Art in generally ?
As long as I can remember , I always liked to draw. When I was quite young, I’ve been fascinated by image. Since primary school, I used to draw a lot of mangas, in Middle School it was more street art graffiti. In High School, they asked me for logos on Boards etc... later, I progressively and timidly start to approach photo then I’ve got started very quickly in this domain and I finally studied in visual communication school especially for graphism, publicity, photos...) I’ve got my first job in graphism without stopping photos. My basic tools are de definitely a pen, piece of paper and a camera. I’ve started collage naturally a bit later.
Tell us a bit more precisely about the collages you did for March LA.B. what’s the process ? How long does it takes for each artwork ?
Sure ! It was a project I really wanted to achieve for a long time, and again, I do thank Alain for offered me this opportunity ! My plan was to travel alone on a part of California and shoot with my camera, everything who can inspire me with my theme “California Roads” and make a collage series of it. After 3 months on the roads, many photo films, a lot of hours of photo selections, I’ve begun to work on my collages. The time process is very aleatory, sometimes it can takes me one day when everything works well and I have a clear idea about what I want to make, means the atmosphere etc...and sometimes, aie it can be complicated ! It can takes many days. Generally, I prefer to leave it on the side and start a new one then I come back on many days later. It can also be the chance of a piece of photo that goes there and I’m saying to myself “Cool ! It does match very well like this” But to be honest, this serie with March LA.B has been really simple because I had three months to think about it. I knew my photos and I also knew more or less what I want to show.
How this passion for collages came ?
As I previously said, I did start collage really naturally, for me it’s like a back to basics, I wanted to rework manually, a more brutal way, more violent, I was bored to work on a computer. My point of view is, the collage is a real kind of expression very complete because of the choice of photo, the colours harmony, the atmosphere we’re going to give, the vanishing points etc...
Did you already know March LA.B before our collaboration ?
Yes for sure ! In Biarritz where I’m living , it’s complicated to miss March LA.B !
What about your inspirations, your influences, which are they ?
My inspirations came essentially from the Punk and Psychedelic, also from Street art, cinema, music, surf and skate culture especially from the 70’s in California... But also the decadence, artistic freedom, erotism and all that period had to offer. It’s a kind of cliche but because I’ve studied Basquiat and his artwork at school, it had a big impact on my work. I realized it later.
You’re recently gone in California, can you talk about your trip ? It was the first time you’re going there ?
Yes ! It was the first time for me in California alone and for a long time ( 3 months). This road trip was amazing ! It will be forever in my mind ! Some amazing encounters, really good surf there, no disappointments or negative sides except when I missed my return flight. ( I think I didn’t want to come back home ahaha)
What is your memorable souvenir there ?
Oh I think I said more than ten times “ FUCK ! This is the best day of my life” but if I have to choose only one, it’s clearly a morning in Baja (Mexico) we were gone to San Clemente the day before with Nil Puissant and Michael Towsend ( which are two really good photographers) to go surfing at dawn there. This morning, we woke up on the edge of a cliff, a stunning place in front of right-left glassy wave. The perfection and we were only us three ! The dream of all the surfers ! After 20 minutes, a shoal about ten dolphins came play with us and they crossed us ( in Cali we get used to surf near them) but this time, we did touch some of them because we were clearly on their way, this moment was simply amazing. I remember my friend told me “fortunately I hadn’t my camera, otherwise I couldn’t have appreciate this moment because I would have tried to shoot” its crazy !
You did a lot of shooting when you were there, do you went there with this in mind ?
In Cali, everything is very photogenic, don’t shoot is impossible there, it’s everywhere, for each styles, each tastes ! But yes my goal was to wander all that in photo, and as I said earlier, the objective is to create some collages that tell my travel with my own photos.
Which tools are you using ?
For the photo it depends about the projects, the places, it goes from be small argentic in medium format to the numeric in full format, but I can say the Yashicat T5 and the Fuji lm XT100 are really my safe values ! 35mm FOR LIFE !
Can you give us some of your favourite addresses over there ?
In L.A, I like to hang out in Venice for the folklore and Silver Lake for his underground side. In Venice, you really have to go and see the Waterfront’s toilet ( bar/restaurant) ahah ( Sean Tully is the autor) a super source of inspiration for my collages, I’m not joking! Go have a look on the beautiful boards of the Mollusk Surf shop. For Silver Lake, I knew a very good spot for Bloody Mary cocktails on Sunset Boulevard, but they were good enough to make me forget where is the place... For Newport Beach there’s Blackies beach , it’s the longboard spot where all the intemporal scene to practice his talent, just in front of the beach, there is the Blackies, an old and mythic bar for a beer at the end of the day. For the evening, you have to try The Alley, a super Pub and restaurant close to Costa Mesa, also The Wayfarer which is a bar karaoke punk who makes the best burgers. Let’s have a coffee at Daydream surfshop and have a look on their boards ! At San Clemente , the best place is de nitely the parking d’Album surf ! Ahah I squatted a lot there ! ( big up for Michael Townsend, Nil et Matt !) but for sur ng , there’s a famous spot of Lowers et San’o, which is the Mekkah of longboard. On the way to south, you de nitely have to visit the Birds Surf Shed in San Diego, the biggest museum/store of boards since the beginning until today.
Tell us a bit more about your futur projects ?
So, I’ve just finished a publicity campaign, I’m working on a project with a brand a bit more street and this is a big challenge for me. I have my job with Oxbow who’s coming soon , it’s coming back ! Another project with Monster Children et Raen optics and surely a good exposition soon. I hope to come back asap in Cali for another 3 months to shoot an especially for a project with Playboy who could be successful at this moment ! and for sure sur ng as soon as possible. I maybe forgot something but it’s not too bad actually I think !
For finishing, where can we discover your artworks and others ?
A bit everywhere, and for sure in Instagram ! Also in a book soon and in different campaigns that will appear during the summer 2020.