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March 17

Interview: Fabian Bürgy

By Ella Miista
Fabian Bürgy is a multimedia artist with quite the unusual portfolio. His work is evocative, targeting a whole spectrum of emotions. Some of it is appealing by definition - it's serene, it's symmetrical. It's a picture you could hang on your living room wall. But, Bürgy is a man that makes up his own definition of what aesthetics. Creating a pretty art piece isn't the focus, but concentrate on the right feeling and even the grotesque can become beautiful. His work is rich in juxtaposition, pairing the mundane and surreal. Somehow he makes the unthinkable real and puts in a context where it feels out of place and familiar at once. The feeling his work creates is made up of contrasts too - it's unnerving, but oddly soothing. That symmetry perhaps. We got in touch with him to talk contrasts and what it's like to combine the digital with the physical. You were quite young when you got into sculpture. What is the story of you getting into art? I was just out of school and 15 years old when I started an apprenticeship as a stone sculptor. My mentor was a great man and besides teaching me the craft and manual work, he encouraged me to experiment with artistic work in my spare time. This is how it all started. I rented my first studio, an old garage, and spend my evenings and weekends with painting, sculpting and thinking. When discussing your work, the words playfulness and violence, funny and aggressive juxtapose. Though different emotions (and notions), they're all similarly strong. What's your route to such intensity?  In nature, the forces that you describe are all constantly present and somehow belong to each other. There is no day without night, no happiness without sadness and finally no death without the birth. Complexity resulting in pureness and simplicity. The unwanted and fear which imposes itself… I am personally fascinated and totally absorbed by these opposite emotions and co-existence of extremes. That’s where it all comes from. Metamorphosis is central to your work, the transformation almost out of place in its setting. There's contrast and conflict - where does that stem from? People who know me, recognise my person in the work i create. It is how I am as a human and reflects pretty much how I think. As I said, themes like metamorphosis, contrast and conflicting situations are what I mostly think of. A lot of artists settle in big urban centres like London, Berlin or NY. You've steered clear of that route. What's it like in Meyriez? How does the setting inform your work? The place where I live is my homebase. I grew up here and, after a few years abroad, I came back because it’s a good spot to live at the moment. Living in an urban cluster could be interesting but I doubt that it will bring any remarkable advantage to me at this moment. It’s comfortable to have some constant values in your live and I probably need the quiet and calm natural setting to be inspired. Besides, I travel several months a year and usually end up in big cities. So at the end I get my share of both. Your works aren't just interesting but also aesthetically pleasing. How important is that part in your work?  Both parts are equally important. But my definition of “aesthetic” is broad, it’s a word with a narrow meaning. There’s a visual and conceptual part. In my opinion, something ugly can also be pretty or appealing. Take the ugliness of a rotten boat, most people see something romantic in this picture. My aesthetic understanding goes in this direction, but happens to be a bit more radically driven. Both sculpting and digital art are bound to have their pros and cons. How has working between different mediums expanded the possibilities for you? The two mediums allow me to move quickly forward with my ideas. I need to create in order to advance with my work and give birth to the next idea. Digital art allows me to work fast while it remains at relatively low cost and demands little space. It also allows me to think in an independent way because everything is possible. The sculpting is extremely grounded, incredibly time demanding and uses a lot of space. I need both, I am both and I usually combine the worlds. You say a powerful image can be as impactful as a powerful installation, and vice versa. In terms of creating one or the other, what sits closer to your heart? Is there something inherently more satisfying about creating a physical work? Not at all, I enjoy both. The result is what I am interested in. No matter how it exists. See Fabian's work here. Fabian Burgy Fabian Burgy Fabian Burgy Fabian Burgy Fabian Burgy Fabian Burgy Fabian Burgy
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