DAVID AIU SERVAN-SCHREIBERBehind the talent
What actions should we take as we see through this mirror planet?
This inside-out approach to our environment challenges us to take action towards our Planet.
Continue reading his latest interview as we deep dive into his creative process as David shares his approach to crafting engaging brand content.
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I had a wonderful time with my Sardinian family over Christmas. It’s now time to go back to London, to work on one of the most exiting project of my career to date. @vault_project (that we will call Vault) is going to be a very special place open to the public to see art in creation. Based in front of the national gallery, I will be relocating there from Late January . We will host artists for residencies/ performances and exhibitions. Promoting creativity in many different forms. This place will be run by me and my friend @pierrepiw and managed by my other good friend @alexis75019. We are aiming to open the doors of Vault from late February- beginning of March. the page @vault_project will be updated with content soon. In the meantime I wish you all a beautiful 2020!
WHAT MOTIVATED YOU TO PERSUE AN ART CAREER?
I don’t think becoming an artist was a choice for me, but rather a natural event. I always knew that I had to become an artist, because I had so much to express and over the years I found the act of painting to be a catalyst for my inspiration and ideas.
For a long time, I tried to combine being an artist with working and studying. Working at Sotheby’s London was a great educational experience, since it taught me the essentials about art history whilst enabling me to be surrounded by very refined art and learn from it. It was the perfect place for contemplation and education.
During that time, I combined my job in the auction house with my own artistic practice. I would leave the office and go directly to my studio, thrilled to transform my ideas into tangible creations. But the real motivation came once I signed my contract with MTArt Agency and Marine Tanguy became my agent. Only then I decided that it was time to leave Sotheby’s and concentrate solely on pursuing my career as an artist. I am incredibly grateful for the journey and for how everything turned out. Without my time at Sotheby’s I would have never found my artistic voice, but without Marine I would have never been able to make a living out of it.
TELL US ABOUT YOUR STUDIOS?
My two creative hubs are Paris and London. I live in London but I am from Paris and I therefore spend a lot of time in both cities and keep two studios in each of them: one for storage and another one for creation.
My studios for me are like my sanctuaries, they have become a place inside these hectic cities where I can just turn down the noise and tune in with myself. It feels like being in a desert island in the middle of all the chaos. I feel a sense of ease and liberation that enables me to focus entirely on what I want to create. They provide me with a space where I can turn my ideas into reality.
What’s funny is that, by pure coincidence, in the past they all used to be a stable, hence, they are all decorated in the same fashion and very similar to one another.
It’s a very special feeling for me to enter the studio, I feel at ease, everything is possible and I let my imagination rule the process.
WHAT ARE YOU TRYING TO EXPRESS WITHIN YOUR ART?
As a father and a citizen of the world, my biggest concern right now is the climate crises and the legacy we are leaving to our children.
Through my planet series, my ambition is to raise awareness on this topic by portraying the beauty of our planet as seen from afar, creating an image that verges on the sublime. When the viewer confronts my paintings, I want them to achieve a “world perspective” that can unite mankind in an effort to preserve the natural beauty of our one world.
On the other hand, my microcosm series acts almost as a counterpoint, a closer look into the surface of our planet. The Earth is now looking deserted and scorched, an inhabitable place. Through this troubling image, I hope to inspire from the viewer an individual call to action, a moment of reflection on how our actions are shaping the present and future.
WALK US THROUGH YOUR LATEST PROJECT AND YOUR CREATIVE PROCESS?
My latest project is a space in central London where I will be working from called Vault. Together with my two partners, we want Vault to become more than just my studio, but a space for creative exchange, welcoming artists from all fields to promote creativity in all its forms and foster the magic of collaboration.
We want to welcome musicians, cooks, performance artists… All around the idea of providing London with an open space for artistic exchange and collaboration where anything can happen. We want to welcome artists for residencies, performances, talks, dinners… everything is possible!
AS AN ARTIST, HOW DO YOU USE YOUR VOICE TO DRIVE POSITIVE BRAND PERCEPTION?
In the past, all the brand collaborations I have done have revolved around the same topic: climate change. All my art is around this subject, hence, I have only collaborated with brands that are similar in values and want to increase their engagement with this matter. To make the most out of it, I work closely with their team to connect my artistic voice with their brand’s identity and come up with striking ideas that are really engaging.
Brands have always been very respectful of my artistic voice and my visual aesthetic, I then sort of become both a content creator and ambassador to support and elevate their projects and their identity.
WHO HAS INSPIRED YOUR CREATIVE JOURNEY?
As an artist, I am inspired everyday by Olafur Eliasson.
Olafur is also an environmentalist and someone I really look up to in terms of how he uses his art as a powerful tool for raising awareness on the climate crisis and incite action. Visually, I love how he plays with perception, lights, textures and shapes.
HOW DO YOU USE SOCIAL MEDIA TO CONNECT WITH YOUR AUDIENCE?
I find Instagram to be a great tool to communicate with my followers. I get the most interaction out of my stories. I see it as a very successful way to document my life and inspire people.
For me instagram is like my visual diary, I find it fascinating to believe that in the future we will be able to look back and understand what people were trying to say, what was society questioning? What were artists talking about? In a way, as an artist and a content creator, I feel responsible for shaping this history and these movements and I want to inspire as many people as possible to do the same.
I believe that Instagram can serve as a powerful tool to collectively drive the minds of the decision makers in the right direction. Whenever I publish a post, I reflect on the impact it will have in the present and in the future, that’s why I often speak directly to my son.
WHAT ARE YOUR VALUES AS AN ARTIST?
I believe that all artists are influenced by the times we live in when creating. For me, the most important thing in my career is to use my artistic voice as a force for positive change. Being conscious of where and how I live is at the core of my life, my thoughts, my preoccupations and therefore, my art. That’s why, my entire oeuvre is entirely dedicated to raising awareness on the climate crisis. Every aspect of my work, whether is the use of fire, the presence and absence of colour or the creative process, reflects on these values.
DO YOU HAVE ANY EXCITING PROJECTS PLANNED FOR 2020?
I am very much looking forward to my next collaboration with Ruinart in Frieze LA. I have been working with them on a very exciting project that is gonna travel the world. The work consists of a big planet you can walk into, it’s an immersive environment that only allows you to walk in alone and it is also a functional piece. We want Frieze visitors to recycle their bottles inside there. So when you enter the “planet”, you are directly making a gesture towards it and the environment.
WHAT IS YOUR LIFE’S MOTTO?
Leaving Sotheby’s and taking the risk of being a full time artist was a tough decision, but it was totally worth it. If I had been too scared to fail I would have never done it. Success for me is being true to myself and choosing my path. “If you want it, go for it. Take a risk, if you always play it safe you will die wondering”.