Canvas of equilibrium

French mathematician and artist Jean - Luc Feugeas speaks about his concepts and why it is important to respect and break rules

January 28, 2017 02:52 pm | Updated 02:52 pm IST

Connecting the imaginary and real A work by Jean - Luc Feugeas

Connecting the imaginary and real A work by Jean - Luc Feugeas

“Take the example of a glass of water. To a lay person, it is in a state of equilibrium but one doesn’t know that there are more than 2000 particles in it and ‘disorder’ exists,” laughs artist Jean-Luc Feugeas. With a smile on his lips, Jean walks around Kalakriti Art Gallery glancing around his works. His solo show titled ‘Desordre’ brings him to the city second time in a span of three months (he was at Maktha last November for the Hyderabad street art festival.)

Jean wears many hats including that of a mathematician and researcher. He conducts research programmes in theoretical physics of the University of Bordeaux. “As a mathematician and researcher, I work on ‘disorder’. ‘Entropy’ is a tool introduced by physicists to measure disorder. They say equilibrium is disorder,” he explains.

Jean points out how it is important for an artist to engage with the environment around him. “It establishes a link. You are thinking about Maktha with me,” he states and explains, “It is important that the art on street is for everybody. I painted around a concept to put an abstraction in the urban environment and make it communicate with the surroundings.” This approach is also visible in a project he carried out at Situ in France. “The main idea of this ‘symbolic spaces’ is to establish a dialogue between the city and an abstraction. Maktha was a gate; a vintage point from where you can see landscape and construction and it looks like equilibrium. But there is disorder and you cannot see it because you cannot see the connection.”

His art is a metaphor, a link connecting the imaginary and real world. His canvases burst with different elements including geometrical figures. “I want people to look at my works and draw their own conclusions. When you look at a canvas, you have to feel it . If one wants me to explain my work, I will do. But this is my process and I will explain in my way. Art is like a book and after you have finished reading it, you will understand and interpret in your own way. One has to feel free to pause and think.”

Pointing towards one of the canvases, he shows the picture of his great-grandfather standing with his arms stretched as if he is ready to fly like a superman. In another picture, he is balancing a woman standing precariously on his head. “I tilted that picture,” laughs Jean. “My great-grandfather was in a circus. He was a gymnast, boxer and also trained young boxers. He was a strange men and was very free.”

His creative pursuits extend to sculptures and music. “I do equations too,” he smiles and adds, “Some times I walk with inarticulate electrons. They are all the same for me. One has to be free to think and explore; for that one has to be non-pertinent and imagine things. To progress as a man, one should be able to respect rules and break some rules.”

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