NEW YORK, NY.- Every year since 1999, Nicolas Feuillatte has selected and named the “artist of the year”, who creates an original and exclusive work to add dimension to the brand identity.
Each artist brings their own individual interpretation, symbolising an encounter between the artist and Champagne Nicolas Feuillatte. The work focuses on a number of themes specifically linked to the intrinsic character of the Champagne house, including terroir, time, “beyond”, effervescence, and even nature.
In 2011, Champagne Nicolas Feuillatte is celebrating its 35th anniversary. 35 years of inspiration, creation and effervescence… 35 magical years.
For this magical anniversary, Julien Taylor, photographer and creative illusionist, has suspended time and place. Is it destiny or mere chance that in 2011, Julien Taylor is also celebrating being 35! For several years now Champagne Nicolas Feuillatte has demonstrated its committment to supporting the world of the arts. This includes awarding the Prix Jeune Espoir Nicolas Feuillatte at the « École des beaux-arts » in Paris, and its involvement in the Mori Art Museum, Tokyo, the Classic Design Awards in London and the Affordable Art Fair in Paris.
BOOM ! THE WORK COMMISSIONED
BY NICOLAS FEUILLATTE
In order to create the work, the artist first prepared the different elements of the interior, in a Parisian apartment in Pigalle. He photographed every last detail of the two rooms in the apartment, including the fireplace, wooden floors, library and doors, even each rung of the ladder, shot perfectly straight on to avoid any convergence lines - with the exception of a few objects taken at an angle to retain some perspective here and there.
Next, he shot each of the six short scenes that bring “his” party to life, once again taken from above. At the centre of the scene, a character has just opened a bottle of Champagne, next to two guests who hold out their glasses. Around them, a trio of musicians (with a drum kit, a saxophone and a piano, played by none other than Julien Taylor himself), a couple on a sofa and the surreal vision of a man whose arm appears to segment as he moves it, a subtle reference to chronophotography, a technique the artist holds dear. Elsewhere in the frame, characters lounging on cushions chat in front of the fireplace, a boy and a girl are dancing, while a small group of characters tuck in to the buffet.
Julien Taylor delights in merging reality and fiction; the furniture is real, the cake is made of cardboard, and the characters are played by actors. The female roles are played exclusively by the same young actress, whilst the male guests are played by different actors. Every aspect is intelligently composed, and photographed in a single day of shooting. To break the monotony of the even surface of the wooden floor, Julien has scattered silk paper petals, borrowed from Mathilde Nivet, an artist with whom he shares his studio. Similarly, he has suspended balloons at varying heights, arranged in a spiral pattern to create circular movement, echoing the round objects in the photograph, such as the cymbals, the strobe light reflecting the bottle of Champagne and the cake.
At the end of the process, the recomposed image fixes a precise moment in time, freezing each and every character. The Champagne cork pops and each character focuses on a central point on the ceiling, which also happens to be the exact spot from where the viewer observes the scene. Like a privileged guest, he is allowed to contemplate this miniature world from on high. And with each glance, different surprises unfurl and hidden details appear, like snatches of conversation in a broken narrative, which may even have escaped the notice of the author. “This type of staging requires lots of preparation and minute detail, confides Julien. But at the exact moment when I take the photograph, I let improvisation take over the framed image, and in so doing create accidents and particularities which in turn will open up new avenues, and allow me to create an image which will take me by surprise.”