Words Christina Nordvang Jensen & Christine Brink
Portrait Photographer Victoire Thierrée
At Augustin Steyer’s first exhibition in 2010, his paintings sold out during the opening night. His art is dark and deep, and it has become his signature as an artist.
“If you are so fascinated by and passionate about black pigment, why don’t you just do black monochromes?”
The words came from the friends of French artist Augustin Steyer. Although the words carried some sense of humour, they became the foundation for Augustin Steyer’s style. During an exchange visit to New York, the new 24-year-old artist found space and inspiration to embark on the monochrome project. A project that is not often a natural first selection for young artist to take on. But to Augustin Steyer it was necessary for his own creative development.
“When you do black monochromes, you think there isn’t much to do after that. It’s the end of painting and drawing – the end of objects. But I needed to go there just to do it”, he says.
And that probably was not a bad decision after all. In his personal studio in New York, for the first time in his life, Steyer had room to make physically large-scale pieces, and the time in New York therefore meant a lot to the budding star.
“During that time I discovered much more about space and how you see and understand the work of art. How you can be affected by the physicality of the artwork. Little by little I developed my own style”, he explains.
Artist at a Young Age
During school years in Strasbourg and then Paris, Augustin Steyer’s notebooks were diligently filled by his pen and his imagination. Drawings of sculptures, buildings and collages quickly became a part of his school days. The French artist drew everything he came across, and, age 15, when he had to choose his future studies he had no doubt. “There were no other options. Art studies were the only thing I could see myself doing”.
Therefore he spent two years to prepare for the admission tests of the French art schools. In 2007, Augustin Steyer was admitted to École Nationale Supérieure Des Beaux-Arts (National School of Fine Arts) in Paris and after five years’ education, he graduated this summer.
Although the young artist is not related to anyone with a creative background, his family has always been supportive.
“In the beginning my family was like ‘What’s going on, what’s this?’ but then they saw how much I was enjoying it and that I became quite successful – so my family supports me”, says Augustin Steyer. (…)