We had a chance to corner Moontain, or Fred as he’s known to us, and ask him about his unusual style of art. His creative life is his whole being and time here on earth and he longs to connect with others over art, creativity, and surprise. Moontain lives and works in France.
How did you get started in art? With you, I imagine it began at a very young age.
I think if by art we mean the desire to express oneself, then it has always been there for as long as I can remember myself. And I believe it is also obviously something there in every one of us. But then, it requires some opportunities (for example having parents that let and support you to experiment with something new) and sincere curiosity about all that surrounds us and what if any is the meaning of it all.
My parents asked me if I wanted to learn a musical instrument at a young age. I chose the piano, and I also had the chance to practice tap dance for years. But I always felt bored and uncomfortable with the academic process and as soon as I became a teenager I dropped everything. That’s when I discovered the old acoustic guitar from my mother’s own teen years. With it, I started another learning process, this time on my own. And the first chords I discovered became the first songs I composed. In the end, this was to be the turning point because it defined this entire creative process I would cherish for the years to come.
It may sound like an ego’s echo but the way I saw it was “What would happen if I was the only human being left and no one was around to teach me how this or that worked?” Having my two parents working and no siblings, this scenario was not that far from reality. I was basically on my own and the infinite world of imagination around me. So, I guess it all began when I was able to allow myself to see what was invisible and feel what was not palpable, where knowledge was to be found in dreams and projections.
Of course, if by art we mean, “to artistically create one’s own world”, this is what I do with my painting and aphorisms which are my main activity currently. Once again, it was thanks to the consciousness where we are all potentially able to express something worthy, as long as we are sincerely dedicated and accepting towards what manifests on the canvas. If you don’t judge or compare what you do, it can evolve and really become who you are.
I see that sometimes you collaborate. Do you prefer to work alone or do you prefer the collaboration projects?
Actually, I have only collaborated a couple of times and in the end it has only rendered four paintings for now. But for two of them I had the chance to do it with the other artist constantly next to me, adding lines or colors on each other’s lines or colors in the process. It was a really good experience because it was so organic. We accepted each other and our own own unique ways and I am very grateful I could experience this. That being said, I am a true loner so I mostly work alone. On the other hand, I think from now on I will keep an open mind about it and whenever another opportunity arises I may welcome it and give it a try again as I find that mixing two (or more) worlds is one of the best ways to discover/create an entirely new one.
What inspires the work you create?
Just being aware of things, should it be a “synchronicity” between a thought I am having and its echo around me (a word I read, a sound I hear, all kind of signs.)
I never prepare anything or plan to do something before I do it. This has to be spontaneous. Still, this is rather based on intuition than instinct. But if you want to keep it free you need to let go of the way, then you can actually go somewhere without knowing beforehand the destination. If you decide where you want to go and how, then it would actually lead nowhere new. And the unknown, where knowledge, surprises and discoveries lie, would remain a mystery.
Also, if it means I need to do an artwork in a large time span, I will. Most of my paintings take me from months to years to be completed. I can work on one intensively for a couple of weeks, days and then as soon as I don’t feel the stream going I just stop until I feel a kind of call from the painting so I can continue to complete it. It allows both of us to mature in parallel which is important to me. This way often makes the artwork infuse different periods within itself, just like we do in our body / mind. And to simply answer the question, what inspires me, even if it sounds cliché, is inspiration itself (which can be anything at all.)
Your art is very detailed with many outlines and colors. How would you describe this style of art to people?
It is very important to me to have many details and colors. I always felt it was very rewarding to notice all the details in what makes life, Life. I mean, anything is something because of something else. Should that be the primary elements of the Universe from where everything was able to be and will be able to be created as well, or the actions we all do, intertwining at some point. Anything may have an influence on everything else.
To take the time to observe makes your life richer and your understanding better. I believe this is a way to enjoy your life in full, and a way to let others enjoy it, too. This is what I put into the artworks I create, rewarding viewers who take the time to observe the details. Every detail is linked to others, each one is actively designing the next one and is designed by them in turn. It is all interconnected, just like we are, or as life elements create Life.
The colors are like a bonus, a positive touch, because colors are possible thanks to the first energy source which is light. All of this combines into, I hope, something that is able to make people feel good, aware of their inner world so they attempt to ride their imaginary thoughts on their way to unknown lands. Finally, I take extra care to create sincerely and be totally dedicated because I do believe that when you put your best into something, then the viewer (consciously or not) feels the same desire to put their best into what they will do as well. And, the best way to feel good yourself is to experience the pleasure and well being you establish in others.