Born 1981 in France, Baptiste Tavernier pursues a creative path that has led from experimental music through the ancient martial arts of Japan to the painter’s canvas, where his muse now focuses. What common thread has he followed?
Trace Tavernier’s polymath oeuvre and you find three stars guiding him: intense concern with pattern and logic; relentless focus on the discipline of craft; and creative inspiration without horizons.
On canvas, these three elements now fuse to reveal a unique and rigorously observed perspective, elegantly rendered with impeccable craft: mathematically precise mazes that decode in abstraction the form of the world’s great cities.
It is the culmination of a journey that began early in the millennium at Paris University with studies in digital arts and musical composition, influenced by experimental music pioneers like Gerard Grisey, Salvatore Sciarrino and Steve Reich.
Tavernier’s path took a dramatic virage in 2006 with the decision to move to Japan and immerse himself in martial arts. As he adapted to the strict codes of his new teachers, living in a small country town, Tavernier had to master not one but two languages: Japanese and English. Within a decade, though, he had reached the higher ranks in four disciplines of swordsmanship: naginata (halberd), tankendo (short sword), jukendo (bayonet) and battodo (sword drawing and cutting), and achieved proficiency in the making and repair of kendo armor.
As he neared the realization of his goals in martial arts, Tavernier’s restless muse sought a fresh creative outlet for craftsmanship that was by then fully mature. So in 2010 he put swords aside and took brush in hand. Since then, friends and collectors have watched with growing awe the evolution of an artist, not yet 40, who seems destined for recognition as a master in his generation.