Portrait: L'Atlas & Tanc

Posted on March 10, 2018

French artists L’Atlas and Tanc have been working side by side for more than 15 years, questioning the link between reflection and realization in their works. For the first time ever, their collaborative works are shown in the Netherlands by Vroom &Varossieau Urban Contemporary Art.

Jules Dedet Granel, better known as L’Atlas was born in 1978 near Toulouse but he grew up in Paris. During his studies he met Smail Bour Quaiba, a traditional calligraphist who invited him to spend three months in Morocco learning classical calligraphy. This is where L’Atlas love for calligraphy and ultimately calligraffiti was born. He is well versed in “avant-garde” artistic concepts, the history of Calligraphy and Philosophical and Theological readings. As an artist he devoutly applies his life principle of being thoughtful with your actions while also surrendering to faith and chance. In his own unique way he creates the perfect balance between Calligraphy and Optical Art on the canvas.

Tancrède Perrot aka Tanc is a Parisian artist born in 1979. His work is characterized by a very unique style, that mixes a contemporary kind of abstract expressionism with a graffiti influence and background. His creative process allows him to carelessly give in to his mood, led by music, emotions and vibrations. Between contemplation and expression, his paintings sit somewhere between abstract and figurative art.

I did speak with both L'Atlas and Tanc, about their creativity, their processes and their gift to combine their creativity and create something unique.

"Tanc and 'L'Atlas: what are your definitions of creativity?"

Tanc: “Creativity for me is a way of looking at things. Looking and thinking about what could literally be anything that comes up in your mind, and than work that idea out."

L’atlas: "Creativity for me is not only what I am gonna do, but how I am gonna do it. The process of creation is for me the most important aspect of creativity. So creativity is the middle to mix an idea and a process into something concrete, like music or a piece of art.“

"And what inspires you to be creative?"

L’Atlas: “That could be everything! It could be someone else’s work on the street, a landscape, a feeling: in my opinion, everything could be an inspiration for an artist. The most important thing an artist has to do, is share there creative process: invite people inside our own universe, our own perception, and bring the people inside of all that.

Tanc:"That is the same for me! A short time ago, I saw a drawing from my daughter, who is one year old, but the way she used the colors fascinated me!”

L’Atlas: “What I also think about Tanc and his works, is his hunger for freedom, both in his creativity but also freedom of gesture. Within his process, he already feels that I am gonna interact with his works and he keeps that in mind, without loosing his own freedom of expression. We know each other for more than 20 years right now, but even than it is still kinda unique that we can combine our skills.”

“How hard is it for the both of you to combine these skills?”

L’Atlas: “Very hard, because we are both two artist with two different processes. What we have in common, is that we are both part of the Abstraction Movement, which consists of two parts: the ‘warm’ abstraction (which focuses on gesture, like Tancs works) and the more ‘cold’ abstraction (geometry, like Mondriaan and Malevich but also like my works). Together, we are able to mix the warm and the cold into something unique, without loosing the esscence (the ’substance’) of our work.”

“By combining your works, you create works that are breaking boundaries. Not only between the warm and the could abstraction, but also between your own processes. Is this something you do on purpose, or something that just comes up between your processes?”

Tanc: “It is always a surprise for us, because it would have been a trick if it wasn’t!”

L’Atlas: “It depends on the ideas we have and the choices within our processes we make in order to create something from those ideas. Every choice you make as an artist within your creative process has an effect on the final result. Sometimes these processes can years, but some of them will take a couple of weeks. With al the contrasts that come together in our collective works, we can say that the works are created within a process of ‘controled accidents’!”

Text: © Mike Warrink / Capturing Creativity

Photography: © Henk Warrink / NCO Photography