UpClose with ART CLASSE founder, Stéphane Ducret

Stephane Durcret (Courtesy of Subject)
Stephane Durcret (Courtesy of Subject)

Stéphane Ducret is a Visual Artist, born in 1970 in Lausanne, awarded in 2003 by the Leenaards Foundation, an Art Teacher and Coach based in Geneva. He holds a Master in Art and Art History from the Ecole Supérieure d'Art Visuel de Genève (now renamed HEAD).

His work has been exhibited at The Bronx Museum of the Arts, New York; Forum d'Art Contemporain, Sierre; Fondation de l'Hermitage, Lausanne; Centro Cultural Borges, Buenos Aires; Centre PasquArt, Bienne; Musée cantonal des beaux-arts, Lausanne; The Artists Space, New York and his artworks are part of the collections BCV ART, CICG, AXA Assurances, Fonds cantonal d'art de Genève, Fonds des arts plastiques de Lausanne, Hôpital universitaire de Genève, Musée de Pully among others.

With more than 25 years of artist practice and experience in the art world, he has had art residencies in New York, Porto, Buenos Aires, and Mexico City. From 2002 to 2006, he has been a member of the direction of ECAL (Ecole cantonale d'art de Lausanne), where he was a teacher and in charge of the proficiency program. He founded two art galleries, one in New York and the other in Geneva and he has been the director of l'elac (l'espace lausannois d'art contemporain).
From 2016, he develops « ART CLASSE par Stéphane Ducret » (www.artclasse.com) for adults, children, and corporates, in order to respond to increased and diverse demand around contemporary art. ART CLASSE's wide range of propositions includes creativity workshops such as the REAL/FAKE workshops (a unique painting class in Switzerland, where the participants create their own « real/fake » artwork to bring home, based on the practices of renown contemporary artists), with an immediate success counting 300 registrations per year; « team-building » activities and corporate gatherings, that he gives in three languages (French, English, and Spanish) for distinguished clients such as Audemars Piguet, Banques Mirabaud and Pictet, JTI, Abdallah Chatila, Richemont, Lotus Partners, JUUL Paris, etc.; coaching for artists and future gallery owners; international trips focused on contemporary art and « Art Advisory » for collectors who want to form a coherent contemporary art collection.

Soulivity Editor-at-Large, D'angelo Thompson, got the chance to spend some quality time to ask about his life and journey to success, as well as, insights about passion, purpose, and higher quality living. Enjoy!
Note: All Photos Supplied By Subject.

DT: Stephane, it was a pleasure chatting with you. As most artists know, we find inspiration from many sources, not just our chosen craft.

Our readers will get fuller insight into understanding the creative process; and hopefully, get inspired to activate passion projects in their own lives. As you know, I've been a huge fan of your work for over two decades and your work has always inspired me.

How long have you been an artist/painter? Talk about your journey as an artist through the years.

SD: I have been painting for 30 years since art school at The Art School of Geneva.  My style always shifts, since I started, I try a lot of things artistically. I have been influenced by many artists and their styles, from 1990-2016 intensely inspired by other artists and poets like Allen Ginsberg. In 2016, I had an intense burnout, and I felt like I needed a major shift. This "burnout" brought about a more authentic approach to my work and process. I was seriously considering stopping painting.

That is when I started my Art Classe business. I consulted a specialist in employment, and he had no advice. So, I had to think about it intensely but within one day, I birthed Art Classe and wanted to share my techniques [to] the art world, artists, galleries, etc. I wanted to share my interests and passions for art to inspire and teach artists through my own voice. I felt I could really help people explore contemporary art from the eyes of an artist (Moi). I invited people to my studio to learn about contemporary artists' bodies of work. And, right away, I knew I had a great formula, with teaching techniques and helping people understand archival bodies of work by various artists. Initially called the "Real-Fake approach" by painting in a chosen artistic style, which leads me to have over 300 subscribers a year. I find I have repeat customers that love the process and learning over 70 subject matters (artists).

 In the beginning, I was literally working over 7 days a week. So, one can say I worked my way out of "burnout".

DT: What inspires you Stephane?

SD:  I am inspired by all the art in the world…art, theatre, films, and music, especially psychedelic rock…rock and roll (Jimi Hendrix, David Bowie, Canned Heat, Black Keys, The Ramones, and Led Zeppelin), when I paint.

DT: Do you paint daily? Geneva seems like the perfect backdrop for an artist.

SD: Since Covid19, I paint daily. I love being disciplined, and that's been positive of this worldwide quarantine.

There are many artists in Geneva; but, depending on the city or place, one can be inspired. I could say the same about NYC because you have access to everything.

DT: As you enter a new decade…what are your intentions for this decade?

SD: I really want to be able to work more on my own paintings as an artist. I feel like my work has more meaning in this season of my life.

DT: What great lesson would you share with younger artists?

SD: I would say, "they shouldn't show their work to early."

[They should] focus on their work – creating and learning more. And, focus on the passion of doing the work and create for as long as you can.

 You may work to make a living to take care of your basic needs. But you focus on your craft; and, I think perfects your art. And, helps you grow as an artist.

DT: What is your purpose?

SD:  My purpose is to contribute to the beauty of life through my work and the love of art.  And, as a painter, I would like to give people and collectors a sense of "awe."

DT: Finish this sentence, "the shift I would like to see in the world is…"

SD: "…people should focus more on what's around them, their community, more localized attention entrepreneurs, and artisans."

DT: In a few words, let's talk about your passion…what are some of your passions, besides painting?

SD:  Another of my passions' the last three years is I fell in love with poker. It is a dangerous passion, but I love it!

Name: Stephane Ducret

Job Title: Painter/ Art Educator

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