farm prod

Art

In the Farm Prod studio

A couple of days ago I met painter Guillaume Desmarets aka Guifari from the Farm Prod collective at the Brussels Art Factory.

Since 2003, Farm Prod has produced countless creative works and taken part in events, shows and international projects such as the Kosmopolite Art Tour (Paris, Brussels, Amsterdam, Sao Paulo, …). Sometimes considered as street artists, their style isn’t restricted to graffiti, they are first and foremost painters…

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Guifari by Ugo Cab (Adikt)

Simon: What is Farm Prod?

Guifari: We are a collective based in Brussels and made of painters coming from different backgrounds. We mix techniques such as spray, brushes, paste up on walls, canvases, wooden boards… We do quite a lot of murals both indoor and outdoor. And sometimes we paint those murals live in front of an audience…

http://youtu.be/Jvld94RLOqU

Guifari: While painting murals our aim is to unite all of the individuals’ influences, to a point where the public will not be able to tell who did what because everyone added his own touch.

team

Guifari: Right now there are five members working on various projects, but historically there were ten members and those are still active from time to time. The artists making up Farm Prod are painters, illustrators, graphic designers,… but most of all a bunch of friends united around common values.

Simon: How did you guys get together?

Guifari: Most of us met in 2002 during our art studies at Saint-Luc, in Tournai, where we were following an illustration/graphic design degree. We were living in a farm located near the school.  This is actually where the name Farm Prod comes from. There we had a common studio and used to work on various projects… School related or not. This is where Farm Prod was born: the spirit, the friendship…

Later on, we moved to Brussels and had a studio in a rather symbolic place. An abandoned Hotel from the 70’s: Hotel Tagawa. Most of us had 9-5 jobs at that time but weren’t too happy with them, so we told ourselves “Let’s do what we love together again”. This is when we decided to work as a true collective. Farm Prod was born.

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Room 44 at Hotel Tagawa – watch the video (picture from Arno Debal’s archive)

Simon: Is it more convenient to work as a collective rather than individually?

Guifari: There are both pros and cons. We get more notoriety with Farm Prod than working individually, we have more to offer that way. FP serves as a platform on which individuals can rely on. Not only do we keep motivating each other but we also always try to complete and influence each other. “United we stand, divided we fall” it’s not a myth…

Now, of course, there are some disadvantages. As in all groups, things tend to heat up from time to time, there are always individuals with attitudes in collectives and God knows there are many strong personalities in Farm Prod (laughs…) Working together is our strength, but at one point you need to leave some room for individual expression. That’s why in our exhibitions, we display our solo creations.

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Nelson Dos Reis by Ugo Cab (Adikt)

Simon: What are your influences?

Guifari: Our influences are pretty varied. It depends from one artist to the other. Right now, we’re catalogued as street artists, and we accept it because we appreciate the graffiti movement and embrace it as an influence. However, we do need to watch out to not be labeled only as graffiti artists since we come also from an illustration / contemporary art background.

Our influences vary from the likes of Picasso, Egon Schiele to some graffiti artists. Today, we live in an era where so many different styles co-exist that it seems impossible for us to be inspired by a particular movement.

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Guifari & Nelson reworking the LDBK logo

Simon: You’ve collaborated with Laid Back in the past, how did that happen?

Guifari: We’ve known each other for a while now. This collaboration came out of mutual appreciation. We used to listen to the early LDBK podcasts while painting for example. Our first collaboration goes back to the Belgikolor event in 2008 where we did a live painting. From that point on we kept in touch with Julius and the Laid Back team

Later on we teamed up with LDBK for the Kosmopolite Art Tour 2010 (KAT) in Brussels. This event already existed in Paris for 10 years, so we imported the concept over to Brussels. The idea was to gather 60 international & local street artists around various walls, exhibitions, debates and parties all revolving around street art. Seb, Pierre and Julius helped us manage the communication and administrative parts of this project. Nowadays Julius helps us improve our communication and project management skills.

Simon: You just moved in new studio at BAF…

Guifari: Yes, BAF stands for Brussels Art Factory. It really is a great place to work in because it gathers fashion designers, painters, photographers, special effect artists and a lot of creative people. It gives out a great energy. Keep a keen eye on the BAF’s activities because loads of varied projects will be initiated here.

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Farm Prod exhibition at CC Ottignies by Ugo Cab (Adikt)

patchwork

Simon: Speaking about projects, what can we expect from you?

Guifari: Right now we’re doing an exhibition at the Centre Culturel d’Ottignies, (until the 17th of February). Not only are we displaying our newest pieces, but we also decided to show some older works as well since it’s the first time we do an exhibition in this region. As opposed to our work as muralists, this exhibition shows what we can do individually as painters.

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Kosmo Art Tour Paris (2011) – video

Guifari: We are also planning the Kosmopolite Art Tour 2012. The event will take place in Louvain-la-Neuve from July 29th until August 5th. The city and the university were motivated and eager to help us and made walls available to us. Which is a big difference compared to Brussels were we had a hard time to convince institutions to help us. This will be OUR big project in 2012. The tour itself, which started in Paris, then moved to Amsterdam and Brussels, eventually got more and more exposure and end of 2011, we had the chance to paint in Brazil with a cast of international artists. (video from Sao Paulo)

We are also discussing other projects a project gathering eight painters from the Brussels Art Factory and from the CREAHM. An exposition will follow. Probably in October.

In the meantime we will also participate in the “Parcours d’Artistes” (May 2012), which is a tour of Saint-Gilles’ artists studios. the BAF will be open for the occasion… and there will be plenty more Farm Prod projects in a near future.

Simon: If you had to sum up Farm Prod in one word, which one would it be?

Guifari: Hum, in one word… Rock n’ roll, paint n’ roll ….i don’t know (laughs…), in paint we trust!

http://youtu.be/Hn-AaJN8wmI

Make sure to follow Farm Prod on facebook
Cover picture by Gautier Houba

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Simon Sibomana
Posted on February 13th, 2012 by
Simon is a public relations student and member of the Embryon Ere collective.