Saype, land artist from France, living and working in Switzerland. Photography © Valentin Flauraud
1.Could you introduce yourself and the purpose of your artistic work?
My name is Saype, and I’m an artist. I have developed a biodegradable paint with charcoal and chalk that allows me to create huge ephemeral public artworks directly on the grass. I have been painting gigantic frescoes on the grass with this special paint since 2013.
2.How important are social networks in your work?
It seems to me that a good part of an artist’s work is to convey ideas, messages, emotions. Social networks create direct links with our audience and allow artists to be in contact with our community and therefore it has become essential for artists today.
3.Could you share with us the impact of the crisis on the promotion of your work and the way you are facing this situation?
For my part, working outside and traveling a lot, the crisis has completely affected my plans. On the other hand, I took the opportunity to work differently and even made a work of art called ‘Beyond Crisis’, widely relayed by the media around the crisis that we are currently experiencing.
For me, this art work was a way to send a message of hope and togetherness to the world. During these times of pandemic, a majority of the world population is confined. Although we are all affected, we live different challenges or struggles and I choose to paint this fresco… close to home to share with you an optimistic message and a breath of fresh air.
4.What’s your favorite museum and why?
The world because it is accessible to everyone and fascinates me.
Interview by Louise Coussieu Baylac, contributor
Saype was born as Guillaume Legros in 1989 in Belfort (France) and currently lives in Bulle (Switzerland). Self-taught artist, he begins painting at the age of fourteen through graffiti. Rapidly, he works between the street and his studio and exposes his first works in the gallery at the age of sixteen. He is considered as the pioneer of the land art movement with his gigantic biodegradable paintings on the grass.
In 2019, he was selected as one of the most influential personalities of the cultural world by Forbes (30 under 30). The same year, Saype made a huge land art painting dedicated to the refugee association SOS Mediterranée in Paris – a 15 000 sq m 100% biodegradable painting on the Champ de Mars, just under the Eiffel Tower. His project made waves with features in BBC News, Financial Times, CNN, The Guardian, The Economist etc. For Saype, art must be a tool furthering social advances and helping social conflicts.