Six questions for
Yannick Val Gesto

Tique | art paper asks six questions to an artist about their work and inspiration.
This week: Yannick Val Gesto.

Artist Yannick Val Gesto
Lives in Hemiksem, Belgium

How do you describe your own art practice?

A very important starting point for my work is the unfiltered visual language that is defining for (anonymous) image boards like 4chan, Neogaf, Reddit, 8chn,… or video games’ endless amounts of user-generated content. The unconventional aesthetic and sense of humor within these games and forums are an integral part of my art practice’s DNA. It is the direct nature of this online source material that carries an immense amount of honesty. It’s exactly this kind of raw visual communication and information that i try to replicate or simply embrace within my own artwork.

I do try to express myself freely in my work, so the above is powered by a presence of happiness or the search thereof.

What was your first experience with art?

I have a lot of fond memories from art history classes in (high-)school, i was a young teenager at the time and learning about Die Brücke and avant garde in general, really triggered my imagination and ambitions. (…) But to be really honest, i believe that the time i spent at my grandmother’s place, watching 90s cartoons and anime, reading comics, playing with Lego’s and drawing, were my first true experiences with art and pop culture.

What is your greatest source of inspiration?

Fandom, videogames, subcultures and nature.

What do you need in order to create your work?

A computer, software and production budget. Pencils and paper can also work. And music!

What are you working on at the moment?

I have a couple of show proposals running and i’m producing new works that are less sterile and more handcrafted in terms of production. I also just finished a collaborative artist book and video piece with Leon Salder about Digital Detox, titled Warrior Pose. Aaaaaand i’ve spent the last few months producing minimalistic composition pieces.

What work or artist has most recently surprised you?

I believe it was two months ago when i stumbled upon installation shots of works by Helen Marten, her work really intrigued and inspired me. I saw some of myself in it.

And recently i bumped into an extraordinary artbook by Yoshitaka Amano, who does concept art and illustrations for various games (Final Fantasy). His work is really intense and skillful to the point it’s intimidating.

More recently i got a PS3 (again) and started collecting rare/cult hit games for it. I noticed that a lot of the games i got have this greyish sci-fi dystopian setting. Quite melancholic and the art direction really resonates with me. I’m talking about games like Binary Domain, Resonance of Fate, Metal Gear Rising, Anarchy Reigns, etc.

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