The Art of Cruising
A new exhibition will take place at Spit It Out for the summer. The heat will go up a notch as it will be about the art of cruising. Behind the works hides a young Brussels artist, trained in a film school and who is at the head of a production company with his brother. Let's talk with Joris de Froidmont who started creating small animated graphic novels, reimagining classic fairy tales, during the pandemic.
“After working as a motion designer for clients for years, I was hungry to make stuff for myself, choosing subjects that I find interesting and making art that is my own. One of the things that always fascinated me is queer life and queer history.” It’s therefore logically in the daily life of the community that Joris found a source of inspiration. However, the subject is still taboo for some. In this exhibition, it’s brought to light. “Cruising is a subject that has such a rich culture and draws a clear line to our queer past and is a big unspoken part of city life. Dealing with the subject is not always easy, as it thrives on being hidden, and researching takes some work, but it's very rewarding.”
Techniques & Technologies
The subject is one thing, the medium is another. Yet it’s the vector of communication between the artist and his audience. The artist uses different techniques and technologies in this exhibition. “For the posters I got inspired by communist era propaganda posters I stumbled across on a trip to Vietnam last year. I fell in love with them and felt a strong visual connection between the blocky, geometric shapes of communist art and the minimalist digital art style I'm drawn to. That's why I felt the silkscreen poster would be a good way of presenting these posters.”
Rather accustomed to digital art by his profession, he really enjoyed printing these posters himself. According to him, the feeling was warmer than usual. However, he has not given up on digital art. “For the animated illustrations I wanted to flirt with the line between movement and stillness. Presenting these animations in a context usually reserved for a still image; framed, with a white passe-partout. I almost want it to feel like a magic trick, as if you're looking at a scene that's alive and keeps on being alive even when you stop looking.” In the exhibited works, the subject comes to life. If that excites you, Joris has probably achieved his goal.
Digital Art & Screens
As a creator, Joris' main challenge was how to integrate digital art into a physical space to present his work. Indeed, exhibiting to the public in this way is a great first experience for him. “We're confronted with so many images on our phones and other screens. You can see anything anywhere you want. I wanted to make sure that seeing my work in real life has an added value, even though it starts from the digital.” To understand it better, the artist gives us a concrete example. “The imperfections and intensity of the colors of the posters is something you can't imitate in a digital environment. The way I try to present my animation hopefully elevates it from your usual phone screen.”
Fetish & Art
Apart from the subject which, as we mentioned earlier, is very rooted in the community, what made Joris want to present his work at Spit It Out? “Fetishism and art go very well together, which is something the people of Spit It Out understand very well. It’s a beautiful place where people can discover many exciting things, the fact that my work will be one of these things during the summer is such a lovely idea.”
The Art of Cruising, from 18 July at Spit It Out. The opening drink is an opportunity to celebrate the 2nd anniversary of the store, precisely by combining art and fetishism surrounded by the community.
Follow Joris on Instagram.