New York-based artist Sebastien Leon Agneessens wears multiple hats: creative director, designer, composer and installation artist. After working in marketing, the 35-year-old French native helped create The Point, a exhibit space where he organizes installations for New York artists, and Formavision, a design studio that aims to creates relationships between the art world and major brands. For him, excellence is above all the result of team work.
As an artist, what does excellence, the idea of mastery, mean to you?
My artistic approach is based largely on intuition, poetry, inspiration and the search for a relation between tension and balance, whether it’s in the form of music or sculpture. In my opinion, the contemporary artist is at the same time an observer of society and an eclectic orchestra conductor. To carry out my widely varied projects it’s essential that I work with the best craftspeople, musicians, producers, manufacturers and technicians. It’s their excellence that gives my work its quality. It’s their search for perfection and mastery of their craft that allows me to not get weighed down. Without their excellence, my installations would be houses of cards. For me, excellence is less an intrinsic quality than a fellow traveler who, I hope, will stay by my side in the form of my artistic and technical collaborators. They have their feet on the ground so I can keep my head in the clouds.
Speaking of art, can you tell us about your current projects ?
Right now I’m working on ‘‘Golden Horns’’, a 35-story sound installation that’s part wind instrument and part ventilation system. It will be located in a residential tower in Istanbul, with the goal of transforming architecture into music. As far as I know it will be the largest musical installation in the world. I’m also getting ready for the release of my new album, ‘‘Jeux d’Artifices’’, recorded in New York and Jamaica.
What do you think about mastery as it relates to watchmaking and, in particular, to the Audemars Piguet brand?
I never cease to be amazed by the watchmaking world. My project with Audemars Piguet introduced me to the artisans of the Vallée de Joux who give life to these magnificent watches, symbols of precision, patience, tradition and the independent spirit. I sincerely believe that the Grand Complications of Audemars Piguet should be considered part of the world’s cultural heritage, just like a cathedral. They are the result of several centuries of relentless work by the Master Watchmakers, pushing the limits of their skill generation after generation. Wearing an Audemars Piguet, you can only marvel at the genius that accompanies you at every moment, simply around your wrist.
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