Jean-Baptiste Launay – known with the art name of Jisbar (born in France in 1989) – is one of the leading figures of the modern street and pop art generation.
Jisbar has exhibited in a large number of galleries around the world and in prestigious museums such as the Manarat Al Saadiyat in Abu Dhabi, the National Museum of Immigration’s History in Paris, the Museum of Art & History in Santa Cruz California, the Technology and Maritime Museum in Malmo (Sweden) and the Postcard Museum in Bau (France). Jisbar’s works of art, a mix of reality and fiction, offer a particular and different perspective of the outside world.
In 2019 Jisbar was the first artist to launch a work of art in space: his street art version of Mona Lisa traveled in orbit around the Earth and then landed in the north of the United Kingdom.
Jisbar likes to say that each of his works of art represents “life moments”, like a memory that is immortalized in a photo album.
We had the pleasure of doing an interesting interview to find out more about his work, his personality and his world!
1) When, how and why did you become an artist?
I started painting when I was young, my mother had painting supplies at home, I was a child, I must have been 8/9 years old and I tried painting when she was not looking. I immediately felt in love with this language which is for me more complete than the simple word.
2) What were the most important moments in your artistic career?
The first time I exhibited my work abroad, in the USA several years ago. It was amazing to think that I am traveling because I have an art exhibition abroad. Also the first time that a museum call me to exhibit my work, in 2015 i think, it was totally crazy because the president of the french republic at the time, Francois Hollande, came to visit the exhibition.
And my collaboration with Ducati, which is a huge brand and with whom we have worked in close collaboration for a charity auction
3) What is your style?
I prefer to say that I am a painter, put the artist in a box puts them invisible barriers in their heads.
4) Many of your works take great masterpieces from the past, then give them an aspect of both pop and street art. Why are you going back to the past? Which masterpiece most impressed?
I didn’t have the chance to study art, so I had to do this on my own and forge a culture of art on my own. The best technique to learn and immerse myself in this history was to revisit them. On the one hand, I wanted to learn the history of the painting, but also the artist’s techniques. And if in addition I manage, by revisiting the classic in a contemporary version, to transmit this know-how and this story to someone else, my mission would be exceeded.
For me the most successful work of this achievement, its history and its technicality is obviously the Monna Lisa of Leonardo da Vinci.
5) In your works we can see a multitude of writings. Are these your messages? Your dreams?
These are ideas, things that go through my mind, associations of ideas, things that I hear on TV or on the radio, quotes from music, emotions that I feel at the time, quotes that make me feel good … it’s a mix of lots of things that go through my mind consciously or not.
6) We then notice the presence of some symbols, but visible only in the dark …
I did that initially because I had a lot of copies, and it was the only way for me to place some sort of security to validate the authenticity of my work against that of a forger. But I stop now because the fakes are also discover this technique and use it to improve their copies. I had to put in place other techniques which must remain secret.
7) You have decided to successfully launch a “Jisbar Mona Lisa” into space. Why do you do this?
I wanted to exhibit in a place where no one had ever put a painting, I also wanted to change the classic exhibition into a gallery or a museum you know with white walls, always similar all around the world, and i wanted to highlight the beauty of what surrounds us. The canvas floats in space, alone, in the middle of nothing, and it is the most beautiful exhibition image that I have ever seen yet.
It’s sublime and it pushes the limits. Nature is what we have who is the most valuable and only few people are consient of that.
8) What is the message you want to share through art? And your dream?
Stop taking yourself seriously and dont waste your time being negative. Every day i realize a dream, more or less crazy, but I achieve something that i dream of.
I’m going forward and I’m positive at the max
9) Future projects?
Yes I have a lot of things happening. I prefer to let people come on my instagram, it’s nicer in pictures -> @jisbar