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Artist, a job that makes you dream

The artist Idan Wizen shares his experience as an artist and gives you his advice.

Face to face with the artist Idan Wizen. Like top athletes or comedians, more and more young people dream of becoming an artist and thereby making a comfortable living from it. The reality is often a long way from the idealized image that we have of it. Meeting with Idan Wizen, artist-photographer for more than 10 years.


Would you prefer to read than watch a video?

Face to face with the artist Idan Wizen 

Hello, I’m Idan Wizen artist photographer in Paris, I had the chance for more than ten years to do more than forty exposures in France, the United States, Japan, and to do my job, full-time artist photographer.


What constraints do you face as an artist?

Today, becoming a visual artist is not something obvious, there are many people who want it and necessarily few chosen. As in many professions, whether for singers, for music, for athletes, spots are scarce. I believe it takes three things : a little bit of talent, a lot of work and a lot of determination. And a bit of luck too! Unfortunately, talent and hard work are not always enough. You have to be persistent and keep working all the time.


It is often said that to be an artist, you have to find your style. What do you think?

It really depends on what you mean by style. I think the first thing to have is something to tell, a story, ideas, a vision of the world that is specific to you, that is unique, not to tell the same thing as everyone else. If we mean by style only a graphic universe that is a little different or not too much from this which has already been done, I don’t think that’s necessarily what’s interesting. What is really interesting above all, is to have strong and powerful ideas that will surprise the general public and then, who can fit into a graphic universe whatsoever.


What place does the artist occupy in today’s society?

I believe that in our current society, maybe more than before. The artist has a fundamental place. He is one of the few who can be totally free in his creations, in his speeches, in what will show us. And I think in his role, he’s not just there to show aesthetics, to communicate something beautiful. That’s decoration and design. He is there to make us evolve on ideas, policies, sociological, philosophical. He’s here to bring something new, he is one of the few who can take the risks of being totally independent and to be able to offer something that only comes out of its vision of things, which may or may not interest the general public, and precisely, the society of tomorrow.


Do you think that society sufficiently supports artistic creation?

First, we must define what we call society. I think we can make two main categories. We will have the public authorities on one side and the general public on the other side. When it comes to public authorities, I tend to think that they support too much contemporary art and especially a certain type of art. I find it unfortunate. Precisely, the fact that State art can be dirigiste like that can precisely create certain limits and certain impediments in it to be able to develop contemporary art and the freedom of artists. As far as the general public is concerned, on the other hand, on the contrary, I tend to think that they do not support enough contemporary creation and the small artists of today. I’m not talking about the big names that sell for several millions euros or hundreds of millions of euros for certain artworks, but rather small artists, painters, photographers, sculptors who are very close to us. The local artist where precisely, I think the general public tends to fall back on reproduction towards very industrialized things. Rather than contemporary creation, which is very interesting.


Can we create art only for aesthetic purposes?

In my view, we can create whatever we want, and we are free. It all depends on what is called art, and you have to be careful to differentiate, design art, and craftsmanship. For me, a work of art that has only an aesthetic vocation or beautifying, it is a bit limited.  I think it’s important to add a background, a more societal vision, more philosophical, more ideological. Bring something new, something that fits awaken consciousness of the spectators, of those who look at it. We can always create as we want. For me, aesthetics must support substance.


Does art secondment from politics?

Yes and no. From the moment that art expresses a vision of things, a social vision and a societal vision, it has a certain connection with politics.  But in general, politics will respond to a much more pragmatic questioning, much more short-term, even if it offers long-term visions. Art is above all composed of questioning to awaken consciences, to allow it is up to the viewer to reflect, interact and possibly come to their own conclusion, to be able to tackle a political problem and be able to offer an answer. You must already have asked yourself the question, and taken the time to think, to weigh the different opinions, arguments depending on the case.


Do you consider yourself a committed artist?

A committed artist, yes and no. Clearly, I propose in my various artworks a sociological vision of things, whether on the place of the body, on individual freedom, on themes that matter to me. However, I do not use my artworks to necessarily push a message, but to provoke reflection, so I’m a step upstream from politics or real engagement. I’m not here to serve a cause, but just to transmit my ideas, my vision of things and hope that it makes you think and that the spectators share these ideas.


When did you consider yourself an artist?

We would like to consider ourselves an artist  from the moment we create, but I find it a little easy, I think you really become an artist, anyway that’s how I consider myself an artist, from the moment someone bought one of my creations, the fact of saying that he wants it, that he is ready to pay for it, it’s that something really strong happened. And I’ll go a little further, a person who doesn’t particularly like me because he’s a friend or family, someone who buys it for the artwork, and not to make me happy.


One last word?

I would say that if you want to become an artist today, work hard, have something to talk about, don’t get discouraged, keep going, persevere and really work on what you want to say, to change, to develop, try, not to impose it by force, but to try, precisely to make consciousness evolve. That’s a bit of what I can blame to certain movements today, very oriented cancel culture where they will impose their movements, their visions of unique things. I think that precisely, the strength of art is to be able to think, thinking is the strength of the artist, it is to be  independent, free and have no influence of interest vis-à-vis other structures.