The Montreux Jazz Festival has invited French artist Guillaume Grando, aka SupaKitch, to create the official poster for 2023. The work honours Lake Geneva, so emblematic of the image and history of the Festival. The original painting, made in relief from superimposed layers of resin, will be exhibited during the 57th edition, from 30 June to 15 July 2023.
Radical and enigmatic, the poster for the 57th Montreux Jazz Festival depicts the night-time ripples of Lake Geneva, illuminated by the event’s lively waterfront. The letters of the Montreux Jazz Festival, distorted by the movement of the water, seem to dance in the depths of the lake.
“The idea was to focus on the essential, because art should be radical. The unique characteristic of Lake Geneva, which I had the chance to admire during a visit to the Montreux Jazz Festival in 2018, lies in its blue-green shades. I tried to reproduce these aquatic tones with a gradient towards black that evokes the nightlife of the Festival.“Guillaume Grando
LAKE GENEVA, SYMBOL OF THE MONTREUX JAZZ FESTIVAL
Lake Geneva is emblematic of the Montreux Jazz Festival image. It is portrayed on numerous album covers, sung in Deep Purple’s anthem “Smoke on the Water”, and each year, welcomes both its guests and performers to swim out and soak in its beauty. Yet it has rarely been represented on official posters. After Bruno Gaeng’s postcard poster (1974), Per Arnoldi’s swan-saxophone (1994) and Zep’s mermaids (2005), Guillaume Grando revisits this symbol of the Montreux landscape. In the refined style that characterises his work, the multidisciplinary artist moves away from the touristic image of Lake Geneva in order to extract what is essential.
RESIN, ACRYLIC AND PHOTOGRAPHY: A COMPLEX PROCESS
The poster is the result of a complex process used in many of Guillaume Grando’s works. On a wooden support, the French artist applies several layers of acrylic and resin, sanded and sculpted to reproduce the texture of water and its reflections. Once the physical object was completed, various photographs of the work were used to form the image of the poster, to which the typography was added digitally.
The physical work, without typography, will be exhibited during the 57th edition of the Montreux Jazz Festival, from 30 June to 15 July 2023.
FROM SUPAKITCH TO GUILLAUME GRANDO
Guillaume Grando (aka SupaKitch) is a French multidisciplinary artist of international renown. Born in the suburbs of Paris in 1978, he started graffiti at a very young age under the name SupaKitch. Although he draws his inspiration primarily from natural phenomena, Guillaume Grando also cites Pierre Soulages and abstract expressionists such as Jackson Pollock among his major influences.
Today, his formal research focuses on the essence of gesture, movement, light and matter, which become the central aspects of his approach, strongly influenced by the experience of surfing, freed of all superfluous elements so that only the expression of the waves remains.