Fabien Baron's Lockdown Life
'I start my day, alone with the company of the sunrise, the sound of the waves, the occasional dolphin or seal. There’s never anyone else around. It’s cold and often windy but I breathe in every second of it, and take my pictures'
The French creative director Fabien Baron understood the divisions that could arise in the creative industries, long before Covid imposed it's own variations.
“I’ve always felt that because I’m a successful designer in the commercial world, being an artist is not authorized for me,” he says in his Phaidon book, Fabien Baron: Works 1983-2019.
“Everyone has a sticker on them, and mine is Commercial Artist. So the work I’ve done is purely a form of me. I spent all my life doing both, but I’ve kept this side of myself very quiet.”
That quiet work has generally taken the form of beautiful large-format land and seascape photography, which Baron has shot over the past four decades. “For years, the minute I had free time I would take my 8x10 camera and just go look at the ocean in the Hamptons. I would take pictures by the shore,” he says in our book.
With this thought in mind we thought we would drop Fabien a line and ask if he is still drawing as much minimal simple pleasure and energy from the project during the current lockdown. Spoiler alert: he is.
"I am lucky and privileged enough to be by the sea in the Hamptons," Fabien told us last week. "It makes all the difference in the world as I am able to just be one on one with nature any time I wish. And I thrive in nature. It’s my subject for a lot of my art and I’ve been getting up early before sunrise everyday to go to the beach and continue my long lasting seascapes project which I started in the early 80’s. I am still at it, relentless, like a religious act.
"That’s how I start my day, alone with the company of the sunrise, the sound of the waves, the occasional dolphin or seal. There’s never anyone else around. It’s cold and often windy but I breathe in every second of it, and take my pictures. "
Fabien says, "It’s a peaceful and intimate moment," which "always puts thing back into perspective. It makes me realize that the human race has taken advantage of this earth to the point that it’s fighting back, and it will be a battle we will eventually lose if we don’t become aware and start going back to a more sensible way of living without destroying everything.
"In the meantime our planet is throwing us a curve ball, and we all have to go back to basics. Lessons learned? We will see, I guess, but until then I will return everyday when no one is around and celebrate each new day and look forward to a more sensible future on the horizon."
To see more images from the earlier chapters of his life, as well as a few more of his beautiful seacapes, get a copy of Fabien Baron: Works 1983-2019.