Philippe Halaburda is a French-born artist who currently lives in New York City. His unique style of abstracted, linear tape art on canvas in inspired by many intersecting dualities: feelings and memories, the intimate and the collective, the human and the non-human. Read on to learn more about his work!
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How long have you been a practicing artist? Which mediums have you experimented with prior to discovering tape?
I have almost 25 years of experience in my artistic practice. I have a graphic design background, and I started to use acrylic paint as painter. I enjoy acrylic paint because it’s fast, easy to use and colors are great and easy to mix. I also enjoy to adapt my style on every kind of supports. It’s a way to challenge myself and renew my art. I have a personal style based on lines and colors, basically with very simple shapes, but with a complex result.
I started to use tapes because a lot of people, when discovering my art online, imagined I was using to tapes to make these regular lines so straight. I never had to use tapes to do that, in fact. But it made me curious, so I started to use tape and I realized the result was very close to my paintings.
It’s only been 1 year since I started to use color tapes in my work and I see many new perspectives this tool can bring me in the future.
What inspired your latest series of tape art? The structure of the urban landscape seems to inform your work – is that true?
My art is based on psychogeography – this idea that the environment changes our collective or personal behavior, affects our perceptions, influences our collective connections, and reveals the invisible interconnections with the non-human world (objects, plants and animals).
The last 3 months – during the quarantine – have been an incredible source for my creative practice. My “mental map” art works are like the geography of my thoughts, emotions, memories – all together the complex undercurrents of our intimate and collective interactions.
What does tape allow you to do that other media (ex. paint) does not?
I am able to paint straight lines by hand without masking tapes – but with tapes, I can obtain the same result faster. Because of that, I can also adapt my style to any type of support or surface with a better result. For example, I’ve been planning for some months to try making art on windows, which I cannot really do easily with paint. Same for onsite installations. Tape permits me to easily create pieces with optical effects on irregular surfaces.
If applicable, what other media or tools do you use alongside tape to create your art, and how do they work together?
I like to combine acrylic paint and felt tip markers with tape to break the “cold” angular aspect of the tape. I need to alternate precision and roughness in my work. An art piece with only tape can sometimes feel a little too “clean” for me. I need a visible human presence, I need accidents in the art piece.
What are some qualities of Pro® Artist Tape that you appreciate? How did Pro® Artist Tape enhance your process?
Pro Tapes® was kind enough to send me some samples of new fluorescent Pro® Artist Tape to experiment with. Pro® Artist Tape permits me to experiment with new type of artworks. For example, I use the fluorescent ones on a black support/canvas, which for me is a new idea. Usually, I like to work on white paper. It’s a great way to challenge myself in my art practice.
If someone has never used tape to create art, what advice would you give them?
I would recommend them to try different types of tapes and see which ones fit better with their practice. Don’t hesitate to experiment, tapes permit you to fix mistakes very easily. Personally, I like to experiment and combine different varieties of tapes together: transparent, opaque, etc, then bring a touch of human presence to the artwork with some color paints or pencils.