“Winegrowing is a work of art”
Stew is a street artist who is famous for his birds and takes his inspiration from traditional Japanese imagery. His work aims to pass on emotions and create something wonderful out of raw matter, a bit like winegrowers. Interview with a unique artist who should soon be making a name for himself in the world of Bordeaux Great Growths.
Hello Stew, can you tell us about yourself and your job?
I am an artist, stencil artist and illustrator. I like to say a “digital graffiti artist” because I love using digital media to draw and I grew up with graffiti. I am inspired by Asia, in particular, Japan, which is a sort of utopia. This country boasts both a very artisanal and traditional philosophy and a highly futuristic edge. I love this great gap between the Edo period and manga. I take my inspiration from the motifs of Japanese stamps to create the birds which are the symbol of my work. In one notable piece, I laid a 52-metre high heron on the façade of a building in the 13th arrondissement of Paris. This drawing is the second largest mural in Europe and celebrates its 10th birthday this year
Are there links between your work as an artist and the job of a winegrower?
Absolutely, there are many links between the two worlds. I particularly noticed it when I took part in the Vinochromie exhibition, which gave me the chance to spend the weekend at a winegrower’s to create a work of art inspired by his job. There are many common points in terms of enhancing the raw material. Art, like winegrowing, is above all a form of craftsmanship. I love the way in which winegrowers appropriate their terroir and experiment with grape varieties to pass on emotions and expertise via taste and smell. This is also what I do as an artist through another, more visual medium.
Do you have any plans to bring the two universes together?
It’s not impossible! There may be many wonderful surprises to come. You should carefully observe the birds on the façades in Bordeaux and follow what’s happening on my Instagram page to see for yourself. Stay tuned!