Human Vulnerability and Environmental Themes in Baptiste Debombourg’s Art

“Black tide” (2023), broken laminated glass from vitroplus , black lacquer, nails, wood, medium, silicone, and tape, 3.5 x 10 x 9 meters. Installed in Maison Hazeur for Passages Insolites in Quebec, Canada.

Baptiste Debombourg, a French artist, expresses a fascination for ongoing individual endeavors, even when they culminate in setbacks. He finds that these instances underscore the vulnerability and lovability intrinsic to human existence. Specializing in large-scale installations, Debombourg transforms commonplace objects—such as coffee shop chairs, fasteners, and car windshields—into intricate, room-filling works of art. He frequently uses extensive sheets of glass to produce dynamic, flowing movements; these glass sheets may either hang from abbey windows or fill a courtyard, often requiring a considerable weight of the material.

Detail of “Black tide”

In his most recent installation, titled “Black Tide,” Debombourg employs a blend of black varnish, shattered glass, silicone, and various other elements to flood an art gallery in Quebec. This powerful surge engulfs all objects in its path, evoking the force of a tsunami, avalanche, lava flow, or oil slick. The half-submerged furniture dispersed throughout the flooded space alludes to the environmental catastrophes that humanity both instigates and endures.

Debombourg draws his artistic inspiration from the mundane objects that shape everyday human experience. Architectural features of the installation sites often play a significant role in his works, offering constraints and opportunities that guide each project’s evolution. For instance, in a work called “Aerial,” the historical architectural elements of Brauweiler Abbey, an erstwhile Benedictine monastery situated in Pulheim, Germany, influenced his creation of massive, billowing drapery-like windows. These appear to be propelled by strong winds, turning into a viscous substance as they near the floor and spread outward.

Relevant Facts:

Artist’s Name: Baptiste Debombourg
Nationality: French
Artistic Medium: Large-Scale Installations
Common Materials: Glass, cafe chairs, staples, windshields, black lacquer, silicone
Influences: Everyday life, day-to-day objects, architectural features
Notable Works:

  • “Black Tide” – a blend of black varnish, shattered glass, and silicone to flood an art gallery in Quebec, Canada
  • “Aerial” – inspired by architectural elements at Brauweiler Abbey in Pulheim, Germany
    Upcoming Projects:
  • National Museum of Contemporary Art in Bucharest, Romania (Curator: Anca Mihuleţ) – Scheduled to open in November
  • Permanent installation at Aalto University in Helsinki, Finland – Scheduled to open in February

Online Presence: Official website, Instagram

By transforming everyday objects and utilizing architectural elements, Baptiste Debombourg crafts immersive installations that challenge conventional perceptions and evoke complex emotions. His works serve as a commentary on human vulnerability as well as environmental impacts, making him a significant figure in contemporary art.

“(R)evolve” (2017), windshields, wood, nails, screws, and paint, 8 x 8 x 4.5 meters. Installed at Eduardo Secci Gallery in Florence, Italy
Detail of “(R)evolve”
“Aerial” (2012), 33/2 laminated glass from Glas König, wood, nails, and white paint, 3 x 12 x 4.5 meters, two ons of glass. Installed at Brauweiler Abbey in Pulheim, Germany
Detail of “Aerial”
Detail of “Aerial”
Detail of “Aerial”
“Acceleration field” (2015), white laminated glass, wooden structure, screws, nails, paint, silicone3D, 11 x 7 x 1.8 meters, 250 meters2 glass at four tons. Installed at Fondation Antoine de Galbert in Paris, France, with technical assistance from Léa Marchalwith the support of Wellmade and Saint-Gobain
Detail of “Acceleration field”
Detail of “Acceleration field”