Jean Labourdette

Montreal, Canada and France


Jean Labourdette started out as a self-taught artist. Encouraged by his father Jacques Labourdette, also an artist, Jean grew up in Malakoff in the parisian suburbs. Big fan of comics, he also practiced skateboarding in the middle of the 80s which is how he discovered graffiti and started promoting the art form himself in 1988 under the name of Turf One. He quickly specialised in figurative representation. He became an illustrator in the mid 90s and moved to Canada in 2001 where he focused fully on painting; exploring the classical oil painting techniques of the Flemish masters, as well as gold-leafing.

Jean portraits marginalized and surreal characters, famous tattoo artists or neighbourhood stars, whose cheekiness and beat up faces make for nobility. It’s a gallery of figures remarquebly painted in a hyperrealist way, that, in his own words, he uses to: “explore different aspects of my subconscious”.

Currently, the artist is focused on three big subjects: the exploration of the human and animal soul; the reliquary and memento mori; and the contemporary aspect of an imaginary sideshow. The artist, particularly well collectioned in the contemporary tattoo world and by Pop Surrealism aficionados, has exhibited all around the world.

Original text by Anne from HEY!, loosely translated by Camille Sauriol-Barnard and Gabriel Moreau
Photo credit : Sergio Veranes

Artist's artworks and activities

Theatrum Mundi