Heart Agency

YANN KEBBI – Biography

Yann studied at the L’école Estienne and L’école des Arts Décoratifs, with an exchange year in New York, studying at Parsons School of Design. He lives in Paris and has been represented by Heart since 2012.

Yann draws prolifically, filling sketchbooks with drawings on his travels, or just in a café or out with friends. His subjects are mostly people, he has a talent for depicting ‘types’. Yann’s commercial work loses none of the vigour and vibrancy of his sketchbook work. Underpinned by observational drawing his work for commercial clients provides a humane response to subject matters. A viewer could feel voyeuristic looking at Yann’s subjects (they are caught in all sorts of scenarios) if it weren’t for the empathy he conveys. There is an apparent fondness for the human condition.

The drama of emotions and events played out in Yann’s artworks made an enquiry from the Théâtre des bouffes du Nord a perfect commission for Yann. Rather than illustrate specific plays, Yann was asked to create a series of images not to reference the theatre or the world of acting directly. He chose surreal scenes of the everyday, where strangers are the spectacle and passers by their audience.

European and American broadsheets such as The New York Times, The Guardian and Libération have commissioned his work. He works regularly with The New Yorker and Süddeutsche Zeitung Magazin. Recently SZ Magazin commissioned Yann to produce monotypes for an article about a family coming to terms with acts of sexual abuse happening within the home. Yann feels that mono printing can suit commissions with sensitive subject matters, they can have an abstract feeling which can be useful when a subject is all too real or painful. The New York Times have also commissioned Yann’s monotypes for an article about depression and anxiety. Yann has a broad understanding of different mediums and classical techniques and can use these to great affect when setting the tone for piece of commissioned work. The choices he makes in terms of mark making are expressive and support the communication and intended ambience of an artwork.

In addition to his work in the fields of editorial and design, Yann has created artwork for numerous book covers. He has also written and illustrated his own children’s book ‘Americanin un Chien à New York’ and a new graphic novel with Viken Berberian will be published soon. He regularly exhibits his work and has a fine art practice selling original drawings, etchings and prints. In a recent exhibition in Paris in 2015 entitled ‘Frames’ he made other pictures and paintings, the subject.

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8by8, Agnès B., The Boston Globe, Chicago Tribune, Condé Nast Traveller, Courrier Japan, Esquire, The Guardian, Libération, MIT Technology Review, Men’s Health, Le Monde, Myself Magazine, Nautilus, The New Yorker, The New York Times, Opera America, Oprah Magazine, Prospect Magazine, Pushkin Press, revue Feuilleton, revue XXI, Süddeutsche Zeitung Magazin, Telerama, Théâtre des bouffes du Nord, The Telegraph,Vanity Fair, The Wall Street Journal