Welcome to our latest blog feature, "Discovering the Genius of Yves Navant - A Milton Wes Art Spotlight."
I have been a supporter of Yves Navant and a fan of his artistry for several years now. His unique and captivating imagery has always caught my eye and I couldn't help but be drawn to his creativity. As a fan, I wanted to work with him and create imagery for a previous brand of mine, Kinkster. I was scared to ask, but to my surprise, Yves agreed to help me out. Since then, I have been one of his biggest cheerleaders, and his art has been an inspiration to me.
Recently, I have been intrigued by Yves' raw and honest approach to sharing more about who he is as a person and as an artist. I've fallen more in love with his art, his creativity, and his journey as a person. I believe that it's important for our readers to learn more about Yves, his art, and his creative process. He is truly a genius at what he does, and I am excited to share more about him with you all. In this feature, you will get an inside look at Yves Navant's art, his inspirations, and his journey as an artist. We hope you enjoy reading it as much as we enjoyed putting it together.
How did you first become interested in art?
My earliest memories are of drawing; art was the first language I spoke. When I was 3 and 4, my mom would sketch the silhouette of a body, and I would fill in the details: I'd add their clothing, face and hair. It was a way to express myself and learn from my beautiful mother. Then, during my very turbulent and rebellious adolescence, art became my refuge, an escape from an oppressively wild, self-destructive, and sometimes dysfunctional life. Against all odds, this feral little wildboy attended college on scholarship and graduated with honors, surprising myself more than anyone else. I've been published as an author, artist, and graphic novelist. Now, most of my time is spent in pursuit of creating something beautiful. Or sometimes pushing buttons.
What inspires your work and where do you find inspiration for your pieces?
I'm inspired by extremes. Romance, beauty, and love resonate so deeply within me. I started out the most vulnerable and sensitive of souls, and sometimes I still want everything to be bright and hopeful. But because of the life I've led, aggression, danger, and violence also provoke my creativity. Ideally, I'd love my work to forever represent golden light, love, perfectly blooming florals drenched in honey, and exhibitions of gilded love. Alas, sometimes my inner provocateur is brought to the surface and wants to be more confrontational. I'm inspired by my own life experience; archaic religious iconography, film noir and 1950's pulp illustration, fashion, and comic books. Music complements and informs everything I do.
How would you describe your style or aesthetic?
Hm. Romantic exploitation? My aesthetic is inspired by all the things I'm passionate about, and my style is a perpetual attempt to relay my emotions, the message my heart and spirit are trying to convey, to the viewer.
Can you talk about a piece or series that is particularly meaningful to you?
Presently my work focuses on utterly objectifying (consenting) masculine and working class men in the tradition of countless female models we've seen glamorized throughout history. I grew up seeing the female form everywhere; used to advertise and sell things, and depicted as muses by artists and musicians. That's cool, but that doesn't say anything to me. I was abused pretty badly as a little kid by older females, which left me with a lasting uneasiness toward women. I'm more comfortable depicting men in an intimate context. So, right now, I'm portraying otherwise rough guys in the covetous, vulnerable, and objectified manner in which we're used to seeing women.
How do you approach the creative process?
It usually approaches me. If it's commissioned work, I throw myself into the ideation process and get as passionate as possible to deliver something I'm proud of. If it's a piece for myself, that I personally wanna share with the world, I'm compelled to communicate what my heart is shouting about via the imagery I'm creating.
How do you think the art world has changed or evolved in recent years, and how has that impacted your work?
I think technology has impacted the morale of traditional artists. I think AI generated art has given traditional artists something to rebel against. This conflict between formulaic AI and human artists is most apparent, but not confined to, commercial art industries. That's pretty rad. I think it will inspire human artists to outthink and out imagine art generation engines. I mean, I hope it does. Man versus machine in our post apocalyptic wasteland and all that...
What advice would you have for other emerging artists who are just starting out in their careers?
Be a hero, fall in love, share the joy in life, or destroy it all.
What are your future goals as an artist?
Survival till I can feel safe and happy.
Yves can be contacted via Direct Message through Instagram
Featured portrait of Yves was taken by Jake Holschuh
*Image of painting is titled Bro Hymn | 24x24 | acrylic and blood on board