Interview on LastLook

LASTBLOG: Before you began working as a musician and artist, you worked as a marketing executive at Armani and Chanel. Would you say that this experience has influenced your work?

Sebastien Leon: I graduated from an MBA program in Milan at a young age and immediately started working for Armani in Madrid and Chanel in New York. That didnʼt last very long though; as soon as I moved to New York, I started hanging out with artist friends and going to see exhibitions in Chelsea, to concerts, plays… All of this definitely became more meaningful to me.

Two friends and I converted our downtown loft into a gallery space, in which we set up a variety of installations with artists from our neighborhood. My marketing background helped me to approach brands and ask them to finance our shows, which at that time seemed the best way to get our projects going. I was then hired by a few large companies to become their curator, with the idea of always producing new works. This allowed me to collaborate with many artists,  across all sorts of media, and effectively became my own sort of art school. Over the years, I started to develop my own work, sometimes with brands, other times with museums or galleries.

Read more here.

Du Jour Magazine "James Truman makes beautiful music with Sebastien Leon"

"THE FORMER MAGAZINE BIGWIG discusses his new gig: record producer

Jeux d’Artifice, an album performed by "sound sculptor" Sebastien Leon and produced by first-timer Truman, comes out today. But it's funny to think that the pair's collaboration could have just ended up as a restaurant horror story.

Truman, the former editorial director of Conde Nast, was sitting down to dinner at Firefly on Mustique when another patron started playing his guitar. “I thought that it was a very brave gesture to bring your guitar to dinner and start serenading the restaurant,” Truman says, sitting in the living room of his Greenwich Village home. “I was intrigued by that.”

The troubadour was Leon, a former marketing executive Frenchman who’d made a name for himself in New York by creating soundscapes for art exhibits and events.

Leon's playing piqued the interest of Truman, who'd worked at music magazines like Melody Maker and Spin before Conde Nast. “We got to talking about music, particularly French music,” Truman says. “I don’t know as much as he does, but I’ve always had a great love for Serge Gainsbourg and so did Sebastien.”

Read more

 

Design Gallerist, "Sebastien Leon Interview"

"SEBASTIEN LEON AGNEESSENS is a New York-based French musician and installation artist, among other things. His pieces are dynamic and he works with sound and movement creating pieces that are truly stunning. Read our interview where he reveals a bit more about himself.

A · Firstly, can you tell us a little bit about yourself?

People often get confused when I tell them what I do. I am a creative director, a designer, a curator, a sculptor, a composer, a performer, a painter, and to me it’s all kind of the same thing. These fields complete each other and each offer a specific way of sharing ideas, telling stories, addressing issues and also hopefully of communicating beauty. I develop my commercial projects (experiential design, exhibition design and production) under my company Formavision and carry out my art projects (mainly sound sculptures, paintings and sound installations) under Studio Sebastien Leon Originally from France, I have been based in America for the past thirteen years, and it is hard to dissociate my story from New York. In France I always have to justify what I do according to what and where I studied. In New York however, what matters is rather the relevance of my projects, my curiosity, so I feel like I constantly have to push and reinvent myself and explore new disciplines."

Read more.

Wall Street Journal, "The Musician and the Producer"

"NEVER MIND THAT JAMES TRUMAN and Sebastien Leon are Europeans. They're also archetypal New Yorkers. Both have lived out versions of the city's bootstrapping myth: arriving as ambitious young men, plunging into the demimonde and ascending to become tastemakers and toasts of the town.

Truman, 54, came to New York from London in 1981, earning a couple hundred dollars a month as a music critic for the groundbreaking British magazine The Face. Thirteen years later, at just 36, he graduated to one of the city's top jobs: editorial director of Condé Nast publications. He stepped down in 2005, complaining that the magazine business had become "conventional" and "business-driven" and now spends his days on various entrepreneurial and artistic ventures, including helping run an organic farm in upstate New York with his friend André Balazs. Leon, a globe-trotting Frenchman from the Loire Valley, arrived in the city 13 years ago."

Read more.

 

The Hunger, "Sebastien Leon and James Truman"

"Truman, the former editorial director of Conde Nast, was sitting down to dinner at Firefly on Mustique when another patron started playing his guitar. “I thought that it was a very brave gesture to bring your guitar to dinner and start serenading the restaurant,” Truman says, sitting in the living room of his Greenwich Village home. “I was intrigued by that.”

The troubadour was Leon, a former marketing executive Frenchman who’d made a name for himself in New York by creating soundscapes for art exhibits and events.

Leon's playing piqued the interest of Truman, who'd worked at music magazines like Melody Maker and Spin before Conde Nast. “We got to talking about music, particularly French music,” Truman says. “I don’t know as much as he does, but I’ve always had a great love for Serge Gainsbourg and so did Sebastien.”

Read more.

 

"Jeux d'Artifices" is out

Produced James Truman
// Mixed by Kyle Fischer and Jamie Candiloro
// Recorded at Saltlands Studio (Brooklyn) and Geejam (Jamaica)
// Art Direction by Marc Atlan
// Cover artwork by Robert Mapplethorpe, "Sleeping Cupid", 1989, used by permission, licensed by Artestar New York