John Paul Bichard is an artist who is fascinated by people, places and how stories are made. He investigates the way people construct identity and the means in which these identities and roles are contextualised in contemporary society. He looks at places in which unusual events have occurred, real or fictional and brings the two together in fragmented fictions: places that could have existed, stories that might have been told.
In practice this means exploring roles, characters and environments through photography, video, performance and digital/real world games. Works include a series that looks at what happens at the end of the video game, transposed onto real world locations; a photo shoot where people were invited to sit in the artist's bath covered in fake blood; a video documentary that set the artist as documentary cameraman in a fake war scenario run by the Swedish Army on the streets of Stockholm and a 1940s photoshoot that explored his families story of their evacuation in WWII.
Since the early 90s, Bichard has provoked and explored the borders between culture, the self and play both artistically and commercially: he has works in major collections around the globe, has exhibited widely in Europe and the US, ran the first performance club in a cartoon chat room, developed new ways of embedding stories into pervasive environments and has been artistic director for several cutting edge pervasive games.
Current works explore gender, identity and sexuality in portraiture. Breaking down traditional power relationships to subvert the viewers gaze and allow the subject to explore their role.
John-Paul collaborates with his wife the jazz singer and performer Fräulein Frauke. The duo have built a reputation for extraordinary photographic artworks and extravagant Burlesque events through their brand 'Bichard Studios'. They run Sweden's top burlesque and Cabaret club, the internationally renowned 'Fräulein Frauke Presents' and the International Stockholm Burlesque Festival.
New works include a series of painted Baroque inspired nudes in collaboration with the Bulgarian/Swedish artist Iva Troj - you can find more information here.