Countdown to 2042: Mathieu Bitton Talks Blaxploitation and Discrimination

“I could have been French or Japanese, those are the two cultures that really strive for archiving amazing art.”
 

 
Mathieu Bitton, a Grammy-nominated designer, internationally renowned photographer, and documentarian has made a career doing exactly that, working with some of the most recognizable names in music and film. Born in France to Jewish Egyptian parents, Bitton fell in love with Blaxploitation and R&B as a prepubescent Parisian. Obsessed with R&B, soul, and jazz, the teenaged Bitton joined his mother in Los Angeles to try to make a career out of his passion for music. He had his first big break when he designed a logo for label Loose Cannon and soon, Bitton was working with such renowned artists as Marvin Gaye and Stevie Wonder. In 2009 he received a Grammy nomination for his design of the Boxed Set Jane’s Addiction, and for the last four years he has traveled with Lenny Kravitz, documenting his work in photographs and film. That work has lead Bitton into an entirely new medium with the release of “Looking Back On Love,” the photographer and designer’s first full-length documentary. Bitton has declared his intention to cement his status as a filmmaker with more feature-length pieces in the near future.
 
We had the chance to sit down with Bitton to talk about his French Jewish background, his work in the worlds of Blaxploitation, R&B, and soul, and modern-day discrimination. Check it out in our latest Countdown to 2042!
 
Photo by Mathieu Bitton.

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