Visual artist – Designer
Creative director – Brand identity expert
Marc is a video-photographer, a creative director and an educator based in Montreal, Canada. He is the founder of RAP Agency (Rethink. Act. Provoke.) and the leader behind Inspire-Play-Innovate, a workshop program exported worldwide with ico-D.
Throughout the years he has partaken in several art/architecture, fashion as well as printed projects - while making cultural identities & strategic branding his trademarks.
His recent works are more focused on the video-photography of immersive projects where multisensorial, cinematic ambiances prevail.
I love empowering others to continually look at the world with new perspectives and cultivate more creativity in their lives.
I work with people who demonstrate purpose and vision, and who are genuine in their endeavours.
I’m inspired by simplicity, wisdom, and audacity.
I like to distinguish progress from modernity.
If science concerns itself with what things are and how things could become, design then is the study and execution of how things should be.
Making life easier. Safer. More effective. More enjoyable. More intelligible, if not more meaningful.
My dream project would combine science, art, design, and philosophy. 2019 is the year I started that project with Jonathan Belisle, and it is called “Stories of a Near Future”.
Marc is of French-Lebanese and Armenian descent.
Born in Lebanon under the civil war, he was raised in an American compound in the midst of the Saudi Arabian desert - where neighbours and fellow expats shared a sense of isolation/boredom, as well as voluntary - if not exhilarating exile. His childhood was marked by the aesthetical purity and strange desolation of the landscape. Of this time back then, he recalls the ominous americanity of the settlements - alongside their paradoxical, prefabricated monotony / out-of-this-world cosmopolitanism.
Trained at Paris’ Penninghen College, Marc benefits from the teachings of renowned professors such as Peter Knapp; Roman Cieslewicz, Étienne Robial, and Michel Bouvet. While the education he receives in France is both rigorous and inexhaustibly rich (being trained in the liberal/humanistic tradition that is), his companionship at Penninghen brings him close to the then emerging French Touch movement (Alex Gopher; Étienne de Crécy; Daft Punk). Their feverish aesthetics - unapologetically pop and unbridled, then competes with Marc’s more restrained (modern) aesthetical training. The tension - formative no doubt, accompanies him to this day (both graphically and artistically speaking).
Marc establishes himself as a freelancer in Paris in the early 2000’s. He starts off designing movie posters for Studiocanal (a branch of Canal +); then slowly (but surely) makes of branding, identity and visual strategy his trademarks.
Between the years 2002 and 2005 he signs amongst others, Afrodisiac for Sony/Columbia, and partakes in the remaking of the Rodin Museum in Paris.
In 2006, he moves to Canada - and has ever since conducted multiple local; continental as well as international projects in partance of Montreal, his hometown. Amongst them are worth mentioning hotels Gault (Montréal 2018-2022) and Form (Dubai 2013-2018, in collaboration with Architecture Studios); as well as his participation in the preliminary design & identity of the Equus Bass 770 (2008-2011).
Between 2011 and now Marc acted as artistic/photographic director for fashion design brand Hektor (2013-2015) and Hennessy NY (group LVMH 2010-2012); he also conducted several, recurring campaigns and identity brandings/rebrandings for Immersive Design Studios (2012-2020); Montréal Art Souterrain (2015, 2016, 2017 and 2018); Langlois Attorneys (2017); as well as Montreal’s landmark Beauty’s Luncheonette restaurant/diner (2011-2020).
Lastly, he signed distinctive projects with Galerie Maria Lund (formerly La Galerie Danoise) of Paris (since 2003); Marfa’s Gallery (since 2015) and Piaff Boutique in Beirut (2005-2020) - while undertaking the graphic design of printed works for Peter Martensen (Ravage 2017 - in coll. with St-Etienne’s Modern & Contemporary Art Museum), Philip Hazan Architect (since 2014), and the Elie Khouri art Foundation (since 2020).
In 2015, Marc launches RAP (Rethink; Act; Provoke) - an agency born out of his desire to “shake things off” and share his all-encompassing, open-ended vision of design. While pursuing his enduring partnerships with both commercial and cultural entities, Marc then moves towards more interdisciplinary/educational endeavours such as Inspire - Play - Innovate - a workshop program designed for both the youth and current company c.e.o.’s / leaders. Presented in Mexico; South Africa; Canada; Argentina, Italy and South Korea, the workshops strengthen Marc’s vision of design as a catalyst for meaning and progress.
Not only that - but they also mean, for him, a comeback of sorts - and an occasion to refocus his practice on full-fledged creative endeavors of his own volition. Abiding by a transversal - always - notion of design he, more convincingly maybe than ever, rejects a segmented visions of commerce; scholastics and the arts. Embracing (or re-embracing, rather) his lifelong passion for the image, Marc now ventures in immersive, multisensorial designs of both photographic & cinematic qualities.
33 33 33 — Screened in Toronto on Saturday, November 17, 2018.
Gathered for the first time, Kandalaft’s video-photographic works (The Soulfood Project 2019; 33 33 33 Toronto 2018)/… meet the viewer with photo-graphics - very much indeed. Bits and pixels of morsels crumble into pictures - raw, unadulterated. Their rendering coagulates in hectic clippings - as though shredding america’s borelonesomedom; america’s crying urbanity into pieces. Borrowing from both (loosely understood) land art / landscape, abstract & pictorial traditions, Marc’s works display an unrelenting obsession for matter and its pulsive (compulsive?) re/de-composition. Both vivid and inert - to the point of morbidity; or even disgust. And yet - somewhat candid … ? Seeping oils weep onto woods; run through teeming husks and dead skins. Childish laughs muffle into the night; an old man stumbles. Two chairs look steadily ahead - but never at each other. Could they be taking the piss? A red flower blooms. Clouds are lifted.
“Because we all die”, a voice whispers…
Marc Kandalaft is a member of the Quebec Graphic Designers Association's board. He lives and works in Montreal - where he occasionally teaches in universities, colleges, and private enterprises.
Research, notes and sketches
Board member of the SDGQ — 2011 to 2021
- Member of AIGA, the American Institute of Graphic Arts.
- Member of ico-D - International Council of Design.
- Former member of the educational committee at the Factry, a new school of creativity whose mission is to forge creative minds to find innovative solutions to contemporary challenges.
Photography + film
The White Dot (curation)
Photography + film
The White Dot (curation)