Born in 1945, Jean-Bernard Hebey entered radio as well as religion. In 1965 at Europe 1 where he presents, among other things, Salut les Copains. In 1968, he changed houses: it was RTL until 1981, with the cult program Poste Restante, the first on pop-rock music. In 1982, he produced the first clip broadcast on TV: 22 v'la rock, then took over the management of RFM. After several audiovisual experiences in Morocco and the USA, he found the microphone (TV or radio) in 1999 at Laurent Ruquier. Animator but also great collector of industrial objects, and in particular household arts, it is for this reason that we met him…
How do we go from animation to collection?
- We don't go from one to the other… We live with it, it's not incompatible! And then, between radio, TV and industrial design, there is this same state of mind, this search for what modernity was at a given time and what has improved the lives of men ... and especially women! I like to say that industrial design is everything that is thought by man but achieved by machine!
How did you start your collection?
- I was lucky to move a lot on my Rock N'Roll tours and it was in the USA, in a flea market, that I discovered the trigger product. It was in 1961, I was 16 years old, and it was a steel and aluminum juicer… while in France, they were plastic. I thought to myself, a country that can do this can't be bad!
How can a vacuum cleaner become a decorative object?
- What matters is the form! A heater, a mixer, a radio, the greatest designers are often also great architects: Jacobsen, Starck, Ponti ... The search for beauty.
What is your most beautiful and rarest piece?
- The one I don't have… as the only copy of a pencil sharpener designed by Raymond Loewy. More seriously, I have about 8,000 pieces, like all of Apple's creations from the Mac 123, televisions, radios, phones, projectors ... it's difficult to choose just one!
Where are you with your museum project?
I have exhibited in Belgium, at the design museum in Ghent, at Boulogne-Billancourt at the Museum of the 1930s ... but for many politicians, in France, a museum like this is not a priority. They do not necessarily understand the appeal of modernity, the phenomenon of vintage exists and excites ... but when you have to add a philosophical reflection, there is no one! Jean-Bernard Hebey is also the author of Esthétisme Domestique, Les Arts Ménagers from 1920 to 1970, published by Éditions 5 continents, published in 2002.