French illustrator Marion Fayolle‘s illustrations are light-heartedly simple and provocative. Maria Popova appropriately compares Fayolle’s aesthetic to Codex Seraphinianus, Gregory Blackstock’s illustrated lists, and the vignettes of Blexbolex, but I think there’s also some similar absurdism to be found in Joan Cornellà as well. Fayolle’s illustrations are visually comic poetry, each one representing a surreal and nuanced narrative. Bodies and body parts are often replaced, removed, or erotically recontextualized, something that could be jarring to viewers, but Fayolle’s whimsical aesthetic undermines any potential grotesqueness of this concept. Though her work is playful, the tension between humor, longing, lust, loss, and separation is palpable and creates a space for the viewer to revel in the narrative possibilities in each illustration. It’s the fragmentation of these narratives that connects them, allowing for a cohesion of and engagement with particular themes. Fayolle published a book of her comic illustrations, called “In Pieces,” last September. (via brain pickings)
French photographer Pascal Pierrou takes interest in creating the ultimate ‘modern girl’ photo catalogue. Pierrou, a fashion photographer, is interested in showcasing alternative ‘feminine beauty’, the type that we are not really used to seeing in popular television or mass-produced advertisements. He primarily focuses on girls with short hair/no hair, tattoos, and piercings. While these women’s looks are not uncommon per se, Pierrou is looking to create a fashion-like photoshoot that shows off these women in a way that is uncommon and unexpected. For instance, his way of pairing a naked woman with a sword tells us that he is looking to show off a double-sided profile, one that shows off a rough edge, and another that features the soft lines of a slender and feminine naked body.
This idea of rough and soft lines is somewhat of a pattern amongst the photos on this series. These characteristics are indicative of what Pierrou thinks about today’s modern girl- often times, a woman that carries a powerful and tough, but ultimately soft appearance and character.
His inspiration for the series was Andy Warhols ‘Factory’ which was popular in the 60s in New York. Pierrou imagined people of a new factory, free women, feminists, artists that would exhibit their skin, hair, tattoos and words without being ashamed.
French/Italian artist Sonia D’Argenzio sent over some of her new abstract ‘anti-photographs’ this past week, and i’m more than impressed. Her ability to pull an excellent image from film before/after/without processing is unrivaled (at least to my Tumblr eyes), and i’m even more convinced by her devotion to the analog process. She might just be the real deal.
French artist Gregory Chiha’s gripping and curious works conjure dark, imaginative inquiry. Realistic backgrounds are populated by vague, distorted figures depicted with thick, abstract, primary-colored strokes of paint. Dense forests and calm interiors stand solid and immortal in stark contrast to the fleeting vision of denigrating souls that vaporize amidst forces unknown. At times they seem aware of their morphing physicality, holding up their hands as if to shield their faces; other times they stand with arms loose and at their sides, giving in and letting themselves be overtaken by this unstoppable force. Some subjects appear to be participating in everyday motions when the event occurs: lounging in the living room, playing in a room strewn with children’s toys, staring into a mirror; others are roaming through sylvan groves – perhaps they went outside to address an unnerving sound or vision? One figure sits at the kitchen table staring at a loaf of bread; the subject ignites, though the bread, indissoluble, withstands. Are these figures ghosts trapped in limbo? Are they in the midst of taking their own life, or victims of an unspeakable tragedy such as a modern day Pompeii? Could these paintings be the depiction of the exact moment of death? Whatever is the nature of their contents, Chiha’s paintings lead to an abyss of theories subjective. However, their immediate intuitive impact stands inarguably emotional and compelling, dark and disturbing.
Chiha is represented by The Lloyd Gill Gallery.
Parisian artist Suzy Lelièvre makes some fascinatingly illogical and decidedly nonfunctional objects. (Unless being awesome can be considered a function?) Chief among her objects are variously contorted tables and benches, along with a set of what she calls “gravity dice.” Her appropriations of ordinarily useful items are a bit surreal; in fact, the work of another French native, Marcel Duchamp, comes to mind, who mastered the art of strange-making one overturned urinal and stacked bicycle wheel at a time.
French artist Antoine Corbineau does a little of everything–painting, graphic design, video. Regardless of the media, his pieces “feel like carnivals or boardwalks, bursting with energy and life.” Corbineau’s organized chaos is achieved through bold injections of text and a bright but controlled color pallet.
Damien Arnaud (graphic designer) and fellow artists Florent Berthaut, a.k.a Hitmuri (artist) Claire Soubrier (photographer), and Max Boufathal (artist) collaborate on various projects, bringing their individual sensibilities and specialties together to create a multimedia dynamic that entices all the senses.
French design group HELMO (Thomas Couderc, Clément Vauchez) has an amazing knack for using the simplicity and elegance of photography in design.