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“Bizarre” is exactly what comes to mind when looking at Felix Decombat’s series of the same name. The French artist’s pieces – featuring a wave rolling into a living room, tiny ladies dancing under a table cloth while being studied by a giant, or a golfer teeing off a vase – tickle your imagination.
The power of Bizarre lies in Felix’s ability to hide multiple stories in a single image; as a viewer you are never sure what it exactly is you are looking at. Coming back to them will likely lead you to discover yet another plot twist.
For Felix, this ambiguity was deliberate. “I wanted them to be all independent from each other, telling a different story but still in the same vein,” says Felix. “I wanted the spectator to picture their own story.”
One thing is for sure; they are freakishly weird, yet extremely intriguing to look at. They bring to mind the weird and wonderful work of surrealists like René Magritte or Salvador Dalí. Felix acknowledges he’s influenced by this movement, but also by experimental filmmakers like Takashi Miike, David Cronenberg or Russ Meyer and new forms of storytelling. “I like what is weird and subversive, but I am also interested in new technologies and social innovation,” he says.
Some artists find it hard to know when their work is done and refine and refine until they’ve smoothed out what they don’t perceive to be perfect. For Felix though, it’s the imperfections that make his pieces sublime.
Felix uses marker pens to make his images, and this heightens their rough-around-the-edges feel. He discovered this technique by accident; he drew on thin paper, causing the ink to run out across the canvas. The result was blurry, irregular lines – which turned into his signature style.
“Usually, I work directly with markers as I don’t like to redraw on a sketch, and want to keep the freedom to change direction during the drawing. I am still using that ‘control of imperfection’ in my work,” he says.
For Bizarre, Felix took images from several magazines and combined them. “I was looking for diversity, as I’m used to drawing recurrent positions, faces or objects,” he says. “Magazines give you new choices and forms to work with, but the possibilities are limited compared to the internet. It forces you to go in a direction you haven’t considered before.”
And the artist definitely takes us in new directions – he opens up a can of dream-like, almost nightmarish worlds to get lost in (if we dare).