Julien Calot


“In my large frescos, teeming with stories and anecdotes all intermingled, I express my passion for life, dynamic and brimming over with energy. The figurative motifs that crisscross on my canvases gradually create abstract forms, dotted with thousands of coloured points or brush strokes which then make up living spaces, like huge starry skies or clusters of cells. It’s a bit like when you look down on a landscape from the sky. Then the more you zoom in, the closer you get and the more you can read precise situations. The stories collide in the paintings and the characters themselves compose other characters, as if each one in itself carried an infinite complexity of details and history.”

Julien Calot paints movement, the interaction between individuals and life’s vital force gushing forth. If his paintings are teeming with life, the interlacing sometimes hides the darker side through more violent mises en scène. Deeply humanistic, he recounts the times he lives in, in all their exuberance and folly. The poetry he borrows is his political strength.

Originally from La Rochelle, and with a passion for surfing and the sea, Julien Calot lives in a universe marked by the colourful codes of surfing culture: vivid colours and the dynamics of bodies and faces, against a background of rock music. He mixes styles and references borrowed from classical painting and indigenous arts, and also from the highly modern world, the world of advertising, street art, comic strips and urban energy.

A self-taught painter for over 10 years, Julien Calot is also Creative Director at McCann advertising agency. Alongside, he explores various forms of artistic creation: writing, music, video and photography.

“You hold your breath and dive into the flow of tumultuous life, the brouhaha of individuals and machines, the explosions of bustling nature, the currents of particles, the clusters of cells, or into the murky blue of the silent depths of coral drop-offs, as if magnetised by the random ballet of plankton particles which light up in the sun’s rays on the surface of the water. You stop for a second in order to be no longer, simply looking at the world and immobilizing it infinitely. Then you rise up to the surface once more to breathe in again, overcome by an instinct stronger than anything else, you gulp in air and feel life rushing in on all sides".

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"Biography". Just a single word to sum up KLP’s artistic approach ? Not enough !

As an emerging artist, KLP is passionate about eternal icons of our popular culture, those who feed his musical, cultural and artistic imagination. Rock stars, superheroes, historical persons come back to life on its canvas, within a bright, colourful and powerful universe. Just like a biography writer, digging into every details of a lifetime, the artist brings to our eyes the essential milestones of their epic stories.

Mixing acrylic and collage, KLP is playing with words to give his work a second level of understanding. Short words, like graffiti written in a hurry on a wall, a poster, a door, a bus stop, as many stealth messages delivered to strangers passing by.

Beyond being a starting point of his work, fixing the spectator’s eye, each poster is torned apart, deconstructed, and turned into a symbol of time running away, as well as the impact of those iconic persons and their legacy for our generations, now and then.

Walking down the streets, the old and forgotten posters on the palisades and walls of his city, Montreuil, are another source of inspiration for KLP. He likes to reveal their authentic poetry, torn apart and faded by rain drops and sunlight, day after day, year after year.

KLP’s work can be seen as a kind of merger between Pop Art and Street Art, as he embraces their visual codes, their energy and spontaneity. But it’s also a little bit more than that, as he invites us, sometimes, to take a step aside and look beyond the shimmering and attractive aspects of his artwork, to find a more engaged message about our contemporary society. Where do we come from ? Where are we now ? Where do we want to go ?

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