Welcome to the kind of grimy, underground universe that we like, where the heroes of our adolescence are being reserved in the kind of sauce who’s true value can only be appreciated by a starving crack-head. Pez takes us into a world where graffiti and industrial wastelands redesign the familiar features of the mythic figures of the small screen against a spiral notebook background, as if their souls had been stripped bare to reveal their dark sides. Behind the Pez moniker is a 33 year Nantais who’s loved drawing since his childhood. After a brief stint in graffiti, it is in graphics and illustration that he finally finds his outlet, with an original style and perfectly sketched details in graphite pencil. A style which now allows him to exhibit in galleries all over the world.
J / Hey, first can you present yourself
P / I paint under the name of PEZ, I’m 32 and I was born in Nantes (France) where I work and live. I really like this place. It has a fascinating history, a great geographic location and is very multi-cultural place.
J / When and how did you discover illustration ?
P / I’ve always been drawing. When I was 5 or 6 I was already spending long hours detailing my creations. Then as a teenager, I was drawing on and off but I got properly back into it when I finished High School and went to Piveaut’s School. Then I started working as a freelance graphic designer for local companies but I kept drawing my own stuff during my free time.
J / There is a lot of graffiti involved in your illustrations: do you have a history in Graffiti ?
P / When I was younger, from 1997 to 2000 I was doing some graffiti with some friends but the results weren’t convincing enough, we had a good laugh though. It was the beginning of the internet and back then it was pretty hard to get hold of the things you can get hold of now... Then I focused a lot more on drawing but I kept admiring the graffiti world and graffiti artists that were way more talented than I am. This said I’m trying to get back into Graffiti again. I bought some stuff for it already.
J / Which are the artists that inspired your work ?
P / That’s a hard question, I’m so inspired and fascinated by numerous artists such as Ron Mueck, Banksy, Aryz, Robert Proch, Etam Crew, Dran, etc... and also those from the past : Magritte, Dali, Klimt... It’s a long and diverse list, I could mention many more of them.
J / Could you talk us through your destroy series ?
P / I made it in two sets, I started with Mickey, Donald and one of the Beagle Boys and then I came back to this series later on and did: Homer, Kenny, Bart, Mario, Krusty and Buzz... I don’t really know why I came back to it, maybe to finish what I once started. Also, I’m a die-hard fan of Homer, so I had to do it. Besides, we have to admit it, Homer and his Duff had a lot of success for a reason. I wanted to give these characters a weird street and dreamlike look that radically change the universe of these characters. Putting them in different worlds gives us a much deeper understanding of their personalities. These characters are so anchored in our imagination that we forget their real personalities and their origins... It reminds me of the ending of an episode where Homer finds himself in our “real” world. (Such a good episode, highly advised).
J / Do you have any upcoming expositions in the near future ?
P / Yeah, in July this year at NYC (Brooklyn) and maybe some other expositions in Europe, but nothing for sure yet.