Arthur DE LAFORCADE
Arthur de Laforcade is a most singular artist. Although primarily self-taught, he followed courses at fine arts school and an illustration school. A drawing enthusiast since his childhood, he turned his hand to the art of graffiti in 1997, when he was just seventeen, and signed his graffiti on trains bound for Paris, Caen and Lille under the name of Distik.
Graffiti began to invade public spaces with its spontaneous decorations in the 1980s, with the aim to “put some life back into the city dullness,” as Pop Artist Oldenburg pointed out. Arthur de Laforcade is among the second generation of these very artists who freed art and put it on show for all to see.
In 2010, he began teaching drawing and graffiti in Benin with the Zinsou Foundation, and expanded into fresco painting and illustrating. He then travelled Asia and Australia. Now settled in Caen, he continues fresco painting and opts for canvas to create artworks inspired by his travels.
Arthur de Laforcade’s figurative style is deeply influenced by his many experiences. His draftsmanship is rigourous, his brushstroke well mastered, and his palette rich and bright. This illustrative style uses a broad range of techniques: oils, acrylics, pastels and fresco techniques. The recurrent themes reflect the painter’s fascination for military uniforms in particular, which become iconic, and for symbols that inspire in him anger and indignation, or which oppose Violence to Peace. Arthur de Laforcade does not, however, seek to convey any political message. He merely interprets the fruit of his personal research in order to convey it to the viewer.
Arthur de Laforcade’s cleverly mastered artwork reveals a troubling concrete reality, one that goes beyond the simple art of illustration thanks to the underlying symbolism which its creator invites us to discover.
Francine BUNEL-MALRAS, Historian of Art