Irk sat down for an up close and personal interview with Parisian born artist Fenx. He has a new exhibition at the Cohle Gallery which features playboy covers, reinvented with his own spin on them. Get to know the artist and read about the inspiration behind his new collection below.
Can you introduce yourself for those who don't know you yet?
Fenx [Phoenix], visual artist, born in 74 in the Paris region. My work is mainly focused on the relationship with memory, more particularly inspired by female characters.
How do you define your style?
Technically my painting is rooted in flat painting, smooth flat tints, with very clean and almost invisible separations. A current painting, following in the footsteps of many painters of the 60s but version 2.0. After the pop art movement, it is thus the reintroduction of the real and the popular into the pictorial field.
How did you come up with the idea of painting playboy covers?
As female representation is at the heart of my work, this time I sought to explore an axis to expose my female character to her male duality, and follow her towards emancipation.
This is how the heroines of my paintings fully assume their "Entertainment for men", with a playboy in hand. The desire also to continue the fight against taboos linked to nudity and sexuality. Subjects that are always topical in a society that is becoming puritanised...
Moreover, Playboy symbolised in this way allows me to explore the notion of object in my work. The object characterises the individual's mode of relationship with his world and his personality. What a pleasure it is to work on a subject that has had an impact on my own personal journey.
The Playboy covers are already graphically and artistically designed. The work of the various photographers, already very accomplished, allowed me to play with the codes and to propose a light and playful reinterpretation. The idea was also not to leave these covers on a shelf but to make them a work of art in their own right. And why not awaken a Proust's madeleine in everyone. This brings us back to the carefree and unaccountable, to memories, to the crystallisation of affect and leads me to the question "did I really grow up?"
Having worked with the COHLE GALLERY in the past, I became close to Camille Cohen and Michaël Le Goff. Through our various exchanges and following the realisation together of wall sculptures based on the magazine, the idea of this new exhibition came to us quite naturally!