by Tania De Brita, for ’Telegraphic’ show’s catalog, at Kolly Gallery, Zurich, 2018

Multiple layers of simple vertical brushstrokes characterize Flavien’s particular manner for his abstract paintings presented in his unique body of work.

“My main inspirations are humanity, society and nature. My artworks illustrate the DNA, neurons and synapses, as a metaphor for networks, could they be ecological, political, urban or technological networks. I want to show their similarities, their connexions, and how intricate, interdependent they are, just like us, Humans.”

The title of the exhibition, ‘Telegraphic 2018’, refers to the concept of communication and graphics, which converge individual elements to connecting networks. Every single vertical brush stroke in Flavien’s painting represents one element that operates through the collectivity on the canvas. Through a very minimal, conceptual and repetitive creative practice and a black-white based color range, Flavien reflects human coexistence in the world. Therefore humanity is a main concern of the artist’s body of work. He is fascinated and inspired by the power, the beauty and the chaos that humanity is able to create. Especially the ingenuity of the individual versus the folly of the collectivity is a key concept that the artist visualizes in his paintings. Flavien deeply believes that only the force of nature is capable of creating long term beauty.

In 2015, Mambo started with a new series of abstract paintings. He decided to sign them with his first name, Flavien, because they appeared exceedingly different from his previous well-known paintings. These canvases consist of a rather geometrical texture and minimal color variations.

Vertical brushstrokes are the simple yet effective trademark of Flavien’s series. The technique is a result of a long-standing study and experience in art, but also influenced by the assistant years to Sol LeWitt, in the mid 90’s. Different art movements as well as artists are still inspiring Flavien’s artistic practice, such as: Frank Stella, Yayoi Kusama, Ellsworth Kelly, Piet Mondrian and Jackson Pollock.

The Strokes series allow me to live my fantasies, as I build my paintings from arithmetics, geometry or organically, it requires concentration, calculation or intuition and letting things go… my painting sessions turn sometimes into meditation, sometimes choreography, cuisine or simply orgasmic in different forms. I like the paradox of having a very mechanical way of painting that finds its beauty in the mistakes and accidents happening along the way.

All artworks are © 2024 Flavien “Mambo” Demarigny