BRIKX, the Path of a Gifted Child
New York. The 90s. An artist is born to the streets. Tom, around fifteen years old, marvels at his discovery of street art. The colours, forms and freedom of expression of graffiti fascinate him. As well as the rebellion. Normal for a teen! He begins compulsively tagging the subway and vacant lots…
Beginning of the 2000s. Back to the 20th Arrondissement of Paris. He lives for the street. He returns again and again, taking risks each time. Graffiti is a forbidden art. He must find the correct medium, the right environment, and forge his creation as quick as possible. Simply put, graffiti is planned spontaneity that aims for perfection. Free art. True art, the emancipation of a creative compulsion. The pursuit of adrenaline. He perseveres and launches himself a professional career; receiving a diploma of Decorative Arts in Architecture and training in 3D sculpture. He reminisces: ‘I transformed everyday objects giving them a new life. I have always focused on creation.’ He could never forget the street entirely. He often speaks about it with raw emotion. It taught him so much, that it’s almost as if he has a debt to pay back.
Boosting the Soul of the Street
Tom seeks constantly to better himself, and yet he remains true to his origins. He is a child surrounded by buckets of plastic building blocks, and a street artist. How to unite the two identities with everyday life? Erect statues? 3D, he’s been there… Too fragile. He returns to 2D… Why not portraits? Portraits based on photos! BRIKX is born. He creates ‘Plastosisme’ which he describes as: ‘a style of plasticised portrait that plays with the mind’s eye’. Trick you say? He’s only joking. His greatest joy is listening to the public’s reaction to his work: ‘Oh! A photo of Simone Veil…’ Walking straight ahead, something catches your eye… Take a closer look, it’s small plastic building blocks that look like pixels!
We’re never entirely sure… And that’s the effect of Op Art. ‘It’s a change from grey!’. It is indeed a change from grey. He uses over 60 different colours in his palette! And so he brings the street to life. What better way than with the form of a human face, next to street signs? BRIKX is spreading. Perched on a ladder, he adds Vercingetorix to Clermont-Ferrand, Gustave Eiffel to the bridge of Iéna, Pail Eluard to Charenton, Dali to Cadaqués, Vivalidi to Venice… Reminiscing, sharing our story, witnessing; ‘I always found the call of the street interesting. It’s a way to communicate, a beautiful, giant web of exposition wherein everybody benefits.’ In November 2017, with the exposition of Icons by Brikx at the Cemetery of Valenton, he paid hommage to famous deceased figures such as Jim Morrison, David Bowie, Carrie Fisher (as Princess Leia), Ray Charles, Henri Salvador and more.
The artist has a particular desire to expose his work in unexpected places… The Air France Headquarters in Roissy, for example. Further portraits associated with aviation (Brikx in the Air; Tom Cruise, Roland Garros, Sanit-Exupéry, Elon Musk etc.) can be found in other locations.
He also recreates the likeness of contemporaries, for instance Antoine Griezmann, Zinedine Zidane, Neymar, Sophie Marceau, Barack Obama, Angelina Jolie, Rihanna (sold at the auction house Drouot). Through his creations, BRIKX encourages the imagination through the form of a child's toy, thus heightening their visual awareness and consciousness.
The enthusiasm is there. The ‘Plastosisme’ becoming more and more popular due to it’s playfulness, modernity and originality. Having once focused entirely on the streets, he is now earning notoriety amongst institutes, businesses and private clients. This Free Range Air is now starting to enter the home.
How long before museums follow suit? Not long surely….
*Exposition from Tuesday the 4th until Wednesday the 19th of September 2018. 6th Arrondissement Town Hall, Luxembourg Gallery. Free entry from Monday to Friday from 10:30am until 05:00pm; Thursday until 07:30pm, Saturday from 10:00am until 12:00pm.