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The Surreal World of Fabien Mérelle

Illustration // Wednesday, 09 Apr 2014
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'Fabien Mérelle is a highly talented and emerging young French artist who creates delicately detailed drawings in black ink and watercolour. 
 
Although Mérelle’s drawings appear at first sight realistic in their rendering, they in fact depict outworldly scenarios, unsettling situations and dream-like occurrences. Working on a minute scale against a sparse white background, Mérelle prompts the viewer to individually examine his figures and peer into a world, which from the outset may appear as our own, but upon closer inspection is a rendering of a personal streaming subconscious.
 
These renderings, simultaneously absurd, humorous, ironic and cruel, weave their own tapestry of tales and legends, blurring the line between what has been written and what our memory has forged. Mérelle’s insistence on anatomical precision, an art historical tradition borrowed from great draughtsmen such as Albrecht Dürer, adds a dimension of doubt and moderate belief, as the viewer simultaneously quizzes yet recognises and understands what he sees. Mérelle thus brings our inner thoughts and mental scenarios on to the surface of a page, channelling psychological theories of great 20th century thinkers such as Pierre Janet, and providing viewers with a visual of what the depths of our minds might conjure.'
 
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