Your works often deal with the post-apo world theme. How did you get there?
I’ve always been fascinated with stories about this kind of world in movies like Mad Max 2, Waterworld, Escape from New York, 12 Monkeys or video games like Final Fantasy 7. It’s just the idea of, “it can happen.” If there is a war, a natural or technological disaster, it’s a possible vision of the future that a majority of people share. I’m thinking about making a project, like a graphic novel or an animation art movie, I don’t really know yet. But I started taking a lot of notes and I often try to develop this universe in single drawings or paintings. It would be a world where the Amazons are back, they would build a camp and accessories like armours, weapons, and vehicles with all the broken parts of the ancient world and they would be fighting a powerful cyborg civilisation. That would be the perfect meeting of all the things I like to draw, strong women fighting humanoid robots and all that taking place in destroyed futuristic cities.
Where do you get inspiration for the cyborg legions in terms of equipment and style? Do you also set your characters into backstories and contexts?
Obviously, I was shocked as a kid when I saw The Terminator on a small cathodic TV. So I try to reproduce the elements that affected me and make them in my own way. When I’m drawing cyborgs, I try to use my basic knowledge of anatomy to replace parts of the body with mechanical parts, such as hydraulic cylinders as muscles or the human heart as a motorcycle carburetor, imagining that it could work in a future reality. They wear leather jackets or armour with nails, chains and spikes like punks or bikers to make them look even more uncontrollable in their artificial mind. I have a set of shapes for firearms, it always ends up looking like a Star Wars gun or rifle. They are different but they look like they come from the same weapon manufacturer.
The colour concept of your works is very specific. Does the choice of such a saturated palette have any meaning in terms of symbolism or viewer perception?
I started working with this palette when I had a small screen printing project in mind. I wanted the maximum number of colours with the fewest number of layers possible; and cyan, magenta, and yellow is the most basic set you can do that with. 7 colours just by mixing 3 layers. I’ve been to a graphic design school, we had that repeated in printing, science, painting, and even in primary school the art teacher tells you about primary colours. It was really interesting to finally put that in use and play with the complementary colours. In the end, I figured out that it was the best way to get the full power of colours and contrast. I like this idea of making powerful pictures colour-wise but also via the characters who have powerful bodies and weapons.
Do you think the planet will be habitable in the future? Does your vision for our future meet your creations?
I think the planet will be habitable if we go in the right direction in terms of ecology and progress but at the moment, I’m thinking more about the virtualisation of the world. Like the mixing of Facebook, Google Maps and online games such as Second Life. We weren’t ready yet for Google Glasses because people didn’t like being filmed by someone, even if they are already filmed everywhere by security cameras, but having a screen connected to the eye, showing info about a person, a place or an item you can see can be useful. Also, I think about the virtualisation of places such as schools. Why do we need to be physically in a place when you can have a really clear vision on a screen or sent directly to the brain. We’ll never know what the future is going to be like. Take smartphones, there is no example of smartphones in old movies but as an artist, I’m not afraid of making my own vision of the future, like robots in the 50s with big light bulbs for eyes or futuristic green and black computer screens. I think that my cyborg drawings are already retrofuturistic.
BIO / Pol-Edouard, born in 1984, lives and works near Paris. After illustration and animation arts studies, he started publishing zines and exhibiting his work in 2011. Struggling with mental health problems since 2013, he was able to overcome numerous hospitalizations by focusing on drawing with simple tools such as felt tip pens on paper. Now stabilized, he’s working on various projects, like screen-printed zines, videos and paintings.