Alexis Beauclair on drawing sensations, ideas and actions to escape genres
Another recent project is Enigma, a Riso-printed book on black paper with grey and neon orange ink. Like a series of ominous post-human prophecies, the book continues along Alexis’ practice of creating ambiguous signs but with a more material slant. “I’ve had this line drawing practice for a couple of years now, but in the past year, I’ve been enjoying reworking them with computer colouring,” Alexis says of the book. “It totally changes the way that we look at them: they stay enigmatic, but it gives them volume and a more physical and tactile presence, like strange sculptures.”
On the flip-side of this textural, oozy illustration style are Alexis’ flatter drawings that usually feature simple and solid shapes. A compilation of several years of this Loto series has recently been published by Editions Matière. “This series is a minimalist, almost abstract, comic focused on black geometrical shapes and movements where, like in my other minimalist comics, I try to make visible some elementary mechanism of reading and comics form,” Alexis says. Through this work, he tries to uncover the grammar of a perception activated by the reading process. Created through a reflective process, the series that creates a multiplicity of interpretations is an attempt to question the formal shape of comics.
If you’re still hungry for more, Alexis is also releasing a selection of 250 drawings made between 2012 and 2016, a collection of drawings from his sketchbooks, still in the process of being re-edited. “This is kind of a regular training, drawing and driving into the subconscious,” Alexis says about the daily exercise of trying out new shapes and ideas. “I love to observe things emerging from the abstract, so I try to keep this tension in the final drawings.” If you’re a fan of Alexis’ mysterious work, it seems like 2020 will be an exciting year for you.