Born on 27th December 1974 in Annecy, Eric Demelis started drawing at a very young age as an attempt to overcome his shyness as a teenager and express an exuberant and promising imagination with the stroke of a pen. Inspired by the Flemish painters, in particular Pieter Brueghel and Jérôme Bosch, who gave him abundant ideas for themes early on, he worked relentlessly and became a self-taught artist. The world of comics, with its infra-narrative language, taught him how to compose his own drawings and canvases, like puzzles, which advanced piece by piece, through the overlapping of forms and characters interlocking into fused elements of oppressive, crowded pictures.
Struck by the presence of the cross in our Judaeo-Christian culture, Eris Demelis builds an eerie universe of restructured crucifixes, of tortured – rather than beastly – monsters and complex, hybrid-beings, without following a particular genre and yet creating a multi-genre at the same time. Inspired by gothic art and “l’art brut” (outsider art), these beings play out the duality of good and evil, much like gargoyles on cathedrals. In portraying personal mythology and the transfiguration of his anguishes, his paintings, much like his drawings, depict the liberating yet difficult act of coming out of one’s shell.
Since he never works with paper, the artist sketches out his designs with a fountain pen and Chinese ink on canvases primed with Gesso. He also draws imaginary motifs representative of characters onto terracotta tiles and uses a clay-shaper and acrylic paint. The background of each of his works develops whilst he draws, without any fixed idea of how it will turn out.
Eric Demelis lives and works in Grenoble.