To celebrate our 60th anniversary, Liquitex is
selecting a Diamond
Artist every month throughout 2015! As well as
receiving a Liquitex care package tailored specifically to their artistic
style, we’re showcasing their work on our website and Facebook page.
Meet our Liquitex Diamond Artist for November, Grégoire "Léon" Guillemin. Guillemin’s pop art-esque works are subtly
subversive, featuring familiar images in ultra-bright colors with a brazen,
contemporary twist. In this exclusive interview, Guillemin, who also works as a
Creative Director and Strategist, shares how he challenges cultural boundaries
and reframes icons within his playful practice.
Tweety & Sylvester, 2013
“[An artist] is able to admit that when [a] work is done, it no longer
belongs to him,” says artist Grégoire
"Léon" Guillemin. Guillemin is a master of reinvention, with some of
his most notable works reinventing the likenesses and personas of pop culture
icons ranging from Wonder Woman to Robocop – each with a slightly provocative
edge. Taking cues from pop art and graphic novels, Guillemin splashes canvases
with swaths of bright colors, reframing characters through his own experimental
Guillemin is a gutsy creative, driving viewers to see the world
differently via his art. Describing himself as less artist, more “eclectic
graphical gamer,” Guillemin wants people to feel “destabilized when they look
at [his] pictures.” He seeks to “[c]hange their viewing angle, push them to
open their mind, to think outside of the box.” For his “Pop Icons” series, famous
fictional faces like Alice (of Alice in
Wonderland) and Superman are seen in various compromising positions.
Guillemin worked with huge areas of big, solid color to create striking,
eye-catching effects that were true to the original essence of each character,
but clearly a deviation from the norm.
Acrylic on canvas
"The difficulty," said Guillemin, was mixing "good, [original] framing and a recognizable [element] of the character" in each work to "offer meaning on different levels for [each] subject." The final products are shamelessly funny, vibrant, and artfully ironic.
Acrylic paint is core to Guillemin's practice, with the artist reaching for aqua blue, canary yellow, and show-stopping red as he stays true to a Lichtenstein-esque essence in his work. Claiming he was "born with a pencil in [his] hand," there is something both painterly and illustrative about his art.
Clearly influenced by culture, Guillemin's primary advice for aspiring artists is to "believe in what you do and be curious" about the surrounding world. It's this curiosity that drives his own creative process, one canvas at a time.
Explore Liquitex's range of ink! and acrylic paints for your own graphic painting!