Franck Duval a.k.a FKDL (the first and last letters of his name) is a multidisciplinary artist. He has studied at famous French fashion design School Studio Bercot, he also attended Annie Fratellini’s National Circus School; he used to be an actor while he started his painting career. Surely his artistic journey into fashion, circus and acting has influenced his graceful dancing characters whose silhouettes are embellished with delicate hand-ripped collages of images from old magazines. FKDL has a way in playing with geometrical colour blocks and scales. From afar, the eye is attracted by his graphic and colourful silhouettes, and on a second level, when approaching his pieces, you can discover an intricate and hypnotizing pell-mell of charaters from another time. He uses magazines from the 1920’s to the 1970’s which he as been collecting for the past 30 years. When I visited him, he had just received 2,200 copies of a forgotten movie magazine, « Mon Film » which was published from 1947 to 1958.
After an accident, he stayed for a long time in hospital. As he couldn’t paint there, he started to use adhesive tape to tear off images from magazines, from there, he developped a technique (invented by French artist Gil Wolman) allowing him to go even further in the collage and recycling process, creating artwork on different sized scotch tapes (check out the pictures below of his work in progress).
Indeed, for FKDL, reducing his environment impact is important: apart from recycling old papers and magazines in his art, he uses coloured paper table cloths for his wheatpastes as well as reclaimed kraft and tissue paper. He also prefers not using spraypaint which are too toxic.
What stroke me when I met FKDL, was his profound empathy and generosity towards people. He is not a self-centered artist, his art is more about sharing. Sharing his love for collage, old images and movies, collaborating with friends (Stoul, Beerens, Da Cruz, Specter, Mr Lolo, Dume, Mimi The Clown) and people he admires (Marcel Pagnol’s family), travelling to meet artists and people from abroad. In every country he visits, he pastes his works in broad daylight, which allows him to interact with passers-by. He took me to a collage session of his Audrey Hepburn and Madame Quincampoix works in the streets of Paris in the middle of an afternoon. He takes with him his pieces, some brushes and a bucket filled with wheatpaste, and puts up his work in a matter of seconds on walls he has previously located. If you are in Paris this summer, you might stumble upon one of his characters in your wanderings, but you can also see his works at Galerie Artima or at Le Bon Marché’s restaurant Primo Piano.
Scroll all the way down to listen to FKDL’s playlist, which is as cool and swinging as he is.