The French artist creates illustrations and sculptures that analyse life through humour.

The French artist Fabien Mérelle creates detailed drawings that combine anatomical realism and surreal concepts. Using black ink and watercolour, he combines both eastern and western techniques in delicate and extremely detailed drawings that depict unsettling situations and dream-like occurrences.


Despite their small scale the images are highly realistic and reveal the influence of the artistic tradition of anatomical precision and of artists like Albrecht Dürer. The drawings show the world of tales, myths and legends through his humorous reinterpretation.


Simultaneously absurd, humorous, ironic and cruel, the stories Mérelle imagines blur the line between narrative tradition and the free association of ideas. The constant contrast between real and otherworldly, humorous and cruel, traditional and imagined, adds a dimension of doubt to the images. The viewer questions and at the same time recognizes and comprehends the scene that unfolds before his eyes.


Mérelle’s art is open to an infinite number of interpretations. His imagination transforms freely any shape and idea, mixing complex universes and childhood memories. Even when his drawings leap off the page and become exact sculptural manifestations of themselves, like in the case of Pentateuque, Mérelle maintains the constant tensions and contrasts. The union between the extreme realism of the image and the surreal concepts it conveys becomes tangible and enters the physical space of the world.



All images courtesy of Fabien Mérelle