The Parade Balade et Distorsion project, initiated by Ador and Semor has been running since last year, and finally came to an end this month.
With the completion of the project came the opportunity to finally speak to French artist Ador about his last year of work, as well as finding out more about himself and the inspiration behind his work.
Where are you from and when did you start painting?
I was born in Nantes, France. I painted my first scene in 2005 but I started drawing when I was kid. I tried tagging a bit before but I never enjoyed letters because I was so bad at it!
Why do you paint?
I don’t really know. No one drew around me but I did. I don’t really enjoy anything else, except throwing stones at ducks but that’s not a job. Drawing is a way to never feel bored, even after visiting a bad exhibition or when watching bad movies, I mean everything can be a source of inspiration.
Tell us about the Parade Balade et Distorsion project you have been working on with street artist Semor. How did the project get started? What is the aim of the project?
We just really wanted to enjoy painting walls and drawing for a while. We are drawers first, and we saw a decline in our universe, especially with the amount of different media there are. The first step of this project was an exhibition in Nantes in 2016, with the same name. We built a sculpture in the same way we draw. You can see it here:
The second step was a series of murals, here is the video:
Step by step we found partners, and this idea turned into a journey through Nantes city, painting walls in districts where there are often no artistic events.
We were interested in the link between showing work in a private and a public way; indoor and outdoor; murals and exhibitions. We kept trying to build and tell stories through different murals in the public space.
As we are used to painting outside and meeting people randomly, we wanted the organisation of this project to involve he people we met. This is what we did, and we build ideas through getting in touch with people living in the area we wanted to paint.
Even though the general idea behind the pieces weren’t directly given by the people, we introduced a lot of details and anecdotes picked up from meeting them. We wanted each wall to have some context to locals, as well as to have people discuss the piece before, during and after the realisation of the artwork.
What has been your favourite part of the project so far?
Behind each piece there is a lot of hidden energy, a lot of ideas from different people, a huge will and a lot of pretext to talk about. For example, in “Le Chateau de Rezé”, we painted a penguin “Le Voyageur” with a big backpack. He is eating a banana and he’s standing on an electric wire like a swallow.
I’m not saying he’s my favourite piece, but it was the first wall we did for this project and there are a lot of stories behind his backpack and in what he carries. Parade, Balade and Distorsion talks about migration, travel, and this animal was built with a lot of people who don’t carry borders, no matter what they look like.
What has been the affect of the project to the city of Nantes?
As we come from this town, it was important for us to invest several places and districts here. We had already done few projects in Nantes, but this time it is a city-scale project.
How important is it to work with young people and locals in street art projects like Parade Balade et Distorsion?
It’s important to use the pretext of painting to generate a buzz and great an energy. Getting ideas, sharing the vision of things, staring at the surrounding and contributing to a will to imagine. Young people are more spontaneous than us, and picking up ideas from them and locals means we can make something happen together.
We don’t wanted to arrive, paint, and leave.
I hope painting a wall can be seen as a novel behaviour nowadays, and can incarnate an alternative process to be alive in our epoch and society.
What’s the story behind your three-eyed characters?
There are a lot of symbols in the third eye, I don’t know each of them. I’ll wait for people to help me if possible! Maybe three eyes are better than two! Whatever the meaning, we will never have enough eyes to see!
What inspired you to choose the style you paint?
Everything that surrounds me, inspires me, just as much as other artists do or a simple act as taking the metro.
How important is a location for you when it comes to your street art? How much does the place affect your pieces?
I think we consider each location on a case by case basis and it’s often surprising. Sometimes we can imagine something and we try and deal with the place. Each context can affect and influence our painting and it depends on the ambience and the people we meet. We try to leave the vision of the piece till we see the place and we improvise for each realisation.
What has been the highlight of your career so far?
No one thing especially, each event is as important as the last one and makes envy growing. So there’s not one special moment but more all of them together. I am glad each time I get to paint and tell my stories.
What’s the public perception of your work?
I expect reaction, but I don’t have the right answer for sure. The worst is if nothing happen. One time a woman said “Wow, how ugly it is, I love it!” or “the world doesn’t deserve it”. Sometimes people simply like colours.
The best is when people express that they can see life in an novel way, and continue to teach me new things.
Many thanks to Ador for taking time to speak to us!
Check out more of his work at Global Street art!
Photos and videos by Clément Poncin and Sarah Guilbaud.