Elegant silhouettes fly from François Avril's dancing pencil; the city is transformed into a setting for new graphic adventures and Paris evenings are filled with the sound of jazz. Magazine and advertising illustrator, cartoonist and children's book illustrator, this Parisian artist, born in 1961, is a veritable master of clean lines, weightless forms and poetic colour.
Following his dazzling debut in the fanzine Band' à Part, Avril created a series of spare albums marked by a distinctive aesthetic, including Doppelgänger SA, Le Voleur de ballerines and Le Chemin des 3 places. He also produced covers for Lire and Libération and brilliantly illustrated a number of children's books. Prints, engravings, newspaper cartoons, advertising, when it comes to drawing, everything interests François Avril.
His comic book creations travel between Geneva and Amsterdam. He sketches New York and paints Cancale. Working in a faux-naïf style, he shows off his talent from Paris to Tokyo. He depicts Manhattan and Brussels, and he paints Perros Guirec. Using watercolours, colour pencils, acrylics and pastels, he is constantly seeking to explore new avenues of creativity.
As comfortable working in miniature as he is with large-scale canvases, Avril aspires to an aesthetic purity that comes close at times to abstraction. His works are intriguing. With François Avril, a single detail can be enough to unsettle our senses. He draws his inspiration from the great originators of the American comic strip and the giants of the Franco-Belgian golden age. One of the founders of the Ecole de Pigalle, along with Jacques de Loustal, Dupuy and Berbérian, Avril has been reinventing the 9th Art since the 1980s, delicately wielding his pencil to create minimalist drawings that are consistently focused on the essential line.
Born in Paris (FR) in 1961. Lives and works between Paris, Port Blanc (FR) and Brussels (BE)
François Avril graduated from the ENSAAMA School of Art and Design in Paris. He started out working as an illustrator for the press (Atmosphère, Lire, Libération, etc.) and in advertising (Chanel, Hermès, John Lobb, Paris Plages, etc.) and publishing. Operating either solo or as part of a collaboration, he has illustrated a great many children's books, in addition to a handful of comics, including Soirs de Paris and Le Chemin des Trois Places, which would leave their mark on a new generation of authors. Since the early days of his career, François Avril has been continually on the lookout for new modes of graphic expression, creating a world that is both utterly distinctive and constantly evolving.
François Avril explores different techniques as the inspiration takes him ? acrylics, Indian ink, pencil, colour crayons,... His supports are equally varied. As comfortable working on paper in a small format as on large-scale canvases, Avril produces paintings and drawings of great delicacy, purity and elegance, sometimes flirting with abstraction.This is an artist who loves to travel, and to wander freely, and who keeps returning to his favourite themes, to the landscapes that have resonated with him emotionally, to Brittany, Paris, Brussels, Tokyo and New York. Places filtered by memory, imaginary and imagined, dreamlike: Avril is not seeking to represent reality as he sees it, but rather the essence of what he sees.
François Avril has been a presence on the contemporary art market, both French and international, for over a decade now, and exhibits at fairs such as the Brussels Art Fair (BRAFA), Art Paris and the Hong Kong Art Fair. His works have been the focus of several publications including Paris-Tokyo-New York-Bruxelles, published by Éditions Champaka in 2006, and Artbook, recueil de dessins, peintures, gravures et esquisses, published in 2012 by Éditions du Chêne and some are held today in private collections, some in public ones such as the CNBDI Comics Museum in Angoulême and the Glénat Fund for Creation and Heritage in Grenoble.