ZEST // FRANCK NOTO (FR)
Zest is the ambassador of a style of painting freely riding down the long road of abstraction, where color is an essence and movement his driving force.
Challenging any notion of aesthetic stagnation, he strives with rigor to create artworks that synthesize his various influences, giving life to a unique and identifiable style.
Born in Montpellier, he practices a painting resolutely abstract without losing sight of his figurative impulses nor of the graffiti early days that have seen him grow up. In 1995, with an irrefutable asset, that of drawing, Zest came face to face with the first street art tags and graffiti of a pioneer generation.
The vibrant memories of spray-paint cans clattering in his backpack, his gazing alongside the vacant lots, shaped the young man who saw an opportunity to assert his artistic personality. Very young, he endeavored to educate his eye and get the hang as an autodidact.
Later, with his TDM crew, he immersed himself in a fraternal setting that led him to sign frescoes from New York to Noumea and the main European capitals. From higher and higher walls to increasing projects, Zest has been refining his style and pushing back the classic codes of graffiti.
From his workshop, he works inhabited by these early emotions, in a style flirting with abstract art. His universe is one of suggestion: the letters of his pseudonym, cubic forms, but especially feminine contours.
For having been sharpening his sense of observation for many years, he has gained absolute mastery in gesture and proportions and the most sophisticated postures succeed one another. Under his various tools (markers, rollers, spray-paint cans, brushes and paintbrushes), the curves of a woman are generously magnified even though she remains elusive in the flow of colors and lines.
This is where Zest’s experimental character and his attraction for abstraction are expressed. His compositions are built around the gesture, the contemporary reminiscence of a wild-style graffiti that has definitely left its mark on him.
With these lines crossing sprayed paint projections, then biting on rigidly applied flat surfaces, Zest faces us to the culmination of a work carefully considered, almost meditated.
An abstraction of forms that he also designs through sculpture where he has found a new way to perpetuate his exploring ambitions. Also, the world of design and fashion haven’t left him indifferent as evidenced by his collaboration with Philippe Starck and Agnès b.
But talking about Zest’s work is obviously linked to a discourse on color, an obsession for him. Zest combines colors as other conjugate words, and diffuses with grace a nuanced structured visual language, willingly sparkling.
It’s his identifiable and invigorating language. He confesses having a weakness for the most fluorescent tints and reveals doing a remarkable search for combinations of colors by working with gradients or chiaroscuros. From pastel hues to sharper tones, even venturing to the exercise of black, white and grays, Zest’s compositions attract the eye and flatter us with so many harmonies.
At the crossroad of various influences that he draws from the whole art history, Zest’s artwork calls in an undeniable technical aspect, a legacy of long years of constancy and curiosity. His painting enriches the contemporary graffiti movement as well as the collections of painting lovers in the broad sense of the term. His style continues to evolve as he listens to his own plastic aspirations and honors his promises with talent.