Born in 1967 in Arras (France). Lives and works in Paris.
Rather than drawing, painting, or even sculpture, Stéphane Calais gives himself over entirely to the line, the stroke, that elastic gesture that leaves a trace, circulates, races, runs, stretches endlessly, looping, coiling, duplicating or colouring itself, sometimes even escaping itself. Because the line has its own autonomy, it even exists outside the frame surrounding the canvas or paper, spreading onto walls, ceilings and floors, sometimes becoming three-dimensional, mobile, sculptural but never losing its visual qualities. Floral and plant forms, solid colours and portraits… anything is possible. Is his work abstract or figurative? Does it relate to illustration or comics? Is it kitsch or decorative? These aren’t the right questions. Stéphane Calais practices an art which hybridises forms, practices, media, scorning labels as well as genres. It is the ever freer artistic gesture that prevails over everything in a sparkling pallet of colours. Trained at Beaux-Arts de Nîmes and then at the Institut des Hautes Études en Arts Plastiques in Paris, Stéphane Calais regularly produces wall paintings for institutions around the world. His work was also recently the subject of a solo exhibition at the Palais de Tokyo (2016) and in 2019 he participated in the Lyon Biennale.
Photo credit: © M.Taureilles