Stephane Pillon; from a rebellious graffitist to a contemporary artist

French artist blends graffiti with abstract in his colourful paintings.

ASSILAH - French artist Stephane Pillon, who is taking part along with several other international artists in the 41st edition of the International Cultural Moussem of Assilah, is a very unusual artist, one of a kind.

“I was a graffitist, painting many graffitis on the walls of metros, streets and even on trucks in Paris when I was still young as the adrenalin of breaking the law was high,” said the 50-year old French artist.

But Pillon kept his artistic roots on his drawings as he now works on action painting with writing and graffiti.

“My work is a superposition of geometric shapes such as triangles with a lot of drippings with tags, which gives a hyper-dynamic effect that retransmits all the energy I have when I used to paint in the streets,” said the outgoing French artist.

His colourful paintings reflect a special contemporary art which blends graffiti with abstract.

Stephane Pillon
Colourful paintings

The transition from the rebellious art of graffiti to abstract painting came as Pillon was maturing with age.

“At a certain moment, I realised that as I was ageing, I couldn’t do what I used to do on the street walls. Outdoor graffiti painting had become dangerous besides its illegal aspect,” Pillon told Middle East Online.

In 2016, he took painting on canvas seriously after ten years of work with dozen artists.

“I still do mural painting, but legally. When I turned 50 years old this year, I’m not looking for peace and tranquillity,” he said, adding that his first participation in a cultural event in Morocco was a thrilling experience because it gave him the opportunity to explore other artistic styles and exchange ideas in the painting workshop.

Among the artists taking part in the workshop is French-Moroccan artist-engraver Najia Saad.

“My artistic works are mainly based on the fauna and flora,” Saad told Middle East Online.

Najia Saad, French-Moroccan artist-engraver
Najia Saad, French-Moroccan artist-engraver

“I have longed for the opportunity to come to my native country to discover Moroccan artists and share our skills and swap some artworks,” she said, adding that workshop was giving her plenty of ideas.

Saad is hoping to break into the artistic scene in Morocco and exhibit her artworks in the North African country.