Inspired by the French and Belgian comics his father collected growing up in Marseille, Cédric Pierre-Bez – known by his artist moniker Cépé – had great admiration for his country’s biggest cartoonists, such as Giraud, Druillet and Loisel. After early childhood fantasies of being a thief, of all things, he realised that he could instead have whatever he wanted by drawing it rather than stealing it: “At that age, I had the impression that by drawing an object, it belonged to me,” he tells It’s Nice That. “But I came to understand that an illustrator is never satisfied, because the object of their drawings never belongs to them – that’s what maintains their desire and creativity.”
Later influenced by the distorted aesthetics of the expressionist movement, the cubism of Picasso and the colours of Derain, Cédric began to develop his own graphic style. But of all his influences, the most obvious is Fernand Léger, whose mechanised bodies share clear similarities with the subjects of his own work. Made using an iPad and Wacom Cintiq, these curved figures are surrounded by reoccurring motifs of water, plants and fruit, which are references to Cédric’s environment: “My inspiration comes from the sun, light and colours of southern France, where I was born and still live today,” he says. “I also have an obsession for the human form and the choreography of bodies.” Predominantly concerned with the female figure, Cédric explains that he feels the need to repeatedly draw it as there is “always something I can’t quite catch”.
With a wide range of other reference material, in fields such as dance, photography and music, Cédric says he would also like to branch into these other disciplines. After finding an agent for his illustrations, he aims to translate the composition and harmony of the digital bodies in his work into a physical context: “I would like to pursue my dream of working with a motion designer and stage director for the visuals of a ballet.”
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