Laurent Durieux. His name has become synonymous with stellar, mind-blowing art. Laurent’s use of bold colors and his exquisitely rendered illustrations make you take second, third and fourth looks at his complex, multi-layered artwork. We are so excited to have Laurent working with us at Hero Complex Gallery! He created two stunning versions of an officially-licensed Buck Rogers piece for our first show, Weapon of Choice, which sold out extremely quickly. A special maple wood variant edition was also created- one was given away to a lucky Hero Complex customer from our opening night and two others were auctioned off with 100% of the proceeds going to charity.
Laurent lives in Brussels, Belgium, with his wife and two lovely daughters. Besides creating beautiful limited edition art, you can find Laurent teaching graphic design with his twin brother, Jack, in a private college in Brussels. And although he is from Belgium, he feels like his work is very much influenced by great American artists such as Norman Bel Geddes, Arthur Radebaugh, Edward Hopper, Norman Rockwell, and Brad Holland. But his greatest influence and personal hero is French comic artist, Jean Giraud, aka Moebius.
After contributing a piece entitled, “François à l’Americaine”, for a show celebrating the French director, Jacques Tati, Laurent was selected by Lürzer’s Archive magazine as one of the top 200 illustrators for 2012. This distinction has provided him with new opportunities to produce art for an American audience that has previously been unfamiliar with his great talent.
When I asked Laurent to tell me about his process, he had this to say: “Well, I first draw my studies on paper, on bits and pieces trying to figure out what to do and how to do it. Then when I'm satisfied with the general idea, I start drawing on computer with a digital drawing palette. I used to do everything by hand before but I couldn't get the sort of details and nuances I get today working in digital. Also I work much faster (the notion of rapidity being all relative mind you as it takes me 2 to 3 full weeks to complete an image) Once my drawing is finished, I start achieving the shadings and most importantly, I get rid of all the black outlines! You would be amazed to see the difference before and after I have removed the black outlines!! When you get rid of that outline, the comic feel which I am so enamored with, disappears, and my image suddenly becomes something else…”
Inspired by “the future that never was”, Laurent crafts his retro-futuristic designs when he’s not teaching. Although he does not consider himself a geek or nerd, he does share that his favorite film of all time is Blade Runner. In his own words, “This movie is perfection, period. The music, the story, the actors, the atmosphere- I love everything in that movie. To me, it’s way more than just a science fiction movie, it’s much more.”
Much like Blade Runner, when you examine Laurent’s art- it’s much more than what you see at first glance. His meticulous attention to detail brings his pieces to life- and for those of us lucky enough to have a Durieux piece at home, we can stare in awe and wonder at these works, discovering new nuances every time we take a closer look.