Though the term ‘film noir’ was first coined in reference to cinema – Hollywood films of the 1940s and 50s took on a melodramatic quality, all sultry femmes fatales, long swinging trench coats and ill-fated protagonists – it has since been repurposed for other deserving media. And in the case of French illustrator Yann Le Bec, whose personal work in black paint has long assumed a sinister undertone, it couldn’t be more appropriate. His drawings resonate with a quiet sense of foreboding, equal parts a tribute to his predecessors in comic art (think Charles Burns’ Black Hole) and a playful vision all his own, and they positively drip with quintessential filmic character.
Le Bec’s new exhibition at London's KK Outlet, entitled Dog Days, views something like an illustrated version of an old French movie – latent symbolism, melancholic characters and ambiguous meanings all included. From the reflection of a contemplative boy caught in a dressing table mirror, to a girl in a bathing suit bending to pick up a knife, these momentary glimpses into Le Bec’s illustrated universe serve as a delicious entrée to his personal work. May he follow up with a novel or an animated short film before we have too long to ponder how each series of events plays out.
Happy Monday! #anotherhappymonday
Yann Le Bec: Dog Days runs until July 30, 2016 at KK Outlet, London.