Tarik Chebli

b 1993 Nantes. Lives and works in Berlin.


I am fascinated by the strangeness and the mystery of nature. We discover features everyday that are always more surprising than others. There is something infinite in the secrets and diversity of nature. It reassures me, I feel good in wild environments. I lost my mother when I was 9 years old and I was told that I should not worry because I would see her again someday. So I grew up with the hope that this would happen. In an increasingly streamlined world, it is not easy to have faith. Our era epitomises the “disenchantment of the world” as said by Max Weber. The phenomena that were once explained by divine magic are now explained by science. These days the severity of the consequences are less harsh when we talk about our beliefs, especially in the field of art. Painting this pristine, uninhabitable, unattainable, uncontrollable nature is a bit like a rejection of the increasingly rational man who no longer believes in magic.

Our society no longer wants to leave room for the unexpected, the randomness that gives a charm to life. With technology, one tends to lean towards a society of total control, risk of the unknown is frightening, yet, I love the fear of non-control, I feel a lack of mysticism in my life and I find my happiness in what seems inexplicable, unattainable.

In the series lust, I paint a world of plants and insectoid with the most rare species, little known and strange possible as to show the infinite diversity of nature. The accumulation of elements gives a chaotic appearance to the painting, but if the painting is successful, the elements are found balanced in the composition, as united in a single movement, like a fragile ecosystem of chaotic appearance, but which in reality, is perfectly neat. The effects of mist bring a frightening side, stifling, we do not know what is behind, the man has no place here. The same goes for my other series of the seabed. What could be more mysterious than the abysses, which are synonymous with secrets, darkness and its immensity? The abysses to me are a representation of the inaccessible, of infinity, moreover in ancient Greek “abyssos” means “without background”. To evoke this secret life in painting is a real pleasure because these creatures are unknown, we have never touched them, we can only imagine their gelatinous, viscous or rough textures. We discover new species with appearances improbable to each new plunge into the depths, so in my paintings, a strange form, abstract, accidental, could well be the representation of a species still unknown.

The use of chance in my practice results from the fact that I notice that things done without will are much better, much more beautiful than those made in a concerted way. I find it ironic, as if it were useless and even counterproductive to want to control what is happening. I like to pour liquid paint on a canvas on the ground, sometimes by litres, it begins to slip into the thickness of the material, when on its way it meets the still wet acrylic it mixes with, as it meets water, it is diluted in it, when it covers dry paint, the colours merge, as it dries on a white surface, the relief is of bright colour and is highlighted by the darker hollows where the liquid has stagnated. What is surprising is that the more foolish the gesture, the more the effects have a chance to be interesting. This can also be scrapings, sprays of paints, brushes of rags, blows of hammer, knife, tear the canvas, burn it, cover it with different substances, aim and try combinations of different processes in order not to have the Mastery and to leave a place for surprises. I alternate phases pulsionnelles with concerted phases with figurative intent, sometimes for months, the different ways of painting will mix and feed each other. It will be possible to see elements made in a fraction of a second in violent and spontaneous way that adjoins elements made with a brush, over time, with precision and delicacy. The figurative elements convey a sense of the abstract elements, a scrape or a painting agglomeration will remind one of vegetation if a butterfly comes to rest on it. On the other hand, the abstract elements transmit to the figurative elements the retinal sensations which they provoke in the eye, due to the force of the transcribed gesture, to their colours, to their shapes and to their strange materialities. Some creatures are hidden, partially figured, and only remarked after more or less long observation, which, according to Odilon Redon, brings mystery to the painting: The sense of mystery should always reside in the ambiguity, in the Double, triple aspects, suspicions of appearance (images in pictures), shapes that are going to be, or that will be according to the state of mind of the looker.” My painting oscillates between the pleasure of the manipulation of materials and that of the reproduction of figures, I seek a certain beauty, that of tensions, of discrepancies, that of plastic acrylic paint become organic substance.



  • Education
  • 2012-2018 Master in plastic art research
  • Rennes, France Université Rennes2
  • 2011-2012 Applied Arts Upgrade
  • Nantes, France École Pivaut
  • 2011 General baccalaureate Economic and social series
  • Nantes, France Lycée Notre Dame
  • Solo Exhibitions
  • 2016 Salle de la Salorgne, Guerche de Bretagne, France
  • 2015 Dashop galerie, Bordeaux, France
  • 2014 Nature Acide, Galerie de la salle bleue, Cancale, France
  • Group Exhibitions
  • 2018 Enter Art Foundation, Gerichtshöfe Wedding, Berlin
  • 2018 Jeunes artistes émergents, galerie Akié Arichi, Paris, France
  • 2017 Kiss Kiss Bang Bang, galerie Arts et Essais, Rennes, France
  • 2017 Jeunes artistes émergents, galerie Akié Arichi, Paris, France
  • 2016 Hibiscus, galerie Arts et Essais, Rennes, France
  • 2015 Exposition d'art d'Ernée, France
  • Prizes
  • 2015 First prize, Crous Bretagne Painting Contest
  • 2015 Second prize, Beaux-arts Contest

To: Tarik Chebli

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

Works by Tarik Chebli

by Category
by Artist