Artboard 12
Visual artist

Thomas Wattebled

Praise of the failure – entangled rackets, compelled puzzles, beach chairs facing the sea, too high to be used, but also, the insistence of a ghost catchphrase on block walls. In his works, Thomas Wattebled, a young artist based in Orléans (FR), uses a visual language far away from the art field. Through manipulations sometimes pushed to the absurd, he organizes the coexistence of different languages such as sport, leasure and everyday life in a sophisticated interaction of shapes always related to Art History. As illustrated by artworks « Coûte que coûte (2018) », a series of thousands pieces puzzles representing rural landscapes, completed by force in a premeditated encounter, a kind of failure carefully planned. A failure enhanced with a coating layer before being mounted on a frame, an aesthetic that reminds us the landscapes paintings of the 17th & 18th century. Can the failures in everyday life become an achievement when they are part of the artistic process?

The failure, the encounter, the collision are the raw material of Thomas Wattebled who fully handles it. Artworks « Timeout » (2016-2018), a series of sculptures made with badminton rackets represent all of these things that we undertake. From the useless and laborious do-it-yourself to the sport match with friends waiting for the afternoon to pass. A long wait but not idle which materializes itself through the physical encounter. Like a melting of the materials in which the strings of the rackets entangle as an optical illusion, a glitch in the 3D picture. As a resistance to competition and to the society of performance, these artworks invite the viewer to enter a timeout and enjoy the suspended moment.

It is with these manipulations of objects, these encounters, these collisions, this relation between the sport world and his personal life that the artist questions the place of the mankind in a performance-driven society, through artworks which seem naive and funny but that are much more than an easy joke, and that’s the whole point of his work.

Elodie Bernard

Inspirations