Eric Lacombe’s work is concentrated on exorcising the material side of humans, on ripping off the flesh to gaze inside the darkest corners of the human mind. Melancholy mixed with sadness, anxiety and fear, are primary emotions of exploit.
The creation of this self-taught painter is to me an underworld delicacy, because I think that after we die and decompose (presuming there is something after death), what is left of us is the energy, the vibe of who we were. Most of the time we’re not an amalgam of rainbows and happy shit, but rather, we are the marks left on us. The things we cannot shake off, the secrets we take with us to the grave.
Eric paints the demons of humanity, the faces of the nobodies we are, because identity is human and when we die, we leave humanity. The various textures of his canvas underline the ephemerality of people, of any being with a heartbeat really. I also associate his creations with my spooky dreams, with their undefined characters, extraordinary beings, grotesque beings, which are probably reflections of my ego.
Somehow I’d expect to see a jury (if there is a judgement day) with the faces of his paintings. But nonetheless, each time when I see a new post from Lacombe, I feel a cold thrill down my spine and that’s one of the reasons of why I’m so fascinated by his work.
Eric Lacombe was born Lyon, France and he refuses to give titles to his paintings because he likes the fact that people build their own stories, based on the things they lived and felt and thought. However, there are a few guidelines to his work which he exposed in the statement he gave to me: “melancholy is their leitmotiv, with it’s slithering coils enshrouded in darkness: I love the feeling/ mood that living things/people have whenever they look dead, or asleep, or tired of life. A tear, a regret. Imagine the very moment before death when life is ending, when something new begins: this moment is truly precious, everything is silent, and everyone is alone, closing their eyes and thinking—I want to evoke that loneliness, that combination of perceptions which ultimately results in a feeling of silence (nothing matters except you), fear (fear of what’s next) and happiness (terrible things ending). These perturbing descriptions of mental and physical sufferings incarnate the symptoms of an uncontainable desire to celebrate, through a blatant empathizing of the most horrendous and yet captivating aspects of the human soul, the anxiety and self-awareness that tends to anticipate the death of any living creature—I want to express the idea of things that have lived, survived, and fought, and I want to talk about the unfathomable mystery of the subconscious, with its infernal fractures and labyrinths. “
He sees his characters as “half- human/half- immortal hybrids. “ They coexist in the parallel realities (by integrating past, present and future as a whole), we constantly run away from.
Overall his work is meant to challenge the viewers to face the emotions of their “nightmares” through their own interpretations because they (nightmares) are nothing more than the essence of our most buried and intimate fears – the fact that we cannot hide from our fate forever, because we’re limited by death, by our temporality.
His most recent exibition, was at Last Rites Gallery, in New York. The opening was on March 5th and the exhibition ended on April 15th.
Eric Lacombe, is an international success. He’s had dozens of solo and collective exhibitions in: France, Spain, Italy, USA, UK and Canada.
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