Ardif is a French street artist based in Paris. During his studies of architecture, he is interested in the aesthetics of the building and the machine at different scales. Today, his work explores possible hybridisations between architecture / machine and nature. His series of “mechanimals” is the illustration of this graphic universe and is visible on the walls of the capital. The natural symmetry of the animal allows a composition that plays on the contrast of materials, scales and textures. This urban fauna creates a contrast that questions us about the impact of the artificialisation of nature or, conversely, of the wild and primitive instinct to be found in our urban life.
His art is largely influenced by “land art”. A trend in contemporary art, “land art” appeared in the Western United States at the end of the 1960s. Land artists such as Christo and Jeanne Claude, Robert Morris (1931 – 2018) and Christine O’Loughlin (1948) use elements from nature (sand, water, rock, wood etc.) or a natural space to create their works, like Ardif using walls as his support. Land artworks also have the particularity of being ephemeral, as in the case of Ardif, who plays with the ephemerality of his works. Nature becomes a work in its own right.
Ardif prepares his drawings beforehand, which he then glues to walls. His ephemeral works are characteristic of street art. The artist explores architecture, materials and the duality between the animal depicted and architectural buildings. The artists’ works illustrate a symmetry between nature and the industrial world.
Through his art, Ardif creates a giant “bestiary”. In this way, he pays tribute to zoology and graphic design. The notion of balance is characteristic of his work as a whole, and this balance is illustrated by the symmetry of his drawings. The composition of each drawing is meticulous and very detailed. There is a striking contrast between the texture of the animals’ fur or feathers and the architectural structure.
Through his works, Ardif tells the story of Man’s relationship with innovation and nature: man has evolved by innovating, and each innovation is inspired by nature. There is also an ecological dimension to the artist’s work. The part representing the animal is perfectly balanced with that of industrial architecture: if the latter were to take over, this would be indicative of ecological disaster. On the other hand if nature were to take over, insect invasions could occur, according to the artist.