Who is Ador, this discreet graffiti artist in demand all over the world?

His friendly animal characters, his fellows with big eyes and long noses, are exhibited all over the world, from Paris to Grenoble, from London to Montreal, from Shanghai to Los Angeles, via Palestine and Madagascar. But it is especially in Reunion and Nantes, where he is from, that the mural frescoes of Ador are the most visible. Aged 37, their author, who still lives in the suburbs of Nantes, has brought together 18 years of paintings in a monograph entitled Olibrius, a beautiful 240-page book put on sale with the arrival of spring. “Eighteen is the age of majority. It’s a good time to take stock, both anarchic and tidy,” says Ador.

Ador’s monograph is called Olibrius. – F.Brenon/20Minutes

The 30-year-old, who cultivates discretion about his personal life and prefers to hide his face from the media, discovered graffiti at the end of high school. “I was attracted by this growing culture. Who were these people who persisted in drawing like that for everyone to see? I went to see it and I quickly took a liking to it. He buys a stock of bombs and responds to a first call for projects, “a scene of characters on the facade of a town hall”. The projects follow one another, his style, all in roundness, asserts itself and, in parallel, Ador integrates the school of fine arts where he multiplies the artistic encounters but receives no encouragement from the institution to persevere in the street. art. “It was a bit of a subculture for them. I was told that I could not live on it. It motivated me even more. »

“What motivates me is burlesque, entertaining the gallery”

Ador is now “over-solicited” for public and private commissions, whether for festivals, a museum, a gallery or paintings on a building. Often solo, sometimes in collaboration, like the many frescoes created with Semor in Nantes. “I am like a child trying to tell stories. I have characters that often come back like the penguin or the chick. I sometimes bounce back on topical subjects but what motivates me is the burlesque, the absurd, to amuse the gallery. »

The designer Ador, here in his studio.
The designer Ador, here in his studio. – F.Brenon/20Minutes

His work leads him from time to time to paint on monumental supports, up to 18 m high, in the basket. “Once launched, it’s quite fast, generally two or three days maximum. But everything is decided and calculated in advance in the workshop, the colors, the proportions, the perspectives. At first I was a little dizzy but, with experience and concentration, it gets better. »

“When I have finished a fresco, it no longer belongs to me”

Those who say they are “disturbed” by the drawings of Jérôme Bosch or Tomi Ungerer also appreciate the interactions of the street. “When you paint outside, there are immediate exchanges with the public. It’s different from a gallery where people have to push the door to meet you. Some tell me that they find it unbearable. Others ask questions or say thank you. It’s a great reward. The ephemeral dimension of street art, the possibility of being covered by a tag or another work, does not frighten him more than that. “That’s part of the thing. When I have finished a fresco, it no longer belongs to me. It has to live. This is also why it is immortalized by photography. Or by a book like this. »

Where will Ador be in 18 years? Will he have another, even richer monograph to present? “I don’t see myself that far,” he says. Even if all of this is a game, it still requires high standards and a lot of energy. Sometimes I have the impression of reaching the end, other times it seems inexhaustible. In the meantime, his next work will take him to Paris, Chicago and Nantes, once again. “The idea is to be alive and let it be known. »

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