Death, sex, surrealism

Theo Mercier.

He’s been called the last dadaist, the new surrealist, a penis-obsessed maniac and the most scary artist whose art may give spectators nightmares for years after seeing his shows.

He is 30, French, extraordinarily talented and – what I find most important about him – he is not morbidly serious about himself.

Even when he creates surreal death (Desperanzo project) he stays playful:

Well, maybe not there. But here the playfulness is obvious:

Yesterday, as I was walking through a surrealist exhibition at the Pompidou Centre, I was NOT surprised to see a lot of his works (and many of the ticket-selling penis-related projects) almost immediately after the first two halls with works by the founding fathers of surrealism.

Here they are, all of them crazy guys, greeting exhibition’s visitors at the entrance. I wonder if you can put names to their faces, or rather their names to these faces. Most people – and a lot of people from the art world – can’t. And this is not about not knowing names. It is about not connecting rational knowledge of names and works under those names to real people. To remember someone’s face (unless it is very unusual) we need to connect emotionally, don’t we?


Which is further proven by the exceptions: Picasso and Dali. They are resonating with people’s feelings, not just talking to them at the rational level.

The exhibition is packed with surrealist exhibits of sex and violence.

Cindy Sheman (above) is not the worst.

And of course healthy people get crowded around works with lighthearted take on sexuality: the space in front of Theo’s works is always packed. He is not simply attaching penises to everything that comes across his way.

There is a subtle message behind most of his genitalia endowed ceramics. I am not going to spoil the fun now. Just have a smile while looking at it.


This gallery can help you get a bit closer to some of the items:

Enjoying the cocktail:

The happy couple:

I encourage all my readers to visit his website, and enjoy his talent.

Make sure you remember his face:


He was not born just to be wild. He may become the new headmaster of surrealism.

Not that I am wishing his head to start off a new row in the exhibit gracing at the entrance. I mean, I wish the guy a long life full of new projects.

Thank you, the Daily post for inspiration!

P.S. Oh, and one thing I believe is important. The manager of Centre Georges Pompidou shall be fired. I can’t remember the last time I’ve seen a toilet / restroom/ WC in such a horrendous state as in this building. Half of cabins are barricaded by cleaning buckets because they’re out of order. The other half is overflowing with sewage because of clogging. The smell! The hygiene! It should be a national disgrace for France that one of its finest museums has been brought to this state of despair. The theatre begins at the cloackroom.


    1. This is true, but the important thing is that these “strangest things” stimulate emotional reaction and thinking processes that lead the spectator to new ideas or experiences. If they fail at this, it’s no art for that particular spectator )

      1. I was browsing through your blog, and I love it! It reflects your passion for art, a passion that I share, even though I have still a lot to study!
        Your articles are clever and detailed, something that we can all use for a better understanding of art and to explore new points of you. Very refreshing to see this on the internet, and not just in galleries and academies!

          1. I am going to take my time to read some of your old posts, because they seem all very interesting. Then sure, i’ll let you know which one intrigues me the most 🙂

It would be grand to hear from you now!

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