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Permanent / Dubaï

LA PART DES ANGES Images mentales
30 Avr 2012 > 20 Mai 2013 / Marseille - France

LA TROCADE Collective Exhibition
Dec 2012 / Marseille - France

LA CITERNE DU PANIER Images mentales
14 Nov 2012 > 16 Jan 2013 / Marseille - France

LA TROCADE Collective Exhibition
Dec 2011 / Marseille - France

MEHLI ARTS Collective Exhibition
2008 / Moulin de Hundsbach - France
MEMENTO MORI1 : critique by Caroline Prosper
The Images mentales will evoke to anyone – or will elucidate – a multitude of memories, dreams, intimate and even sometimes unconscious feelings. In a historical perspective, they are part of a tradition, the fantasy that exists both in the discursive and visual arts. The intention here is not to trace the genealogy of it, but it is still possible to develop bridges between the work of art from the past and those Mahn Kloix provides us today.

The series could be interpreted as a tarot of Marseille, a kind of oracle, which is to be watched, contemplated and considered before it could deliver its message. This causes us to think about the Jeu de Marseille, a tarot that was revisited by the surrealists in 1941 as they took refuge in the villa Bel-Air and this reference is by no means accidental. When I see Mahn Kloix's allegorical portraits, that combine the same plain elements such as disparate as a young girl in a pink bathing suit and a concrete city, I cannot help think of Lautréamont "As beautiful as..."2 or Jerôme Bosh paintings3, where heaven and hell, innocence and debauchery, horror and refinement come together, come to mind as well. A similar darkness appears in the Images mentales. This is evident in the characters who inhabit the world of Jerôme Bosh and Lautréamont : hybrid creatures, faintly human and animal beings, a touch herbal and a touch mechanical. With Mahn Kloix also, the difference between human beings and animals is dissolved. At worst, animals are substitute for human organs, at best they are their alter ego. Even if some of them are usually associated with great virtues, like elephants to wisdom, turtle to longevity, their presence here always seems threatening. Some others are immediately identifiable as damaging: the black cat and the crow, but also the varan, or the fish (mostly associated to birth and life) dying on the floor. They announce death. Some other sinister omens including a handless clock, a crucifix, a skull and even a black dahlia4 support this assumption.

The compositions are obviously contemporary vanities that encourage the individual to meditate on the ephemeral and vain nature of the earthly existence. Is Mahn Cloix fatalistic? Not necessarily. Memento mori means that time is passing, but also invites us to seize the day...

However, the danger here is truly present. It threatens the human characters and their apparent eternal youth, even if they look more like inanimate objects than living beings. The use of these glazed bodies and faces, almost all taken from an image bank on the internet, is not innocent. The artist chose these fashion plates, these dehumanized people, and this process to embody our time. As he does so, he moves away from the surrealists intentions as they were defined by André Breton in the Surrealism Manifesto: "[…] Dictated by the thought, in the absence of any control exercised by reason, exempt from any aesthetic or moral concern […] ". For, the Images Mentales exist in a well-defined timeframe - in the West today - to the point where they become a stinging representation of it. Let's imagine that all the fantastical symbols listed above just served to build a fashion-magazine illustration... The possible shift in meaning from a dreamlike image to an advertising poster is precisely what troubles us and causes us to question this fine line.

Neither wizard, neither fortune-teller, Mahn Kloix has at the end built a story without beginning nor end in which he associates cultural references, notably popular ones, and imaginative delirium. As to whether the Images Mentales mean the triumph of imagination over the reality, or the opposite, let's see...

1 "Remember you will die".
2 "As beautiful as the retractility of the claws in birds of prey; or, again, as the unpredictability of muscular movement in sores in the soft part of the posterior cervical region; or, rather, as the perpetual motion rat-trap which is always reset by the trapped animal and which can go on catching rodents indefinitely and works even when it is hidden under straw; and, above all, as the chance juxtaposition of a sewing machine and an umbrella on a dissecting table! "
3 The reference here is not accidental either, first because Jérôme Bosh was recognised by the surrealists and Lautréamont as their master, then because the painter used, amongst other symbols, those linked to the tarot of Marseille.
4 In reference to the unsolved murder of Elizabeth Ann Short) July 29, 1924 – January 15, 1947) known as the Black Dahlia, and to James Ellroy's eponymous novel, published in 1987.
8E ART #22 : nov - dec 2012 / article by Alexandre Lévêque
Artist and graphic designer, Mahn Kloix plays the demiurge by remixing reality to invent new creatures or impossible situations. An enthusiast about digital creation, he adds, takes off, reproduces, destroys, and breaks up images to bring to life to his dreamlike yet real, Mental Images.
VENTILO #309 : nov 28 - dec 18 2012 / article by Coralie Bernard

La Citerne du Panier invites us to travel through the mind and thoughts of Mahn Kloix who tells us about his dreams through 13 surprising compositions. 

The portraits by Mahn Kloix are not only about the aesthetic of the shapes, as is often the case for poster advertising or magazine covers and on which Mahn Kloix's work makes an interesting comparison.

The artist spent a whole year trying to convey the visions that he has when half-asleep, just before falling asleep. These images reveal stories that are commonplace but also hold the essential element. This idea is current; we also talk about it when referring to experimental pop, "hypnotic pop" as it is also called.

The allegorical images by Mahn Kloix represent hybrid creatures or surrealist scenes in which the human being tends to break up, as illustrated by the young girl in a pink swimming suit who seems to be falling surrounded by buildings, or the man with a giant raven wing as his right arm. Strong symbols that are intelligently scattered within all the compositions: a handless clock, a crucifix, a human skull, a black Dahlia… these chimeras are from images gathered on the internet and transformed in many ways in order to give rise to many emotions, while being as close as possible to the artist's fantastic visions; emotions that are certainly hidden deep down in our unconscious.
MARSEILLE OFF 2013 : nov 11 2012 / article by Stephane Sarpaux
We came across the work of Mahn Kloix a year ago at the Trocade in Marseille. Now he is exhibiting his new series "Mental Images" at La Citerne du Panier until the 16th January. Meanwhile, the Trocade is getting ready for its next edition in December at Les Docks de la Joliette.

Artist and graphic designer, Mahn Kloix creates images, combining and transforming images that he finds on the web and that constitute the essence of his work. An enthusiast about digital creation and its infinite possibilities, he adds, takes off, reproduces, destroys, and breaks up images in order to get to what he wants to convey: a vision of things or sometimes just a simple moment.

His images are disturbing, intriguing, surprising and most of the time they refer to what's most intimate in our imagination and to what's often close to childhood memories. That's why these mental images appeal to everyone.
SORTIR EN PROVENCE : nov 14 2012 / article by Sophie Sutra Fourcade
The young artist, Mahn Kloix, is exhibiting his work "Mental Images" at La Citerne du Panier until 16th January 2013.

There you will be able to discover surrealist yet contemporary images born from the mind of this talented artist. Without doubt it is an inventive and original body of work.

Mahn Kloix is an imaginative young man with many strings to his bow– an artist, a model and a graphic designer. As a digital artist, his raw material -  images -  create for us his modern and surrealist vision of man. The images themselves are gathered from a worldwide online database and constitute the essence of his work.

After a movie, on the streets, he let on a few secrets, “My dreams are the starting point of all my creations and ideas. During the night or early in the morning, I get a feeling, an impression from those dreams, and it's while being half-asleep that my works take shape. Like visions, the images appear in my head, I start my research on a data base, I pick a character, I cut it, I transform it and put it in a different scene that's part of my world”.

Mahn Kloix creates a totally surrealist vision, which encourages us to wonder about the place of man in society with characters transposed in minimalistic backgrounds and always accompanied by an animal.

Through this series of 13 images, Mahn Kloix exhibits a whole year of work. It was during the Trocade in Marseille in 2011, that the La Citerne du Panier team spotted the young artist. Back then, they offered him to exhibit in exchange for one image (the exhibition's visual).

It's happening. La Citerne du Panier will be presenting his work from the 14th November to the 13th January.  The opening night, 14th November, starts at 7pm.

As an aside, Mahn Kloix is the model who's posing with an octopus on his head on the visual of Cinehorizontes festival.

Definitely one to watch, even if sometimes, he might seem difficult to follow!