I have known Nicolas Pol for as long as I can remember and besides the obvious physical traits that come with age, the young man hasn’t really changed.
Cheek, wit and subversion have always been part of his character, like the dark fantasy that still drives him today. From our childhood, I remember fights, the stench from wet beds, long walks along desolated roads and estranged neighbourhoods from the center of Paris to the depth of Great Britain, chasing girls. Not forgetting our first and ongoing experiences with drugs. Little Angels Runnin’out Country Kings, the art group Mathias* and I founded consisted in vandalism painting, heroic acts of stealing, language abuse and rap gang attitude. Nico’s name was Guil Tee. Drawing all the time, rapping, quoting Cocteau and Ducasse at a very young age, being always punished at School or running away from home.
We grew apart at some stage, maybe for a few years, whilst trying to find the way. As life has it, we were quickly brought together again when his artistic career suddenly took off, the day he graduated with merits and had his first show curated at the Fondation Cartier in Paris.
Discovering his work after what seemed like such a long time apart, made me realise what form of fiction parasitising game it all had become after the Sorbonne University of Cinema.
Constructive introspection, a warped mind, and the ill-treatment of ideas to conceive fake ready mades, idiot concepts or machines.
The multi national corporations we all know are wiped away and replaced by the ever-growing Paizer consortium. I will not mention the deranged characters which haunt these dark corners. Entities of the grotesque, adopted and revisited like nowhere else.
Words and lines find a different meaning when churned out by Pol. Mixed and matched to create explosive structures of toxic statements. Hidden collectibles in a rimbaldesque patois of his knowledge.
In the PS4 version of GTA 5, twenty seven Peyote cactus buttons are hidden, and can be consumed by the player. The player will seemingly find himself in the body of a random animal. If the animal somehow dies, the hallucination will end, and the player will find himself back in his own body, but with the means to keep the zone in terror and submission. Such are, to my mind, the shining virtues of Nico’s lost langage.
On closer inspection and whilst trying to join the dots, everything makes sense from one painting or one show to the other. The artist is fighting invisible forces of Control. Noir rushing of his paranoid imagination creating terrible figments of resistance…
“Congratulations, hippie scum, and welcome to a world of inconvenience.”**
Mathias, Nicolas elder brother, my bff.
Thomas Pynchon’s Inherent Vice Lieutenant Bigfoot Bjornsen echoes Walter Sobchak from the 1998 Coen brothers film “Smokey, my friend, you are entering a world of pain.