Monsieur Lebleu chose this pseudonym after watching Bruno Dumont’s P’tit Quinquin series. He fell for one of the characters with an atypical profile, and borrowed their name. In real life, Vincent is approaching forty and his work consists in mastering digital creation tools to make images for websites and video.
Two years ago, he decided to take up painting to create and manufacture with his own hands, and to make things that were “palpable”. His inspiration comes from pop art and vector geometry and he adds a touch of childhood, games and some of his passion for sneakers, which among other things, results in colourful puzzles for a classic pair. And that’s just for starters…
Monsieur Lebleu and his workshop with POSCA at the SNEAKERS SUMMIT, on January 2020 at the Paris Event Centre at La Villette.
You’ve developed a puzzle concept based on classic sneakers, can you tell us more about that?
The puzzle idea comes from the style that’s starting to emerge in my work. I am trying more and more to give volume to my creations using laser cutting. Basically, this is how I proceed: I start by drawing the model on the computer. This model is then laser cut in the (wood) medium. The outline of the sneaker and the elements that make it up are separated, the internal elements are thicker than the black outline for a relief effect and shadow play once the custom is finished. Then I paint each piece in white so that the colour of the Posca will stand out better when the sneaker is customised. The outline that will have the shapes is painted black, to reinforce the relief effect.
Can you tell us some more about your workshop?
Well, it’s pretty simple really:
1/ The visitor chooses a puzzle model, either the Jordan 1, Adidas Superstar or Reebok Pump.
2/ I offer them a “Starter pack” made up of the puzzle pieces and the frame to be used as a backing. The sneaker is fixed on this frame so as to make it a work of art in its own right, which can be put on the wall or given as a gift.
3/ During the workshop, you customize your own puzzle with Posca, the possibilities are endless!
4/ Once finished, the sneaker is fixed in the frame and the visitor leaves with it.
For this workshop, 1,250 pieces were painted, then all the puzzles were put together to make the event packs. It’s a big job!
Finally, if you only had to keep one model of sneaker to customise, which one would it be?
Being a great sneaker fan myself, there are plenty that come to mind, but I’ll say Air Force One for the areas of expression it offers and the aura it conveys. As for the colours, I’ll go for fluo shades :), I use a lot of fluo! I also have a custom project related to this that which should be ready soon, so stay tuned!