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Axel-Théo Clémenti, Claks One, graffiti artist

14 September 2022 Portraits
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Axel-Théo Clementi is a recent graduate of the Graphic Design BTS, Communication and Digital Media option at GOBELINS Paris. He started his career as a graffiti artist during his studies. Discovered on social media by Omar Sy, he creates murals based on cinema and series. He worked for Netflix, Gaumont and Canal +. He also works in schools to sensitize children to the world of graffiti.




You graduated in 2021 with a Bachelor's degree in Graphic Design with a major in Communication and Digital Media, what has been your journey since then ?

When I graduated, my artist activity (which I started during my studies) was really beginning to grow and I felt that I needed time to practice and go further. So I decided not to pursue my studies in order to live off my art. 


I teach in primary and secondary schools with Da Strom, an organization in Nîmes that runs events and school activities around hip hop culture (graffiti, music, dance...).


I also worked for Netflix, Gaumont and Canal + on different design and event projects, I also launched my website and started promoting my work on social media to sell objects. 




How did you get discovered for these collaborations ? 

My work as a graffiti artist and as a painter revolves around pop culture. I painted several portraits of characters from movies and series that influenced me and I shared them online.


I posted a painting of Omar Sy, he shared it and I was contacted by Gaumont to make two murals, the first one on OSS 177 for the junket (a day dedicated to interviews) and the second one for the 10th anniversary of the movie The Intouchables


This is also how I was approached by Netflix USA to buy the rights for one of my paintings, which was aired in a show promoting their latest releases.


I also worked on promotional projects for Canal +. For the release of the season 2 of the series Validé where I did a live painting during 5 days at Châtelet-les-Halles in Paris just before the release of the series.





How did you get into street art, what do you like about it ?

I've been drawing since I was a kid and I started hip hop dancing at a very young age. I attended events where I met the Da Strom team with whom I currently work. That's what allowed me to explore graffiti


I quickly felt more comfortable with painting than with dancing. I met artists, graffiti artists and I started to make canvases, then murals and I never stopped since. 


It's a very playful technique, you press on a little cap and it sprays. You can achieve a wide range of effects and styles with the same tool. I love the challenge of working with large-scale murals, working at great heights and widths.




Spiderman, Claks one , Eole garden, Paris

Spiderman, Claks one , Eole garden, Paris XIXème 

What is the meaning of your nickname "Claks one" ?

At first it was "Clax", a mix between my last name and my first name. The "x" is not a very interesting letter to graffiti so I chose to replace it with "ks" to have the same sound while adding a letter. It made more sense. 


The "one" is something we like in graffiti, we put one or oner, which means "the first", "the only". Often social networks ask for a last name so this addition also has a much more practical use.  




Netflix's TV show "Tudum"

"Tudum", Netflix 

Can you share with us a fond memory of your years at GOBELINS ?

I really liked visiting the fablab at La Villette in Paris and discovering their cutting machines. It gave me the opportunity to discover a new way of working with volume which I still use. I work with a printer who takes care of making cuts on plexiglass or wood for use in my art practice. It's something I really like and that I discovered at GOBELINS. 




What advice would you have for a recent graduate ?

You shouldn't be afraid to try. Fear is normal, it's the daily life of a freelancer, we are sure of nothing, the projects arrive in a random way. We don't have a clear vision of the future as we would if we had a permanent job, but if we feel that there is something to do, that we have a need, a desire to develop our practice, we shouldn't hesitate. 







Interview by Sophie Jean

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