Thomas Lélu

Bio / Thomas Lélu

Born in 1976 in Paris, France.

Works and lives in Paris.

Artist, writer, arts director, Thomas trained at the Graphistes Associés (associated graphic artists) workshop then at Pierre Bernard’s Atelier de Création Graphique (graphic creation workshop).

From 2005-2010, he took part in various exhibitions, in particular at the Paris Palais de Tokyo and Fondation Cartier, where he was sponsored by artist Claude Closky, at the Villa Arson, under Eric Mangion’s commissioning or else at the Paris Musée d’Art Moderne.

He published several books. His first, Manuel de la photo ratée (literally A Handbook of Failed Photography) was published in 2002, during a residency at the Cité des Arts de Paris. Then in 2004, Récréations, an unidentifiable literary object published by renowned publisher Léo Scheer had quite an impact in the Parisian milieu and appeared in the window of Colette’s, an ultra-hype bookstore and in APC-brand shops.

The book compiles puns and other silly jokes presented as collages and childish drawings. Many puns that later became cult expressions appeared in it, in particular, “LVMHOOQ” (which brings together a brand name and Duchamp’s LHOOQ) or

He also published several novels, including My name Jeanne Mass, based on the name of a French pop singer, that was published by Léo Scheer editions and shortlisted for the Flore awards in 2010.

He was artistic director for the magazine Citizen K, or the French edition of Playboy in 2008, under the direction of publishing director and journalist Yan Céh. The same year, he designed the cover for the Border Live DVD and his first video clip for provocative French singer Philippe Katerine.

He was also artistic director of the Emmanuel Perrotin gallery from 2006-2008. As a visual artist, he exposed in several galleries such as Vincenz Sala, Yvon Lambert, Bugada and Cargnel, Georges Philippe et Nathalie Valois, Nuke or Dominique Fiat.

He directed a short film, Nuts, in 2011 and is preparing a feature film. His work as a visual artist was the occasion of several collaborations with brands such as Ricard, Haagen dasz, Thierry Lasry, Gap, Uniqlo or EachXOther who recently commissioned a film that co-directed with pop singer Lou Lesage and movie actor Jérémie Elkaïm.

Exhibitions / Thomas Lélu


2012 : Be the change you want to see, Galerie Nuke, Paris, France

2009 : Works with Kongo, Galerie Dominique Fiat, Paris, France

2007 : It doesn’t exist, Galerie Dominique Fiat, Paris, France

2006 : Thomas Lélu : peintre, Galerie Edouard Manet, Gennevilliers, France

2006 : After, Jean-Max Colard / Thomas Lélu, Villa Arson, Nice, France

2002 : Manuel de la photo ratée, Galerie Porte-Avion, Marseille, France



2010 : Space for Fantasy, Galerie des Galeries, Paris, France
2010 : Seconde main, Musée d’art moderne de la ville de Paris, France

2009 : Arts protects, Galerie Yvon Lambert, Paris, France

2008 : After, Galerie des Multiples, Paris, France
2008 : Occupancy by more than 6’682’685’387 persons is dangerous and unlawful, Cosmic Galerie, Paris, France

2007 : Playback, Musée d’art moderne de la ville de Paris, Performance avec Julien Doré, France
2007 : Enlarge your practice, La Friche La Belle de mai, Marseille, France
2007 : Oeuvres encombrantes, Galerie G-P. & N. Vallois, Paris, France
2007 : Enlarge your practice, La Friche La Belle de Mai, Marseille, France

2006 : FIAC, Galerie Dominique Fiat, Paris

2005 : J’en Rêve, Fondation Cartier, Paris (parrainé par l’artiste Claude Closky), France

2003 : Littératures pirates, Galerie Éof, Paris, France