Monday, 1:33pm
24 September 2012

Stripes and teasers

In ‘Hide and Seek’ at London’s Kemistry Gallery, illustrator Malika Favre delights in playing with our optical expectations.

Illustrator Malika Favre’s first solo exhibition ‘Hide and Seek’ at London's Kemistry Gallery hinges on a series of optical effects, writes Sarah Snaith. Sultry female figures peek out from behind gloved hands, Venetian blinds and over balconies, delighting the viewer who can undo their visual trickery.

Peeking (right) and Blinds (top), 2012 by Malika Favre.


In addition to print work, moving images are projected onto one of the gallery’s walls.

The exhibition has given Favre a chance to call upon her former Airside colleagues Maki Yoshikura and Luke Carpenter to collaborate in creating the exhibition’s teaser video (above), with music by Present Perfect and Natural Self.

Differentiating between geometric shapes and balconies jutting from apartment blocks is best decoded in the current large-scale installation at Kemistry Gallery. Buildings, 2012 by Malika Favre.

buildings_100x70 Favre’s work is identifiably French, yet the illustrator says she is influenced by London and its ‘unique energy as a city for creative people’. British artist Bridget Riley is also an influence.

Peeking 2, 2012 by Malika Favre.


‘Hide and Seek’ has given Favre an opportunity to draw a distinct line between her personal work and commercial illustration identity, which includes work for newspapers, magazines, book publishers and music. These distinctions remain linked through the illustrator’s use of minimal components that play with negative and positive space.

The exhibition has a recognisable narrative that sees central figures running across one page and on to another, up staircases and over zebra crossings.

Hide and Seek’ continues at the Kemistry Gallery until Saturday 29 September 2012. (Malika Favre is represented by illustration agent Handsome Frank.)

Malika Favre's ‘Hide and Seek’ in Kemistry Gallery, London.

Malika Favre at Kemistry Gallery until 29 September 2012.

To read more about the graphic designer as illustrator see ‘Scism and reunification’ by Adrian Shaughnessy’ in Eye 72 vol. 18.

Eye is the world’s most beautiful and collectable graphic design journal, published quarterly for professional designers, students and anyone interested in critical, informed writing about graphic design and visual culture. It is available from all good design bookshops and online at the Eye shop, where you can buy subscriptions, back issues and single copies of the latest issue. You can also browse visual samples of recent issues at Eye before You Buy.