The Passionate Precision of Victor Langlois’ FEWOCiOUS

June 24, 2024

Text by Jeremy Whitaker
Photos courtesy of FEWOCiOUS

Victor Langlois, better known by his moniker FEWOCiOUS, has been on the cutting edge of digital art since he was 16 years old. What spurred this artist's rise to prominence? "I needed money for top surgery," he says with a laugh. 

"So, you became an internationally acclaimed multimedia artist to fund your gender-affirming surgeries?"

"I really committed," he joked. 

To say he committed was an understatement. What started as a cathartic means of escape from his childhood bedroom has turned into immense success with tens of thousands of pieces created and sold, successful auctions at Christie’s and Sotheby’s, and innumerable groundbreaking collaborations with brands and artists alike. 

There is no denying the ingenuity of FEWOCiOUS. His paintings are alive, his sculptures larger than life, and his NFT’s imaginative, but what gives Victor his power is his unflinching willingness to show the world how he is feeling. 

After moving into his bright Brooklyn studio, Victor and I discussed the world of FEWOCiOUS, art as identity, and his upcoming charity auction for Stonewall. 

Read the Interview Below: 

JW: You’re at the forefront of art in the Digiverse, where did this digital literacy originate?

VL: I think being a little queer kid online. I just wanted to go on Tumblr and fucking code the weird little Tumblr sites. I just think queer people are more willing to get into making weird art. I'd go down Twitter rabbit holes at 14 where I could talk to anyone. I could just talk to strangers. I wasn't allowed to go outside.

JW: It's been over four years since you sold your first painting, how has your process evolved in those years?

VL: I think I trust myself more. It's actually weird, I started making art because I was so sad all the time and I wanted to die every day and I just hated everything. So I would draw because, if I wasn’t doing this, I didn’t trust myself. I’d be drawing just to keep myself busy. Now I feel a lot healthier and happy. It feels weird to be drawing and not feel this intense tension in my heart. I've actually been relaxing, which is cool. The other day I laid here and the light came down on me and I felt calm. I'm getting used to that.

JW: It seems like the art was a means of escape, and now the art is what’s real and a conduit for joy instead of sadness. I think a lot of queer creatives especially turn to abstraction almost, which is something I think you do really beautifully. Your work feels like experiential fragments kind of pieced together. 

JW: How does your identity impact the way you approach your craft?

My art is because of my identity. When I'm painting, I learn a lot about myself. It's my time to dissect. I think it’s really empowering. Growing up, I wasn't comfortable telling my family, “Hey, I'm transgender,” but when I drew it, it gave me time to think about it. There's a point where I'm drawing and I don't even know how I could articulate it to you in words, it's just this feeling. I hate when artists are like, “It’s a feeling, I have dreams.” I hate that, but it's true. I'll look at something I make and I get this feeling. 

It's like when you eat good ice cream, I want my art to feel delicious.

JW: Your contribution to Christie's Pride auction was historic. This year For Pride Month, you’ll be auctioning off a piece to benefit Stonewall Foundation. How did this come about? 

VL: They just emailed me. I was like, “You want me? There are way more queer people in New York, you could have called anybody.”

JW: Maybe you aren’t aware of how wildly talented you are. 

VL: Painting that was really cool. I was just thinking about my year. We went to Stonewall when they were still constructing the nice little museum area. So it was all just dirt all over the floor and they gave me this little thing of dirt. It was in a nice little wooden container and I held it like, “Oh my God, this is so legit.” I think that really sunk in the whole year and then I just painted the auction piece thinking about my life. It would have meant so much to younger me if I had been to Stonewall and had an opportunity like this. 

JW: You are no stranger to collaborating with forward-thinking institutions. Your project for Bowie on the Blockchain combined music icon David Bowie with art in the Web3 digisphere. What was it like attempting to honor the legacy of such a historic artist while also being true to yourself?

VL: Back in the day, David Bowie had his own internet fan service in the nineties, well before social media, where fans could go and talk with each other. He was really innovative at the time for that. His team thought he did this weird internet shit all the time so he probably would've done weird NFT stuff in a way that we don't even know. 

JW: He was always ahead of the curve by a million years.

VL: It felt right to me. I don't know how the subject of clothes came up but they gave me a catalog of all David Bowie’s clothes with images of him on stage wearing it. I googled “David Bowie clothes museum” or something, and [in] every museum that has his clothes, it's just his really gnarly outfit on a boring mannequin and that's it.

I was just hoping for me as an artist, if I died, I wouldn't want my stuff to die. I'd want another artist to be inspired. I wanted to put the clothes on something really weird and crazy because his music makes me feel so cool and I want to make something that makes me feel so cool. I didn't touch the suit, I just put the suit surrounded by sculptures and stuff. I'm hoping he likes it wherever he is. 

JW: He’s definitely up there. 

VL: I don't know if I believe in ghosts, but I'd be in the studio by myself at night. It's thunder and lightning in New York and it's just me and the David Bowie suit and I’d get a little scared.

JW: Under the name FEWOCiOUS, you’ve created a universe. How would you describe FEWOWORLD for those who don't know your work? 

VL: We did this project called fewos with weird little creatures and we did 15,000 of them all unique. FEWOWORLD is where my art has no bounds. It's digital, but I want it to be clothing, sculptures, paintings, just kind of everything. 

JW: You mention your interest in clothing, what can you tell us about your upcoming work as a designer for Fewo Factory. 

VL: I went to a collector's house and he had a really expensive, really crazy Picasso, and no one's seen it for a long time, just in his house. I felt really cool to be there, but a lot of people are never going to see this. Also, it's just in this dude's house. One time I went to a collector's house and he had a [Salvador] Dalí in his bathroom. I don't know if I'll ever see my first painting that I sold again. With clothes, I like that it can go to more people and people are wearing it. I want someone to wear the jacket and get the girl that they wanted or the guy they wanted, or have their first kiss. 

JW: There's more life in it. It can live and breathe as opposed to staying stagnant. Did you create new works just for the clothes? 

VL: I love drawing on copy paper, I feel guilty when I'm using a nice sketchbook. I had hundreds of copy-paper drawings and after I designed the patterns for all the clothes I was just working up something and I took my copy-paper drawings, cut out the white part of the paper, and put it on. It was those little drawings.