The Beautiful lighter art of Olivier Kosta-Théfaine

brand designers Melbourne

French artist Olivier Kosta-Théfain’s life and work is inspired by the underground and by the street culture he uses as the main element for his creations. His medium – a cigarette lighter.

Re-Imagine Art
As a creative brand strategy and design agency, our philosophy is ‘re-imagine’ – Re-imagine brands, re-imagine packaging design, re-imagine everything. A creative visionary who reflects our mantra and then some, all of Kosta-Théfain’s work is created by heat from a cigarette lighter applied directly to the surface of ceilings – a unique visual language which for obvious reasons it doesn’t work nearly so well on wall or canvas.

“As a suburban kid I always had an idealized vision of big city life, and sometimes the fantastic view one has about some certain distant things can be even more beautiful and fascinating than reality itself. Life in the suburbs is totally different, it has its own special codes, but often it can be the source of a striking inspiration, the perfect antidote to a sometimes suffocating environment. Then one grows up and finds out that the distance between things is inexistent and everything is connected in the end Although this doesn’t mean that reaching an ideal cannot be totally creative.”

Symphony (Detail view of the solo exhibition “W”)
Flame of the lighter on ceilling & video documentation
Cripta747 Torino – Italy 2009
(photo : Cripta747)

Symphonie – Work in progress
Flame of the lighter on ceiling
Cook & Book Brussels – Belgium 2006
(photo :  A. Bouvy)

Untitled (Rosaces & ornements)
Flame of the lighter on ceiling
A.L.I.C.E. Brussels – Belgium 2007

Burned papers 2008
(photo : F. Lindor)

Flame of the lighter on ceilling
Centre Culturel Tchèque Paris – France 2009

Flame of the lighter on ceiling
MU Eindhoven – The Netherlands 2008
(Background : Navid Nuur)
(photo : F. Morel)

Symphonie (detail)
Flame of the lighter on ceilling

Né dans la rue – Graffiti
Fondation Cartier pour l’art contemporain Paris – France 2009

We first spotted Olivier’s work in the great online zine; Yatzer.


  1. This guys work is amazing. I love the way he’s come at image making from a completely fresh perspective. I can see the connection with re-imagining brand communicatuions working in the same way, if only with the same artistic freedom.

  2. This really does put a stake in the ground as ‘re-imagining art’ . It is quite amazing the depth of beauty someone can create with something so basic. It definitely is a unique visual language created by Olivier, I do however like the look of his canvas small scale pieces. Thanks for posting this it is truly unique and wonderful work.

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