It all started with pottery: as I patiently observed the learned handcraft of the artisans of Vallauris (France) as a child, I grew increasingly conscious of my own urge to create. Having emy imagination best expressed itself in the bond between my eyes and my hands, but my first properly artistic inspiration came from the infinite possibilities afforded by clay and water.
The Mediterranean, as was the case for many an artist, shaped my receptivity to light, revealing its quality as both the source and mirror of color. I followed the teachings of Picasso, who taught me to deconstruct the realm of forms, but also Chagall’s and his pictorial narratives the naivety of which was only ever equaled by their depth of meaning – with color as a backbone.
Fascinated by the surrealist language of Dalí, I leaped from figuration to abstraction alongside Nicolas de Staël and Miró, keeping the Mediterranean color spectrum embedded deep within my gaze. I flirted with Yves Klein’s radicalism, his appropriation of pure color pigment, his International Klein Blue, and his experimental performances on the body’s potential for conveying the ethereal.
It was thanks to Nikki de Saint Phalle, with her vivacious characters and tenaciously sunny colors, and Cesar, with his monumental compressions and color blobs, that I decided to take the path of full, generous materiality as a source of artistic fertility. Sculpture appeared to me as a necessity, but the material that interested me most was not that of the pottery makers of Vallauris, ancestral and rooted in nature.
My work as an artist is a mirror for the present, the era of plastics, of sham crystal, thus the discovery of acrylic glass during my art studies was a true epiphany. Plexiglas became my IKB, in a continual tension between the contingence of a fossil resource and the immanence that its multifaceted lightness reveals.
This cold, industrial material, despite its multiple constraints, becomes as soft as clay when heated. Its capacity to catch and project light lends it its evocative power and elegance. Its translucent hues move me. The obstacles this medium presents are precisely what make it worthwhile as an enterprise, as is often the case with human endeavors, and studying it, sometimes overcoming it, forces me to push experimentation further and further, rethinking existing techniques, such as bubbling and heat sealing, while I invent new ones, such as prints, pleats and superimpositions.
After my first artworks – of organic inspiration, with baroque interlacing swirls and spirals best suited to translate the ambivalent complexity of reality – a completely different direction dawned upon me in 2011. The straight line, violent and architectonic, came piercing through this illusion of equilibrium (Ice Declinaisons).
If abstraction is the rule, it does not take place into a formalist void, but to the contrary, in a distantiated reflection upon humanity’s place in the cosmos, on earth, in urban spaces, a contemplative gaze unto the founding paradox of humanity carries between freedom and responsibility, capable at once of creative poetry and destructive ingeniousness.
When I create, agitation takes over and indescribable angst only subsides when mind and body connect with the material. At this instant, the artwork comes to life and being, liberated from the mere material through imagination, gesture and will, radiating out the intensity of the world that surrounds it and seems to be, in it, contemplating itself.
– Co-written and translated with Odyssée Bouvyer / La Condamine, October 2020