« Through my work, I rebel against the evidence that clouds our ability to question our habits. I try to give things perspective, to take my subjects out of their ordinary aspect in order to reveal their hidden reality. »
Traditional heavy metal, anchored in the past. Archaic medium, outmoded, obsolete, worn? Yet it is now viewed as a non-conformist material in contemporary art. Indestructible throughout the ages, bronze has for time immemorial served as the medium of choice to commemorate the success and genius of an era. It has been used mostly in laudatory representations of specific individuals and venerable archetypes. But when has bronze sculpting ever been used to reveal society's darker side? I divert our past heritage to a cutting, incisive edge, putting into perspective what we have become over time: individualistic, materialistic, possessive, rushed, obsessive... we project ourselves towards the future by running from the past. Yes, we are transformed, but are we any better today than we were yesterday?
The art market
Did I say materialistic? The poor, just like the rich, consume everything they can, no matter the size of their buying power. Art does not escape money's power any less than the collector can escape art's attraction. Needless to say, the capitalist vicious circle favours mass broadcasting of people's values and consolidates an era's culture. Art helps us to stand back, to comment, to bring our attention on certain aspects. It is in a sense outside, marginal. Because of that, I believe that art cannot be haggled over in the literal meaning of the term. Moreover, the artist must act in accordance with his own deepest convictions, without ever making concessions. Those who know me personally may have judged my choice, several years ago, to penetrate the art market. However, this position gives me the privilege of entering a world parallel to my own, to capture the interest of people from several strata of society (merchants, sportsmen, doctors, artists from other fields, politicians, leaders... or the simple anonymous walker-by) and to shock their esthetical sense in order to transform their outlook
My pieces reveal the illusions and perversions of everyday life. The message's impact is reinforced by the importance I give to the attraction/repulsion mechanism. Indeed, instead of subliming a subject, I accentuate the forces that act in reverse, even if I have to shock the eye. I attack the absurdity of our behavior by revealing its contradictions. For example, even while denouncing the desire for possession, my art illustrates itself as being an object to be possessed. This apparent incoherence in reality serves my awareness-raising effort
Seen through a lens
Looking at reality with fresh eyes is the reflex I want to create in those who come in contact with my work. Show the hidden face of everyday life, open the mind on a new way of seeing. Develop a critical outlook on the world, weigh the different aspects of our attitude, here is what effectively lets me integrate the optical dimension into my pieces. My approach is entirely oriented on the challenge of making two worlds coexist, such as the two sides of one coin. Optics is my war horse, the art market, my battlefield and the lens, my sword!
It is in effect through deforming lenses that I work to extirpate the false pretenses that are hiding behind normal, ordinary, even harmless reality of everyday life. Technically, I use a tridimensional anamorphic principle that results in a paradox between reality and illusion. For 14 years, I have been attempting to oppose a representation with emancipated shapes studied at length to the restored image, seen through a lens integrated into the sculpture, which corresponds to our usual vision of a subject. This optical illusion serves not only the form but also my purpose in that my goal is to question the validity of our perception of reality and, through the choice of my subjects, to offer to the observer's critical outlook several points of view on the modern world.
That optical subterfuge lets me reveal the mechanism of appearances and the illusion propagated by our society to standardize and make everything uniform. Everyday life hides excess, anguish, reasons of being, as well as of a variety of emotional distortions that go too often unnoticed, as if it were bad to be what we are, as if it were better to contain ourselves, to hold back, and hide our being to ourselves.
Viewing my work up until today, one can notice that a profound mutation has occurred (see Photo Gallery). By fitting lenses on my sculptures, I have opened a door on an interior world that functions in the secret of a number of illusory and contradictory mechanisms. Deformations exploding in all directions correspond to uncontrolled emotions running throughout the onlooker. In parallel, the optical restoration discovered through the lens suggests the normality to which we aspire, the self-image we maintain, to the detriment of our intrinsic truth. The meeting of these two diverging realities is found in the smallest point of the piece, the one closest to the lens.
The resulting sculpture thus becomes an interior image, an emotion fixed in time that comes from the interior fight we are leading against the exterior. This progression has led me to create a series of sculptures that project a particular light on our rapport with society from the point of view of our psychological conditioning. Generally speaking, it is important to me to represent society's idiosyncrasies that are pushing us to excess. The lens helps us to understand the strained relationship we harbor towards our chimaeras.
Thus the scientific approach that results from optical physics applied to psychic investigation, another interest in my work, provides me with a wider vision. By assuming the witness' position, all this clearing up work lets me embrace my researcher's position, art being the channel through which all fields may converge. More than ever, I am concerned with bringing to light certain of our psychological stratagems. To do that, I had to renounce the illusion's hold over me that resulted in the optical device's subjection in my work. Indeed, instead of hiding the lenses in the subject, I now give them a first-line role by exposing them for what they are; scientific study tools.
That way, deception does not have its place anymore. There is no more hiding place. The shape-thought, born from the mental aspect, will also be dissected and exposed, just like the emotional shape that was breaking behind the optical system. I wish to put forward the importance of understanding, of resolving enigmas, of unmasking our defense mechanisms. This disillusionment leads us to face our problems straight on so we are not their victims anymore. The search for balance between the objective and the subjective lets us dissociate ourselves from mental rigidity and emotional agitation. By withdrawing from that interior treatment, we can hope to see things more clearly and accede to serenity.
The shape offered to the observer is hardly recognizable at first. Curiosity leads us to the discovery of the optical system, hidden or not, and that acts as the solution to the enigma. By looking through the lenses, we suddenly gain access to the revelation of the subject in its most ordinary aspect. This comfortable vision serves as our reference and anchor in reality. From there, we can better understand the abstraction of the exterior shape, restored by a complex system of optical distortions. This principle is called anamorphosis.