1. « DRAWINGS »
The first step in getting onto a new creation is by gestural drawing. It is there that the spatial qualities of my inspiration are revealed to me. Generally, I prefer asymmetrical shapes that give birth to imbalance. This phenomenon constantly shocks the eye which, in addition to the distortions, makes the resulting object a very dynamic one.
The choice of the lens's point of view is fundamental, as it is the anchor of the sculpture in our collective reality. The realism of the restored image treatment is very important to me, so I constitute a photographic documentation to which I refer during the entire period of creation. This reinforces the identity link and increases the anamorphic phenomenon's impact tenfold.2. « OPTICAL SYSTEM »
I then determine the optical system from which the distortion will apply, in relation with the chosen guidelines. A series of volumetric drawings derives from the study that follows, made with the help of commonplace image treatment software (Photoshop). Still, at that time, the challenge of transposing my ideas into a tridimensional shape remains complete.3. « MODEL »
Making the original model is the most laborious step. Positioning the optical system is the starting point of the model. Its height and its line of sight are directly related to the space volume that the sculpture will occupy. The main difficulty in the shaping process is not to lose sight of the expressivity I am looking for while preserving the guidelines selected in the preliminary drawings.
Still looking through the lenses, I proceed with the construction of the shape in space with steel cables. Volumes will gradually appear according to the order of they visual involvement. I give a lot of importance to the face of my subject, since I want to create the most tangible presence possible. The material I use is a mix of epoxy paste that is worked through addition and subtraction. The advantage of that material is that is becomes very hard upon drying, which lets me refine the shapes in an extremely precise fashion.
After a multitude of trials and errors, the model is finally ready to be molded. To give an idea of the length of the process, the molding of the of the sculpture « Capsule », for example, demanded about 600 hours of work, or 4 months, before the piece was finally ready to be sent out to production.4. « BRONZE PRODUCTION »
The technique used to obtain a bronze sculpture is called « lost-wax process ». The molding, the wax correction and the bronze pouring are made directly at the foundry. The following steps must be executed with the utmost precision. You can obtain more information by going on the « Atelier du Bronze » web site (see Links).
I take care of the finishing touch on every piece, meaning about 20% of the finishing work. Certain details such as the faces' expression, the patinas and the assembling of certain parts that are in direct relation with the optics cannot be performed by anyone else.5. « ASSEMBLING AND BASE »
This step is crucial considering the importance taken by the optical dimension in my pieces. At that time, I install the lenses into a mount according to parameters prescribed by engineers in optics. Their knowledge and support are vital to obtain a precise visual quality.
The base has been elaborated at the same time as the sculpture during the creation process. I insist on give it an expressive value that adds to the meaning of the piece. The base is precisely what lets the piece be linked to the reality of the spectator. It is the bridge leading to the experiment. The materials may vary, from wood to stone, or steel to cast iron. I work in collaboration with several talented people to attain the desired result.6. « NUMBER OF RUNS »
The sculpture is issued a total of 12 times, i.e. a series numbered from 1 to 8, to which 4 artists' exemplaries are added. Once the series is finished, I set up a meeting to highlight the mold breaking and formalize the end of that sculpture generation. Despite the issue of several exemplaries, each piece remains unique. The multitude of steps that precede the final bronze pieces always makes for minor differences that, during assembling and finishing, leave a unique trace on each sculpture.