Julien Allegre sculptor

I was born in Arles in 1980. I had a happy and serene childhood: the school was not interested in me!

Thus, by default, I studied mechanics; if that was the price to pay to be free, I would finish my studies and find work to acquire my autonomy. I was a rather curious teenager who relied on his instinct and had a deep need for freedom. This is probably what gave me the desire to go to my dreams, the taste for work and perseverance. At first, I invest myself with a lot of enthusiasm in music, the drums become a passion.

At the age of 19, I made a decisive meeting: an artist from Saint Rémy de Provence who became a model and especially awakened my needs to create; himself a painter and musician, he guided me and gave me these two vocations.

I believe that dating matters a lot in life.

 

Thus, after four years of mechanics, I took advantage of a small sabbatical year to discover myself in painting.

At the time I lived in Barbantane, a village not far from Saint Remy de Provence, my little workshop was my refuge, I drew deep inside me my inspiration and I fed my unsatisfied demons by tapping on my drums!

I worked earth or ocher colors, dug in a half-gesso material half-sand forms and signs.

Then I started using a wire that turned into human figures that I stared at my board. It was then, in 2001, that I discovered the work of GIACOMETTI during a retrospective in Beaubourg entitled “Giacometti, the rage to draw”. I had a real shock seeing this profusion of drawings, this inescapable way to approach closer to the soul of the subject. I saw there a genius, I discovered for the first time the strength of an artistic approach and captured dazzled, the overflowing passion of this individual. This meeting made me want to widen my field of knowledge. During a trip to Senegal in 2002, I discovered the art of recycling and the work of Ousmane SOW.

This first trip was decisive in my way of working.

 

In 2003, I met Muriel Landerer, my partner. Originally from the Italian Tyrol, a traveler at heart who has studied the history of art. She brought me a lot in my journey.

During a trip to northern Italy, I immersed myself in a part of the Italian Renaissance with fascination, the cities of Padua and Venice full of frescoes and sculptures. Art was perhaps a sign of wealth at the time, today it is an inexorable heritage. It was then that I began to work on metal plates, often very eroded.

I sewed their tears with rods of bronze solder that I soldered, then I drew on the rusty metal. Often it was the drawing I read in the rust accidents that dictated the subject to me, as do children who discover monsters in the clouds. I then began to feel very close to the thought of art brut, meaning a spontaneous art, without cultural pretension and without intellectual approach.

 

In February 2006, we toured Morocco. It was a rich cultural and human encounter; craftsmen’s workshops in every corner of villages, architecture, Berber drawings.

Traces of a past in all these works, know-how passed down through the generations and also music, always an inspiration for my imagination.

Back I made some drawings, still trying to retranscribe all the wealth of the world I had seen. But it’s the metal that attracted me more than anything. I assembled old pieces of rusty metal, often cans so oxidized that we hardly perceived their origin. Then I reworked the human or animal figure by enhancing the painting structure.

Little by little the canister has become essential in my work, I found a meaning.

As with the New Realists, who used the objects of society to make relics, powerful symbols of consumption, this container contains a symbol: black gold.

Oil is at the origin of the consumer society and even more so today of the development and flows of globalization. In the twentieth century, no other raw material, even if it was very precious, aroused so much tension, even wars. This subject speaks to me as much as it disconcerts me.

I turn it around to make it my own, I make it substantially human and alive. Over time, my demand for a more realistic human form has increased; I worked with more precision on the metal, pushing the material, trying to contort it to bring movement.

 

In 2008, I completely abandoned painting on my sculptures, I brought new materials: the metal strapping.

These lines allow me to build a framework and structure my volume in space. Then came the use of bronze solder, an alternative to color my room; this brilliant material contrasts with the vulgarity of the poor material that is the can. She makes up the room, masks summarily this dirty and warlike origin.

 

During the summer of 2008 I realize my first installation: the 12 Chinese.

I wanted to talk about scandalous events in Tibet, the Chinese army attacked civilians and Buddhist monks; this domination and this violence poured on a pacifist people upset me. Intrinsically linked to this growing empowerment, I feel extremely concerned about the inequalities and problems related to the environment.

Sculpture de Julien Allegre - Les Chinois

 

My travels to Morocco, Thailand, Vietnam and India made me think about these issues. We are not equal unfortunately in the face of this problem. The countries of Asia or Africa discover consumption, they are so numerous and their fatalism will only bring them very slowly towards an awareness. We, rich countries, will be able to back down only if more ecological alternatives are substituted for our little polluter comfort and our corrupt habits.

Through the materials I use, I hope to convey with humility a message of ecology. I would also like to say that for me the beauty is not necessarily in the new, the brilliant but that it exists especially in an object marked by the time; that history and the past are so important to the future. I often accentuate it, this marker of time which makes live the surface of my pieces, brings life and speak the matter.

 

At the end of 2008, I started a new adventure with bronze.

What interested me most was to start from a material inscribed in our present, fundamental in our current society, the barrel, and to transpose it into an ancient material that has endured for thousands of years. This material attracted me also by its musicality: this heavy matter emits a very particular vibration. Its preciousness emanates a notion of timelessness that is at odds with my research on barrels. This contrast as a whim does not displease me. I was also going to discover the alchemy of the patinas; I develop a personal color, which, I hope, approaches my world, making an affront to the connotation of preciousness of bronze.

The approach of the visual sculptor Anthony GROMLEY, whom I deeply admire, motivated my passage to bronze. I want my rooms to rub shoulders with the outdoor space that time plays with. The erosion of my pieces does not bother me, time brings a unique and aesthetic dimension to the metal, but the dimension of durability of the bronze is poetic and exceptional in my eyes.

 

In early 2009, a trip to Australia made me aware of the richness and beauty of nature.

I had the opportunity to approach this material that is wood and work a natural element in this context was needed. Back, I wanted to push even more possibilities with metal, tirelessly exploring all facets: filigree, weaving, lace.

Then, these explorations carried out, I returned little by little to a kind of fullness, the birth of my son bringing me perhaps a desire to surpass me and to establish contrasts and reports of strength, as in the life. I work a lot, the night is a privileged moment.

Contemplation and listening, because I work in music, allow me to detach myself from this matter that fills me with it.

Fukushima March 11, 2011, I believe that for any human this event is proof that the man is a threat to himself.

I realize some pieces to establish a link with the time stopped on this tragedy: the Japanese head, Japanese kiss, the Japanese, blue oil.

I do not think I can do anything different from what I am. Of a stubborn nature, I like to go after things. Even if doubt lurks at my door, I want to continue searching, to deepen what I have been given to start through sculpture and creation in general.

We changed our place of life and workshop in the fall of 2014: this prospect of moving is not a small effort considering the raw material I use.

A year of great change because in addition to moving, the family was growing; the thought that I was running out of time gave me a boost.

That year was born in my small workshop of 30 square meters and 2 m 40 high, giants men fossils.

This new gaunt matter brought me back to a raw vegetable and raw form; it was then for me a new voice that I borrowed, she literally sucked me up and invited me to rise in space and abandon more or less the human representation. However, as if these two writings were necessary and attached to my identity, I continued to work the colored matter of cans, always with the same intensity: the Nippon for example.

At the same time, I began to put the boat in my work like so many other artists marked by these waves of migrants crossing the Mediterranean, risking their lives to survive the misery; I have exhibited this work at the Danielle Bourdette Gallery and this first collaboration has grown a lot.

 

In 2015, the year begins bruised Charlie.

Of course, the days harbor a certain nausea, misunderstanding rode but the birth of my daughter Melly in May made me move forward, I worked more beautiful most often at night.

Illusional equilibrium, which I then transposed into bronze will embody for me this fragility of existence. A collector friend had me exhibited in Heidelberg, Germany and Luxembourg.

Equilibre illusoire Julien Allegre Tirage Bronze 12 exemplaires

 

In 2016, the project to build a real workshop in Sablet ends.

This place brought me new perspectives, I could finally devote myself to larger projects and this space was also a contribution of energy. The workshop is like an extension of the spirit, it is the space of possibilities, I admit to having a lot of luck to own such a big space. Tribute to the Woman, the Nippon and Homs that I created in response to the harsh reality of the news in Syria are important sculptures of this period.

In June, the exhibition at Gallery 22 brought me to meet artists who are very important in my relations, F. Guerrier, S Zanello and F. Valdelièvre; friends of steel and passion.

To be able to exchange our glances on the creation, on our ways of working, to share has always been important in the music but just as much in the sculpture.

2017 was a busy year in perspective with exhibitions that stimulated me in my work, three exhibitions at the Danielle Bourdette Gallery in Honfleur, the Claudine le Grand gallery in Paris and the Christine Colon Gallery in Liège. I also struggled body and soul during the heat wave to respond to a command that will not succeed, but which symbolizes for me the need for freedom.

Dream of the Man, monumental piece which will be exposed to Vaison-la Romaine in the Roman excavations.

I was also proud to collaborate on a sound project with the guitarist Pierre Jean Gaucher, who enriched my work. We worked on the sound material that my sculptor’s studio could provide, and he wrote an opus with these sounds called “Howling Sparks”.

The aim was to stage an audience of more than 200 people in my studio in July. I also wanted to create a workshop-wide musical instrument, a “larger-than-life” Hang. It is naturally that I asked the collaboration with Eric Latour, friend musician and factor of musical instrument.

Here is the video of this representation:


 

Following this research, the desire to continue the adventure sound has germinated.

In 2018 in Eygalières, in the Alpilles I had the opportunity to create an installation “The wave of the tree” in a chapel, in which the spectator was engaged in a sound ambulation around a tree where he himself became an actor and composer.

Here is a video on “The wave of the tree”:

This installation required me a lot of energy being in a scale and in an unknown mode of operation: to combine the defined space with a visual but also a sound project was a challenge to be scaled up, especially since the previous artists to have experienced it in this same place were S.Gueran and F.Guerrier, whose work I admire.

That year I was offered to exhibit at the Petit Palais d’Avignon. This invitation proved beyond my expectations Indeed, I could expose in resonance with works dating from the Middle Ages and premium replace the empty space of sculptures that had been lent and thus echo with these masterpieces.

The artist M.Barcelo with the strength of his work had measured himself three years ago during his exhibition “Miramare”.

During this summer an opportunity linked to a meeting again and a beautiful exchange, offered me the privilege that will mark my life as an artist certainly.

I visited the monument of Anselm Kieffer Barjac, a museum space of a pharaonic dimension on several acres. An incredible thing that will come up soon.

It was powerful, this incredible force, this purely gratuitous creation offered to us was proof that art was of historical importance, it marks our era.

This oversized scale also showed how much we live in a time of gigantism, this staging of the work of Kieffer part itself completely upset me.

To go on an adventure and come back a little bigger, that’s what we did for a month in the south of India with our two children of 3 and 9 years, in February 2019.

Back it was still difficult to get back to work, but the expo dates have always stimulated me I must recognize.

Julien-Allegre-Jardin-des-Arts Julien-Allegre-Jardin-des-Arts-2019

 

That year I had the chance to collaborate with the wine world. Domaine Jean David de Seguret and Domaine Charol have proposed projects and I have exhibited in the prestigious domains OTT Domaine Taradeau in the Var and Domaine du Vieux Télégraphe Château du Pape. In particular, I presented my work on wine filter printing, which I had put in place a few months ago.

1440_exuvie Sculpture de Julien Allegre Domaine OTT Sculpture Julien Allegre credit photo Colasstudio

Photo credit: Colas studio.

Sculpture acier Julien Allegre

 

I had the good fortune to participate in the Villa Datris exhibition that year and to have a great time following this exhibition.

Sculpture monumentale de Julien Allegre

 

The meetings are so important for the artists and especially the support of the faithful collectors. I must say that I am lucky to have many people who believe in my work.

I exhibited at the Danielle Bourdette Gallery and the Christine Colon Gallery that same year.

Finally, I also participated in the Paris Salon Art Elysee through the Art Jingle gallery.

This show I dreamed of one day exposure.

All the energy this year had been rewarded by good times, meetings with friends sculptors, musicians and new collectors and so many others, not to mention my family so dear.

 

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