Tuesday, 4 March 2014

Humming Beauty

Insects seem to cause contradictory reactions on people. Some find them irritating, dangerous, a never-ending source of discomfort. On the other hand and curiously enough, there is a great number of children’s stories in which they play the main roles and are depicted as sweet, loveable creatures. They have inspired the famous Russian composer Rimsky-Korsakov’s “The Flight of the Bumble-bee” and Alexander Scriabin, another Russian composer and pianist, said about his 10th Sonata (1913) that “(it) is a sonata of insects. Insects are born from the sun... they are the sun’s kisses”.

This contradiction may be the root for Edouard Martinet’s fascination for insects, who has become a virtuoso in the art of transforming pieces of cast-off junk collected from flea markets and car parts gathered from car boot sales into unique and stunning insect-shaped sculptures. His workshop, the secluded shelter where old bicycles and other items die to gain a new life in the form of different creatures, evokes the hidden dwelling of some old-fashioned wizard producing magic. And magic is, indeed, what Edouard Martinet does.

Martinet, a French sculptor using as his exclusive media discarded parts from old bicycles, cars and scrap metal, has gained international recognition in his particular line of work and has recently been featured with great success at Sladmore Contemporary Gallery in London, until January 31 last.

Edouard Martinet’s creations stand out for their exquisitely beautiful details and the extraordinary perfection they display. This is mostly the result of the precision and technique used: Martinet does not solder or weld parts. He assembles them by screwing them together, thereby reaching a level of visual richness that would otherwise be difficult to find. This is a painstaking process that can take him from about four weeks to... seventeen years – which was the time his most recent art work took him!

However, it ends up being highly rewarding, since the final product gains an unexpected glow, a character of its own and a certain poised wit which puts a smile on viewers’ faces. Think of a butterfly made up of bike brake parts, pieces of windshield wipers, bike chains, car suspension parts, small spoon parts, cream chargers, headlights, clock springs, typewriters parts, brake cables and drawer knobs, for instance. Now look at the photograph and see the absolutely awesome result!

Viewers who take some time to carefully observe his works cannot help surrendering to the spell of Edouard Martinet’s fascinating art. It actually reveals his incredibly creative and imaginative spirit and his obsession for perfection and detail, thereby reminding us of Susan Beatrice’s steampunk art created from watch parts already featured in one of our previous posts.

In fact, Martinet’s art works could easily become characters in any fairy tale. Their uncommon beauty would perfectly suit the magic aura of such stories and could well be regarded as having been born from the sun.

No comments:

Post a Comment