Wednesday, September 16, 2009
Thrones of Earth
Michel Haillard honors distant civilizations of uncertain times, be they African, Oceanic or Indian. Straight out of an imaginary universe where the phantasmagoric Bosch and the whims of a Sun King form the backdrop of a lost world, works as crude have rarely been seen. His furniture and talismanic objects bristle with skins of reptiles or wild animals, horns of sheep and antelope, as well as applications of decorative gilt bronze. The extravagant appearance of these works contain visual qualities that disorient the viewer. His creations are marked both barbaric and refined. Haillard is not a predator at heart and doesn't promote hunting, he views animals as sacred. He states that around age 12, he began to "stalk" natural elements in the flea markets on long safaris every Sunday. There is something animistic about my work," he says. "Reborn in the object, the animal has a new life. A new story begins and will continue to evolve in the universe of its future owner."
Haillard's Paris studio is piled high with Louis XV couches and Queen Ann chairs, bulging chests, wooden accessories, brass and bronze, masks, Eastern curiosities, parchments, billiard balls, bronze, brass shells, bone beads, amber, glass cabochons and crystal balls...braids, twine and raffia in bulk. "My goal is to work with objects that have been abandoned, I only work with old things" He boasts drawers full of relics from animals, treasures left behind by the colonial past that had little concern for ecology. Warthog teeth, hippo incisors of wild pig, monkey skin or crocodile, python and zebra, lizard or otter, ostrich feathers or feline fur, horse tails, horns of kudu or eland, genet tails, sunfish, rostrum of the sawfish, leopard skins, giraffe skulls, tusks elephant, monkey claws...the list goes on. These objects have finally come together in sculptures, totems and fetishes...magic borrowings and power from civilizations imaginary or parallel.
via Chintz of Darkness