Julien BERTHIER - Pigeonner, 2014 - 2020
Julien Berthier - Pigeonner, Les Extatiques 2020 © Martin Argyroglo
Born in 1975 in Besançon. Lives and works in Paris
A graduate of the École des Beaux-Arts de Paris, Julien Berthier began his career as a visual artist in the early 2000s.
"Don't leave the world in the hands of specialists."Julien Berthier remains faithful to this statement: while employing media as varied as sculpture, drawing, video or photography, the artist creates objects - both hyperrealistic and yet fictional - that he confronts in the public space.
The work for Paris La Défense
Pigeons, urban pests, are part of what we pretend not to notice in the urban landscape, out of laziness or disinterest no doubt. If they are numerous in the city, their occurrences in the sculpture of public squares are much lower than their demography on the sites concerned.
With "Pigeonner", the artist puts these birds back in the spotlight.
The animal is treated in bronze, the noble material par excellence of 19th century animal sculpture. These hyperrealistic pigeon sculptures are then grafted onto other existing public sculptures with the same patina, giving them a temporary surplus of realism.
These deliberately discreet and parasitic sculptures are to the field of statuary what the "plus-product" is to the field of marketing (an analogy that cannot overlook the familiar meaning of the verb "pigeon").
"An important part of my work takes place in a blind spot, where no one is really looking. (...) It has to take on the features of reality in order to fit in, but with a slight delay so that the works are both integrated (i.e. identifiable and capable of being heard) and dissonant (i.e. strangely different and whose subject matter puts the dominant opinion into debate). "
Bronze, pigeon scale 1:1
Courtesy Galerie Georges-Philippe and Nathalie Vallois, Paris
Click to enlarge