For years, I was satisfied by simply admiring the paths explored by others. This was before my encounter with the material. Nothing actually happened, but surely in the shadows waiting, an intention was maturing. One day, without any ulterior motive nor intent, my eyes met with tiny little rusted hunks of steel who were worth as little as the dust from which I picked them up. This rubbish, poor soda cans, became like lace that had appeared randomly in the rain, that all of a sudden had to be saved from destruction. Pretty soon, I collected and assembled them. Little by little, they came back to life. Diverted from what seemed to be uselessness, they regain forms, colors and somehow spirits. From then on, I focused on this process and this engagement has brought me all the way from an instinctive process, to the project and thoughts that I bring forth to you today.

My aim is based neither on sustainable nor political issues. Far from seeing it as pollution, I consider oxidation as compost. To begin a sculpture I need materials in a state of advanced deterioration and that have no hope of ever being used again. Clean cities, sanitized places seem sterile areas. Landfills and heaps of scrap work just like compost, in which stigmata and scars blend to reveal a small sprout. I pick it up and I start working on until its aesthetic and symbolic intrinsic qualities appear, as if there were a core value to it. As well as I dig into the old layers of material, I find peace in some major works of art : Jean Dubuffet, who surely brings me more than I can guess ; Julio Gonzales, because of the artistic emotion that may have brought me to sculpture ; David Smith for the strength of beliefs engraved in his metallic writing. These three artists, along with a few members of New Realists group, make up the intimate mental map on which I concentrate when in need of energy to move forward.

My creation is deeply rooted in a blend of artistic and human references. My very personal digest about the mutual influences of both sides of the Atlantic Ocean will in some way seem iconoclastic. Nevertheless, it defines who I am and my understanding of the forces at hand in each of these courses. Artists have all been inspired by each other. They have all boosted, in a way and sometimes without any intentional motive, the work undertaken by others before them. Even their weakness seems to get an echo from one work to another. And the fact is that I am that sensitive to the reciprocity of French American influences. This feeling is quite difficult to contain and rationalize, so do I accept it and try to find in it my identity as an artist.

According to François Dagognet’s filing, I could be an ironic Dadaist; or an activist displaying contemporary civilization excess. More likely, I am dealing with a third range of intimate matters: time passing by, injuries, and tears: «…l’apollinien qui s’efface devant le dyonisaque ». The door is opened, behind which the man I am is at work, creating what I become - what we all will become? A used and dent metal piece that doesn’t want to vanish. 

Olivier FREMONT                     Sculpteur Métal Bronze

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