14 Apr 2017

Mechanical Animals

The art of Edouard Martinet celebrates the union between animal and metal, between the natural environment and the manufactured one, two worlds that ordinarily sit at odds next to each other. Yet in successfully bringing them together, Edouard demonstrates the loving nature of such an incongru relationship. His art brings two worlds apart together; and those opposites attract - and charmingly distract the viewers, with a little steampunk quirkiness for some of them.

The iron-clad animals neither have a heart of glass nor a mind of metal! They use a little poetic licence to soften the metal that inhabits them, give it soul and emotion, imbued with the fragility of life as it stands, a heartbeat away, a flutter away.

The French artist is equally inspired by nature's creatures as he is by parts from bicycles, motorcycles and automobiles from an era where elegance was fluent in design. Martinet is a visionary master magpie, who painstakingly collects and selects parts, restores them, upcycles them into a clever assemblage that mimics the natural world, the visual interpretation of a buoyant mind.

It wasn't long before the not-so-crazy professor had caught the eye of the talent chasers over at Colossal. When such thing happens, you know as an artist that you are striking gold out of the confidential into the mainstream, and the publicity will warrant a certain level of celebrity status and attract 'the bigger guns' - eventually.

Of note is the fact that these mechanical animals proudly wear badges of long-gone French brands prominently displayed, a delight of curves and cursives, appliqué embellished typefaces that resemble signatures. The creatures wear them like they would their heart, on their sleeves or on the collar, and this really is monsieur Martinet's craftsman's tradesmark. Brands like Koehler Escoffier, Monet & Goyon, Luxor, Lorette, Mobylette, Phares Besnard, brands that sing like the birds and bugs who wear them.

Source: (1-8) Photography via Edouard Martinet, except for (3) 'Sardine' (detail) and (5) 'Big Crapeau', both via Colossal.

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