Sculptor Anne Millot has made the human nose the central theme of her work and invites us to visit her unique and poetic creative universe:
Floriental inspired by Sandrine Malin, 2014 © Anne Millot
Deeply affected by both visual art and music since my youth, I worked as an amateur artist for more than 20 years – from portraiture and human anatomy to landscapes. As my life developed, I pursued a career as a consultant and then as a civil servant. But it became clear that these professions would not fulfill my creative drive. It is for this reason that I decided to abandon this trajectory. The desire to devote myself exclusively to art was thus fulfilled in 2012, when I formally established my studio in Pairs, where I still work today. I was formally trained in ceramics and woodcarving, and these skills would allow me to respond to my creative impulses. Ceramics is particularly interesting to me because it is a medium that allows and even incites experimentation. I continue to explore these techniques, rich in nuances and textures, in my studio as a self-taught artist.
Her artistic statement
With the nose as my central and exclusive theme, I have drawn from multiple sources of inspiration: 7th-century art, perfumers, rugby players, mythology, illustrious characters, Picasso, and of course my own imagination. Working in clay and wood, I experiment with different types of representation: realism, abstraction, cubism, and often elements of the grotesque. The shape of the nose itself caters wonderfully to such interpretations. In my work, the nose is systematically isolated from the natural context of the face. I attempt to imbue the nose with a classical, surprising, singular, and erotic presence. Each sculpture, whilst responding to the same theme, is unique, as each work speaks of a human intimacy between the subject (the individual whose nose I model my sculpture from) and myself, the artist. The works remain distinct due to my technique and processes: I model each work individually without resorting to casting, and I particularly enjoy playing with the effects and potentialities of enamels. In my view, their renderings themselves contribute to the narrative of the person I am inspired by. The intimacy of the materials aids the viewer’s involvement in the work further; they become an active element in the translation of the individual’s story to its manifestation in my work. I want to stimulate the viewer’s imagination; I want them to be interrogative, dubious, perplexed, subjugated, fascinated. I also feel an artistic obligation to give back a visual space to the human form. The powerful individuality of the nose is infinitely more noticeable when this facial feature is isolated from its context, and it is this uniqueness that I want the viewer to notice, explore and celebrate. The nose is not a classically beautiful element in itself, and I want to grapple with such notions and codes of beauty to delve into something deeper and more interesting.
Plant transparency inspired by Jean Nouvel, 2018 © Anne Millot
My work has become increasingly bold as my artistic agenda has evolved, particularly in terms of size. All ceramic pieces require firing at least twice, and this transitional process creates great potential for unknowable outcomes, providing an element of automatism. The larger a piece is, naturally, the heavier it will be. My latest creations have tended to be more ambitious in size. My innovation was awarded in 2017 with the Honours Prize at the Salernes Museum Competition, the theme or artistic stimulus being ‘vampire’. The piece I created, “La Carmilla”, features noses on a spinning plate. Upside down, they metamorphose into teeth, revealing and then concealing in turn a drop of porcelain blood. Another example of my work, which combines wood and crystal, was exhibited at at Art Capital in the Grand Palais in February. It is the relationship between wood and ceramics, such natural elements, that I look to explore in my work. Along this trajectory I plan to create performances, installations and works on an even greater scale.
John, 2016 © Anne Millot
My artwork has been exhibited both in France and internationally. In November 2018, The Cyril Guernieri Gallery in Paris hosted my first solo exhibition. Being a part of the group exhibition at the Montansier Theater in Versailles, juxtaposed with the performance of “Edmond” by Alexis Michalik, was a fantastic experience. My works have also been exhibited at the Ceramics Museum of Lezoux, as part of their Night of Creation, and also at the Museum of Salernes for the International Ceramics Award, as mentioned above. Several group exhibitions in London, at the Poros Museum in Portugal, in Bruges, and in Lausanne have punctuated my artistic career. I have particularly vivid memories of an exhibition at an international congress of rhinoplasty in Versailles, which was a real success. I was selected to exhibit at the Art Capital exhibition from 11th-16th February 2020, hosted at the Grand Palais, and in January 2020 I was awarded the Exhibitors’ Medal for my category by the jury for “Emphatic blueberry, inspired by the nose of Myrtille Chartuss”, now on display at the Esart Galeria in Barcelona.
Art Capital 2020 Flyer © Anne Millot
Her relationship with Art-Trope
Art-Trope advises me in the direction and development of my artistic career. It also supports me in building a stronger digital presence via the internet and social media. Indeed, it is important to me that I develop an online portfolio, supported by a team who is so concerned with producing high-quality content. The bilingual representation they provide me has become essential to my career, and Art-Trope’s experience in the industry has strongly impacted my artistic presence. This new generation artists’ agency is a guarantee of international representation.
Discover the Art-Trope profile of Sculptor Anne Millot here.
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