The Sculptor Gilles Durfort shares with us the progress of his artistic work mixing his intimate matters with the history of Art:
I started out in the art world as a photographer, collaborating with Leo Castelli‘s gallery for 3 consecutive years. Their association with American art of the eighties, and notably the Starn Brothers, played a decisive role in my shift in medium from photography to sculpture. It was upon being awarded a two-year art scholarship that I was able to join Atelier Bobe. This salutary and productive apprenticeship allowed my first creations to ‘emerge’: steel-glass sculptures. It was the technique of breaking glass that, over a period of ten years, brought me closer and closer to working with metal, firstly steel, and most recently, aluminium.
His artistic expression
A recurring theme in my work is my childhood, my life, my personal development. The alchemy of matter within my imagination has led me towards such intimate sources of inspiration, from my birth to my self-portrait, or other more universal themes such as “freedom”. The confrontation of another glance always ‘intimidates’ me at first, considering both the subjective sensitivity of the observer, and their interest in something so personal to me. My work is linked to the relationship between the history of art and its progression over centuries. I work to include references from the past in my sculptures, meanwhile fusing them with contemporary forms, with the spirit of a more traditional sculpture. I have several sources of inspiration from throughout art history, including the work of the English sculptor Henry Moore.
The evolution of my artistic expression corresponds to both my personal experiences and artistic trends. I am currently working on a new form of sculpture that is more akin to an installation. My last exhibition in 2019 in Versailles brought together several of my works and marked the beginning of this series. My ongoing research catalyses new thoughts and ideas, allowing me to consistently evolve and progress. My objective is to create works without necessarily intending to produce a feasible object in reference of Joseph Kosuth, one of the leaders in Conceptual Art of the United States.
Very early on in my career, I had the opportunity to work with the prestigious art dealer Monsieur Laborie for a period of more than fifteen years. This granted me time to concentrate exclusively on my work, without the distraction of a part-time job. I could progress with creative freedom and improve my technique. This precious time helped me to achieve my goal of aesthetic refinement such that I felt ready to exhibit my work. The exciting discovery of the exhibiting world, especially collective exhibitions, facilitated introductions to other artists and an escape from my studio solitude. After winning several awards for my work, I had the chance to meet Art historian Martine Monteau, one of the few people who immediately understood my creative outlook. Unfortunately, due to the current health crisis, my upcoming exhibitions have had to be cancelled for the moment.
His relationship with Art-Trope
The development of my career in the art world has posed more problems than I expected. As explained above, for an extended period of time, I managed to focus exclusively on developing my work in order to offer quality to collectors. When I eventually entered the art market independently, it was only with minimal experience. For several months I tried to find useful tools to help me develop my career. I decided to sign with the Art-Trope agency, having studied and contemplated their evolution and approach for several months. Their website is a true testament to their professionalism, and this is what attracted me the most. What is pivotal to the Art-Trope proposal is the communication aspect which facilitates sales, combined with the implementation of excellent digital strategies. Furthermore, the Art-Trope team respects and understands the artist’s needs and the pace at which they like to work. Whatever the circumstances, Virginie will try her best to find a strategy for you and/or update the one initially planned. As they strongly emphasise, they are absolutely committed to assisting each artist for their foreseeable future, unlike many other platforms that only seek to ‘collect’ artists.
Discover the Art-Trope profile of Sculptor Gilles Durfort here.
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