© Matthieu Faury 2019

Matthieu Faury was born in 1970 in Cherbourg. He lives and works in Paris and Avignon.

A  former  student  of  the  Ecole  des  Beaux-Arts  in  Versailles,  Matthieu  Faury  lived  for  two
years in Ivory Coast, where he developed a lively and sensitive style. Back in France he created "contemporary primitive" works - mostly sculptures - inspired by literature, movies, news, science, art history. For the last 15 years, great apes have become one of his favorite themes. He uses a whole range of techniques (modeling, molding, carving, cast  iron,  digital  printing,  digital  cutting  and  industrial  machining)  and  materials (ceramics, stone, marble, bronze, aluminum, resin, etc.).

In 2010 Faury set up his workshop in Avignon (Provence), and the proximity of the historical sites inspired him to create a series of works allowing him to have a dialogue with the architectures that are present in the region. In particular the Helmet of Apollo - an antique style aluminum helmet two meters high - has been exhibited in front of the Pont du Gard, in the ancient site of Glanum and on the esplanade of the chateau at Baux- de-Provence. Inspired by the true story of a female-to-male transgender, he creates the sculpture "H +" depicting a pregnant man, which was exhibited in Avignon during the festival  (July  2012).  For  the  chateau  of  Tarascon,  also  in  2012,  he  installed  a  ‘Ape assembly’ in the chamber of the King René - exhibition Beasts, monsters and creatures - then in 2015 a monumental ‘Castle-Heart', mutant and palpitating architecture, referring to The Book of the Love-Smitten Heart written in the fifteenth century by René d'Anjou. In 2017, in the Sculpture Garden of the Salinger Foundation in Le Thor - Provence, he presents the sculpture Purgatorius, a metaphor of a living Earth undergoing a severe test.

His most recent productions are drawings. It is a set of portraits of transgender men and
women mixing several techniques. They were presented at the DDESSINPARIS art fair (March 2018) and will be exhibited again at the end of September in Beirut (Beirut Art Fair).

His works are in private collections in France, England, Scotland, Italy, Switzerland, the United States and India.

Artist’s statement

My  work  as  a  sculptor  aims  at  revealing  what  is  no  longer  visible,  what  ultimately  the
human has forgotten of his own nature.

Understanding the human being is the subject.  I study what defines it, including its opposition to animal nature.  What is human?  Is there a clear border between human and animal?  Between civilized and barbarian?  Between man and woman?

My  art  merges  morphology,  biology,  history,  tales  and  philosophy.  My  works  refer  as much  to  popular  and  classical  culture  (references  to  fairy  tales,  Shakespeare,  René d'Anjou) as to contemporary issues (democracy, transgender, anthropocene). And to the history of art too, this great kaleidoscope, to which I borrow incessantly fragments of forms and ideas.

My artistic approach is Darwinian on many levels. Within my creations you will find these notions of transformation and mutation primordial. They are at the heart of my creative process and very apparent in my artistic subjects.

For me, sculpting consists first of shaping, molding, cloning, deforming, chiseling, sundering, enrobing, polishing, burning, firing ... When I create, nothing remains in its original form. On the contrary, all materials, from the purest to the most complex, are transformed. Hence a vast array of materials, textures and colors in my work.

In addition, I consistently re-address the theme of evolution, in the Darwinian sense of the term. The kinship between animals and humans, and the vagueness of biological boundaries, are perceived with irony or emotion as much in my "political skulls" as in my sculptures of great apes. The figures of the ‘man-mama’ (‘H +’, the pregnant man), of mutant objects (Ape suitcases, bio-helmet, Helmet of Apollo) or hybrid architectures (Extruded Temple, Dance of the Castle, Chateau-Cœur) present also my reflections on the limits of our condition and on the ambivalence of the being.

The ape is the common thread and protagonist of my work for years. It reminds us how human nature and ‘animal nature’ are intertwined. Great apes have an element of humanity in them, and we have an element of "simianity" in us. And it is this common, polymorphous, surprising and colorful part that I explore through art.

The figure of the ape is interesting because this is the alter ego of the human, sometimes
mocking,   sometimes   tragic.    It   reveals   and   transfigures   our   own   condition.    The
‘Simianitus’, with its many variations, has allowed me to show the world through the intrusive or astonished eyes of another primate. It also unveils certain contradictions of the  human  character.  My  approach  may  appear  also  political,  deeply  rooted  in  the present, questioning the foundations or the future of our life together

My art indeed has a strong narrative frame and proves to be a support of reflection that is effective, though unexpected. The patterns present in my paintings or in my sculptures - ape   busts   as   emperors,  simian  helmets,  split-doubled   skeletons,   political   vanitas, pregnant man, distorted architectures or the bio-helmet - propose each its own point of view, but also offer a multitude of meanings for the viewer who can also find dissimilarity or nonsense

I indeed like to change the meaning of a work through simple details, enabling it to derive
for  example:  from  the  individual  to  the  collective,  from  animal  to  ecology,  from  male  to
transgender, from ancient times to current politics.

Therefore my works through both their techniques and their words are a sort of bold and
unique exegesis of the world and of our own nature.

Solo exhibitions

. Marie Jaouen Gallery, BEIRUT ART FAIR
. Marie Jaouen Gallery, DDESSINPARIS ART FAIR
« Amour merci mon ! », ovine performance - In a field, Sauveterre
If the castles were a tale….- Château de Tarascon - Centre d’arts René d’Anjou 
NEVER///AGAIN, Maison de Fogasses, Avignon
· LIFE AT ALL COST - Galerie LC, Paris
Metaphysics of helmets, Town hall and castle esplanade, Baux-de-Provence
To protect Art- archeological site of Glanum, Saint-Rémy-de-Provence
Animals architects - Hôtel de Sade, Saint-Rémy-de-Provence - Festival AP’ART
Apollo’s Helmet - Pont du Gard
Simianitus - Galerie LC, Paris
Dualities - Galerie Fugitive, Paris
· J.Zogo Gallery, Le Plateau, Abidjan

Group Exhibitions

. Winners of the “Expression Terre” ceramic contest, La Piscine Museum, Roubaix
. Winners of the “Expression Terre” ceramic contest, Douai School of Art
. ODD Gallery, Saint-Paul de Vence
. Sculpture garden, Poppy & Pierre Salinger Foundation, Le Thor
. ABBYAC - Abbaye de Saint-André, Villeneuve-lès-Avignon
. Superflux - Viens voir, lieu de curiosité artistique, Tavel
· Galerie Pascal Lainé, Ménerbes
· Dialogues with Goya, Hôtel de Manville, Les Baux-de-Provence - Festival AP’ART
Monumental confrontation, path of contemporary sculptures, Linz and Pascal Lainé
galleries, Ménerbes
Tombés des nues, Chapelle du Grand Couvent, Cavaillon
25 years of contemporary art, Galerie Pascal Lainé, Ménerbes
2012  · beasts, monsters and creatures, dialogue around the medieval and contemporary art
- Castle of Tarascon
· Hyper*corps -Courtyard of the Municipal Archives, Avignon
Contemporary Vanitas- Galerie LC, Paris
Art/Design - Maatgallery, Paris
· Maatgallery, Paris
About Congo, Noisy-le-Grand, Espace Michel Simon