Jean-Luc Lacroix

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Steel sculptures

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Jean-Luc Lacroix, or the art that repairs.

One recognizes a genuine creator, because his style, his brand, his signature are a permanent rewriting of his history and of the highlights of his life.  Jean-Luc Lacroix is a poet who likes to thwart the rhyme: lock with sculpture, pulley and embroidery, nail wheel lock nut... gem!

A sculptor and designer of furniture in RecupArt, Jean-Luc Lacroix offers to older tools, utensils or other items the chance of a life more beautiful, a contemplative retreat.  His talent in the art of recovery and his imagination in the creative reconstruction are without limits.  A chair or a console in the sculptured design gives the tray of a pedal assembly the elegance of lace, a fifth wheel as a small pedestal table makes it a beautiful set to pulleys and cranks... But the effect of his work would be incomplete if it did not emphasize the humor that runs through each part: a phantasmagoric bestiary or realistic vain brightenes his work, as well as suggestive names like "Hangover sewer", "Urlub" or "Brutus".

RecupArt is a sign of our times, but Jean-Luc Lacroix was already confronted with it when he was a small child.  His great-grandfather was a "collector", at times a scrapper, slasher, junkman and antiquarian.  He had also been a horseshoer.  Therefore the artist was quite young as he came in contact with junk and the arts of fire.

Today, Jean-Luc Lacroix finds his raw material as much in second hand goods as in a detour of a stroll in the forest.  But the recovered material has meaning only through the total transformation that is happening in the heart of the workshop: furniture and sculptures receive care and finishes which are totally forgetting the state of filth and defilation of the original material: wheels, carcasses of burned-out cars, debris from steel, aluminum, brass or even of wood find a new reason to be.  Each work can be manipulated as the most innocuous objects, even though it is often a mere scrap at the outset.

Jean-Luc Lacroix is a Baudelaire of fire: he has this gift to see behind the articles the most common or trivial, under patina or dirt, the promise of a balanced and harmonious work.  One of the claims of the poet was to extract the beauty of an otherwise poor,  insignificant or even vulgar life, at a time when poetry seemed to have exhausted the more noble subjects.  Like this master, Jean-Luc Lacroix, searches for a transmutation of the object and of the material, an alchemy of the real.

His first creative approaches are dating back to adolescence: his fragile health in fact forces a sedentary life style, more thinking than doing.  He paints and draws, for himself, and then for others.  He becomes a graphic designer and illustrator, notably in the field of fantasy.  In the 80s, he discovers a rather limited universe in paintings which don't find their place elsewhere but in their own milieu.  He works constantly, on projects for clients during the day and on his personal creations during the night.  He is also interested in sculpture and the arrangement of volumes, first with terracotta, but very quickly he feels dissatisfied and limit.  He wishes to make larger and more complex works.  He then becomes a part of a collective adventure which proves decisive.  They are three sculptors and create for public authorities or private individuals several monumental steel sculptures, nearly 6 meters of height.  It is a work that combines precision and pace and during which he refined his know-how, in the preparation of the sketches and then in the final achievements.  

Today, when people ask Jean-Luc Lacroix what the creation of his sculptures gives him, he replies that it is his life, that he cannot do anything else, he is thinking about day and night.  He alternates or accumulates the various stages of the creative process.  The gestation period of a project is by far what occupies him the most: realization of sketches, investigations for the formatting of the parts or the circumvention of the obstacles, it is a permanent cogitation in which all of the elements are gathered for the pure work of the technical.

When we admire a sculpture of Jean-Luc Lacroix, we immediately identify an object, a character, an animal, we are touched by the kindness in his treatment, we smile at the breathtaking symbolic or humorous meaning which animates and and makes us recognize the object.

Finally, he is happy to share what inspired these objects.

© Veronique Kadri - Maison Dauphine Gallery.

© All of the images on this website are copyrighted original artworks by their author and are protected by international copyright law. No materials in this gallery may be reproduced, copied, downloaded, or used in any form without written permission of the contemporary artist Jean-Luc Lacroix.
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