Chris Gilmour’s cardboard!

24 mai 2017

From Auguste Rodin to Michelangelo through César, Jean Dubuffet or Alberto Giacometti, the world of sculpture has given birth to many sacred monsters of contemporary Art. Alongside these artists with their flashy names, other sculptors have succeeded in drawing on their talent, but also and aboe all on their originality. This is the case of Chris Gilmour.

A sculptor like no other

Northwest England, in the southern suburbs of Manchester, between the almost usual gray and the vestiges of an industrial golden age, stands Stockport, a city carved like dozens in Albion. Anonymous city in a county where Liverpool and Manchester are culturally dominated. Stockport is the hometown of Paul Warhust, a short-lived British footballer, and Dominic Howard, the drummer of the Muse group. Yet this city crossed by the Mersey could one day prove to be the motherland of a certain Chris Gilmour who pushed his first cries in 1973.

After studying Art in Bristol in 1997 and opening a studio in Manchester, he settled in Italy in 2000 in Udine, in the heart of Friuli. Since then, Chris Gilmour is definitely more (re) known in the “Boot” than Overseas. In 2006, the prestigious Premio Cairo, created in 2000 by the renowned publisher Urban Cairo, was rewarded in a surprising way by Gilmour, who proposed a scale sculpture entirely made with recycled cardboard. "I always used cardboard, but originally it was to make prototypes and models, and my first piece, which was a sculpture itself, was a real-size cardboard cow made in 1998. A humorous answer to what was happening at the time, to replace cattle slaughtered during the mad cow epidemic."

Full marks

From then on, Chris Gilmour began to consider cardboard as a very interesting material to practice sculpture and began to make pieces more seriously. "The cardboard, although not as strong as traditional sculpture materials like marble or wood, is very flexible. In the end, my works are no more fragile than the works on paper, bronze or wood. As long as the cardboard is treated with care, it should last a lifetime; the oldest piece I have made is nearly twenty years old and is intact."

The British artist recycles the packaging material in his detailed sculptures. The realism of the objects carved by Gillmour is such that the artist has already surprised visitors attempting to operate one of his typewriters or open a car door before realizing that the pieces are actually works of Art and not reality. Playing between the memories of childhood, both in the cardboard used and the sculptures made (bicycles, horses, typewriter...), and future prospects by placing himself as a major player in the recycl'art, Chris Gillmour made a modern and environmentally friendly declaration of love while playing on our own nostalgia.

Manuel Martinez, the chance of torn cardboard

The body, most often motif used in his acrylic paintings, is a pretext for exploring lines and volumes. Borrowing from a graphic vocabulary and the universe of Street art, the artist's canvases or murals are the expression of a new writing which he reorganizes the signs. A hand becomes a line of waves, a nose a tube, an eye a circle, the whole composition is transformed as the gesture becomes a gigantic equation that Manuel Martinez amuses himself to solve, in a desire to "reorganize Chaos "according to his expression.

But chance also plays its part and the paintings on torn cardboard by the artist address the question of arbitrariness, economy and the fragility of the gesture as sine qua non condition of the act of creation.

Working the opposites so that they can better marry, the artist is in search of the "vibrations" created by the contradiction between two colors, a hollow that borders a bump, the autonomous, floating elements that fit together as much of creative possibilities, as so many revealing shocks.