"Born in Switzerland, in 1941, to a prominent family of art and antique collectors, I started to sculpt wood at a very young age. I was drawn to and learned the technique of bronze and lost wax casting “because it is the most demanding material which is responsive and sweet to the touch.” My work is figurative but is not about the figure. I consider myself an expressionist as I am more interested in communicating an abstract feeling or idea than an actual image."
Jean-Jacques Porret’s surreal sculptures transcend the mere human form they represent, and instead draw the viewer in with their delicate expressionism, rhythmic movement, and abstract sensuality.
To categorize Jean-Jacques’ work as figurative or abstract is moot. Though figurative in practice, the work is never about the figure, but the emotions and ideas shared by the human race, expressed in the tension of his fluid curves and precarious balance. Though abstract in nature, the recognizable form and innate humanity residing within each piece is impossible to ignore. Thus, we are given a case study in restraint, with the artist utilizing the best aspects of each genre without clouding his final result, creating a self-styled harmony.
Over time, his work has only become more dramatic in its simplicity. As Porret’s experimentation with his iconoclastic style moves forward, the outcomes will undoubtedly continue to serve as a reflection of our collective and personal experiences, possibly changing in shape, but never in sensibility.
This review was published by Circle Foundation for the Arts © CFA Press ∙ Images are courtesy of the artist