daniel firman: suspensions + neon.

An edited version of this article appeared on Josh Spear.

I’m a sucker for neon. It’s bright, colourful, glowing, and often directs you towards something hedonistic like “Beer” or “Open All Night”. When you think about neon sculpture (and who doesn’t) think of French artist Daniel Firman.

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His work is a diverse bunch of opposites. When it comes to neon, it looks like there’s always an attempt at perfection that doesn’t somehow make it. The multi-coloured lines tend to radiate out from a central point in an attempt to create a perfect shape, but they all deteriorate at a point. Near perfect circles have one line that goes a stray. Not a technological failure, but more like an organic neon form with a genetic defect.

His life-sized body cast plaster sculptures stand in impossible formations – balanced on each other’s feet or crawling upward into an inner tube. Clothed and proportioned, but with faces always hidden, their apparent realness is shocking at first.  He plays with the visual trick of making each mannequin look real but defy the laws of gravity at the same time.

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He achieves the same effect with Suspensions – fully dressed bodies held in the air or flopped over metal bars. It’s clear that these aren’t static situations – a moment of action has been captured. Not the jump-off or the landing but some instant in between. Better still is when all the balances are incorporated together into one installation…

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One of his current exhibitions, at La Galeri des Galeries, is a celebration in honour of the 20th anniversary of famed French couturier Christian LaCroix. Appropriately, rather than form the body sculptures from plaster he not only dressed them, but formed their very bodies, from Lacroix’s clothing.

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Comments

  1. Patrick Abel says:

    Monsieur,

    Je suis photographe amateur, j’ai eu le privilège et le plaisir de photographier à Chamarande en 2011 sur plusieurs semaines des personnes passant devant votre création lumineuse Butterfly.
    Ceci s’est donc manifesté à travers un florilège d’ombres chinoises.
    J’ai choisi une quarantaine de ces photos pour en faire un livret sur internet.
    Ceci permet à mon environnement familial, amical et social de pouvoir le consulter en ligne, sans doutes quelques achats seront réalisés, mais mon objectif n’est pas de générer du profit.
    Je souhaitais d’une part partager avec vous le plaisir que j’ai pris à ces nombreux rendez vous du week-end ou j’ai glané ces quelques images et vous remercier.
    D’autre part vous demander si cela le fait d’exposer ces photos ayant pour fond votre création vous pose problème à vous ou votre galerie, ce livre est en ligne depuis hier, si cela devait vous nuire, je le retirerais immédiatement de l’accès au grand public.
    Je suis allé récemment sur votre site et au vu de vos autres créations je ne pense pas en avoir dénaturé le propos.

    En tout cas je serais heureux de connaître votre retour sur ce que j’ai capté de l’humain devant votre sculpture.

    Cordialement.

    Patrick Abel

    Ci joins un lien permettant de visualiser ce livre/

    Ombres Chamarandaises
    http://fr.blurb.com/bookstore/detail/2725265?ce=blurb_ew&utm_source=widget

Trackbacks

  1. […] an Daniel Firman, den hab ich vor einiger Zeit bei Jeremy Elder […]

  2. […] for neon and the work of Swiss artist Lori Hersberger is right up my alley. Similar to the work of Daniel Firman, I can’t get enough of the sleek, elegant geometrics brought to life with that beautiful […]

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