When it comes to art or wine, perfection is brought about by the alchemy between men and nature.
Entirely won over by Julien Salaud, Maison Ackerman decided to offer this generous artist a permanent exhibition. Called Ecologia Naturotica, this work is a spectacular fresco, evoking nature, and made out of white threads and nails, a specific technique created by the artist. Visitors are invited to dive into this graphic representation. Evoking light and fragile lace, the artwork clings to the tuffeau ceiling and walls, thereby offering an impressive and powerful display.
A symbolic art work at the heart of the monumental Ackerman caves.
“Ecologia Naturotica” is the tale of a sensual relationship with the environment. This relationship was born in Mexico, where Julien Salaud was inspired by rain forest fauna and flora, including butterflies and pumas. Representing poetical animals, a ballet of creatures appears on the gallery’s rocky walls. Julien Salaud exhibits symbolic elements drawn from his imagination to transmit a message influencing his existence: a love of nature and the importance of protecting it.
“The objective of my work is that of renewing sentimental ties between mankind and nature. Nothing is impossible for a willing heart!” explained Julien Salaud.
An ancestral technique at the service of contemporary art
This creation is made out of nails and white threads, the images of which come to life thanks to the lighting. Evoking cave art, Julien Salaud’s work is powerful and poetic. For several years now, Julien Salaud has successfully used this technique inspired by cave art. As he points out, “Today, many ancient artisan techniques have been updated thanks to contemporary art: ceramics, needle work, cave art, metallurgy… We are returning to our roots, going back to the basics.” As a result, he has adapted his cave art to the immensity of the location. Indeed, this embroidery required around 17,000 nails and 20 kilometers of cotton thread. It took 2 and a half weeks to make with the help of 6 permanent volunteers and up to 13 people on some days.
A lot of concentration was required to create this work as the walls and the ceiling of the small space are entirely covered. The artist has also added some prisms to his poetic cave art. It is based upon the principle of anamorphosis, a technique whereby shapes are deformed and reappear again, depending upon the pre-established perspective. The work calls upon the imagination of visitors who distinguish different shapes, as they move throughout the cave.
Julien Salaud, a passionate artist
Born in 1977, Julien Salaud lives and works between France and Mexico. Fascinated by the links, forces and symbols uniting man with nature, this artist creates a magical bestiary. He says that each of his works offers a different point of view about what an animal can be. That of the Cartesian or the geneticist, of the predator or the prey, of the witch or the mystic. His works are immediately intriguing, with their stellar animals and their original poetry: dreams of a spider super hero, Bambi and the star dancers… Julien Salaud’s gentleness is surprising and he enjoys recounting legends rather than fables.
He started with automatic drawings, and then moved on to painting and sculpting.
Julien Salaud’s career is atypical. When he was the award winner of the prestigious Montrouge show in 2010, he seemed to come from nowhere. Yet before this remarkable entrance into the world of contemporary art, the 36-year old artist had already lived various lives: biochemistry followed by ethnology studies, life in a rain forest, where he identified and drew wild animals, illustrations for children’s books and last of all a Masters in plastic arts.
Unclassifiable, outside of contemporary art trends, Julien Salaud’s work reflects his background. Often focusing on animals, his work is at once refined and raw, sometimes even brutal. Yet it remains always esthetic, sensitive, and holds everyone’s attention.
Major revelation at the Montrouge show in 2010, he was awarded the prize of the Hauts de Seine General Council, which allowed him to exhibit his works at the Palace of Tokyo the very same year. Finalist in 2016 of the SAM award for contemporary art, Julien Salaud is represented by the Suzanne Tarasieve gallery in Paris, and has already displayed works of art in Chambord, Singapore, Seoul and Madrid.