The eye of the collector by Jean-luc Ferrand


Tuesday 5 April 2016, by Barbara Cogollos

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Jacques DARBAUD, young Congolese with calabash, in bronze covered by a brown-red patina and numbered 6/8.

Jacques DARBAUD is born in 1943, at Aix-en-Provence, South of France. His father is a painter and his a mother is an actress. Moreover, he is Fortuney’s grandson, who was a famous painter. After studying at Montcel College in Jouy en Josas, he joins la Grande Chaumière academy and he also goes to André Lhote academy. During these years, he works as a furniture designer, painter and sculptor but also as film set designer.

Jacques DARBAUD is one of the best Africanist French sculptors both for the emotion and for the strong realism of his characters.

In 1993, Jacques DARBAUD settled in south of France where he realized an anime sculpture workshop in parallel of his own creation. Thanks to Herberd Ward, an English sculptor and anthropologist, Jacques DARBAUD feels the passion for Africanist sculpture. Indeed, he buys some of his works in a sell of Herberd Ward’s workshop in 1987. Herberd Ward is a major figure and one of the great Africanist sculptors of the 19th century. During this time, fields of investigation open for the artists who were confined in an academic creation and a classic education in Rome.

Now they look towards new horizons and mostly in Africa. Settlements and International Exhibitions allow for the discovering of this new land. Moreover, travelling abroad lead to a particular interest towards these civilizations and reverberate in the artistic production. Jacques DARBAUD is greatly inspired by Herbert Ward and for all his creation. Therefore, he reflects a style extremely naturalist with fidelity of transcription which serves an ethnographic dimension.

This DARBAUD’s sculpture, young Congolese with calabash, reveals completely this spirit: the artist shows a child in a quotidian and normal work which emphasizes the interest for this foreign way of life and for their acts and gestures. Besides, the child is represented in movement with this hand full of grace that gives him a significant sensitivity. Woman representation is also sublimate always in a research of naturalism.

Every years Philippe Heim Gallery introduces Jacques DARBAUD in Les Tuileries, as part of Pavillon des Arts et du Design and also permanently in Brussels, in a Sablon’s Gallery where his art is approach by an international clientele so he features in a large number of privates collections.

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