The artistic universe of bronze sculpture by the French artist Moline
Moline comes from a family of whom the father had always had very strong connections with art. Since his earliest childhood, his father tries to open Moline’s eyes and mind through art, painting, sculpture, engraving or netsukes. At that time, Moline was still an observer. In the 1990s, he made an appearance to Art School without finishing it. Then, he started to create but what he made did not encourage him towards artistic creation.
Emergence of a sculptor
His father, whom he loves, fell in a long-term illness. This period had been difficult for Moline, he had taken care of him for four years of suffering. Few months after his father’s death, Moline suffered from depression. He then reconsidered the whole of his basics. After several sessions of modelling with an artist, Moline has decided to create Léon. Through this character, Moline tries to gather all the signs of his angst. He affixes them to his statuette. In the first place, the artist wanted to create a character easy on the eye. But he was aware that Léon was also a kind of self-portrait under which he hid the signs of his breakdown. Moline says he gets in a zone which is made of factors such as simplicity, symbolism, calculation and anticipation. For his funny and meaningful Japano-Parisian characters, Moline pulls his inspiration from Japan, a civilisation which attracts him, when he was younger, he even did aikido. He tries to give to Léon a small Japanese touch without removing its French identity. Even if Léon’s outfit is truly French, it reminds us of a hakama.
The story of Moline’s pseudonym given by the painter Chanco.
For years, Moline has forged strong links with the painter Roland Chanco through a regular correspondence. He shows him his work. Chanco finds it interesting and encourages Moline to carry on. It is at this moment that Chanco names him ‘Moline’. It is a true honour for Moline. So, it is at 45 years old that Moline artistically arises and expresses himself.
Transitivity with God, inalterable materials, notions of time and mystic
Deep down inside himself, Moline is convinced that everything comes into being thanks to God and that, inescapably, everything comes back to him sooner or later. It is n this way, that he understands the Alpha and the Omega. What God gives with one hand, he can take it back whenever he wants to.
Moline, who considers himself as a believer, tackles his sculptures thinking he is only an instrument. But he also puts his sculptor’s gesture in relation with god’s creative act. Moline does is utmost to sculpt materials judged inalterable such as bronze and ceramic. On some models, he adds solid gold such as Léon’s nose which is in form of a phallus.
Moline also like what is connected with mysteries, hidden or secret things. He enjoys putting signs, numbers and so on…
Abstract of explanations about the sculpture entitled “Léon” by Moline
I introduce you to a work composed of a four bronzes chronology
An original series
The series of bronze entitled “Léon” arises in the artist’s breakdown in 2016. This original work of eight copies and four artist’s proof is composed of 4 different series which shape a story. This series is signed on Léon’s right foot and it is punched Fonderie de Bronze Lauragaise. It is also referenced BrefArt.
From the eight copies, the artist made four series which represent the evolution of Moline’s breakdown from its beginning to its end. Indeed, to each artist’s proof there are two original works matching.
Moline explores and creates a link between the beginning and the end of his disease.
1st artist’s proof: Léon is black. This is a sign of the peak of Moline’s breakdown.
2nd artist’s proof: Léon get a nose made of solid gold symbolizing the sexual comeback.
3rd artist’s proof: Léon becomes golden, to Moline it is synonymous of his work on sculpture and of the vitality he gets thanks to art. His recovery is underway and other ideas start to emerge.
4th artist’s proof: Léon is colourful. Moline gets back a taste for life and adds colours.
Léon is a self-portrait of Moline during his breakdown in 2016. In this context, Moline tries to express himself through Léon’s well-rounded shapes and through the character’s expression. He introduces symbols, figures, measures and so on.
A breakdown is a hidden disease in the eyes of the general public, the family and the relatives. Therefore Moline gives Léon a funny appearance to show that nothing is seen but that is lived from the inside. Though it does not prevent from converting all the emotions; this strong and sometimes negative life experience on his sculpture. To this end, he directs his sculpture to include numerous symptoms.
Explanation on some of his body parts
-First of all, Moline with this self-portrait makes a big abyss between his own size and his sculpture. The character is massive while Moline is quite the opposite. Hence he marks the sign of his body’s rejection and detachment at that time.
-The sculpture’s left shoulder is higher than the right one. He thus suggests that his life is not a straight line without any trouble.
-Moline makes Léon’s nose the depiction of a man’s phallus. His breakdown takes away from him any sexual activity. The nose becomes the main focus of Léon’s face. He makes the nose a key element of the character’s history. In the 2nd artist’s proof, Moline grants Léon a nose made of solid gold which becomes a sign of his first victory over his disease having a sexual activity back.
-The ears are the other way round to show his inability to hear or understand things.
-The lack of mouth is a deliberate choice to stipulate that at a time of illness communication often generate a mutism leaving the person isolated, in front of him. An operation takes place in him.
-The strands of hair have a double history. Indeed, the bottom of the jacket and trousers which flutter around thanks to a light breeze need to be taken into account. However, the hair smooth and stationery make the character insensate to the benefits of the weather. He does not feel the warm side that you can have with a ray of sunshine on your face or with a light breeze which caress your face. Moreover there are seven of them. This figure is bringing luck but it also represents the Seven Deadly Sins which turn out to be static.
-The jacket meets at the level of the belt forming an empty round but signposted towards the bottom located at the level of his belly. Stress overwhelms Léon; it is part of the character. Stomach ache is a central system in the disease and so stress in general is.
-Moline is a believer so to show his help request and his gratitude he hides a cross which takes shape between his legs. This cross looks like a clover but not a four –leaf clover! We can very often find the cross on Moline’s works.
-To illustrate his attraction for Japan, Moline works on the trousers and the jacket which make us think to a kimono and a Japanese hakama.
The technique used for the bronze series is the lost wax one. Moline is present to every step. He corrects the wax, the chasing, he burnishes, he paints… He is fastidious, forthright and even annoying about his passion but he is very respectful. He loves life, people and human relationships.
The 1st artist’s proof is commensurate with two other numbered sculptures. Moline created his mould in clay. But he wants the size of his sculpture to be respected. So he does not fire the mould to do not lose the measures because of the firing because as we know, Moline attaches great importance to symbolism in general including measures. His mould is mostly destroyed during the detaching.
The 2nd artist’s proof is also commensurate with two other numbered sculptures. They are garnished by a nose made of solid gold. Why gold? Even if he has not much money and that the financial investment is huge for him, Moline wants to mark some importance to Léon’s nose to celebrate in his own way all the strength that he withdraws from the comeback to a certain sexual activity at that time. He underlines this symbol with some gold more shiny than the 18 carats. Here too, this is a story of figures because he uses a 22 carats gold (22 is dear to his heart, he is born a 22). A black matt is affixed on the bronze to attract attention on the star of this variant: the nose.
The final bronze is created in two steps: a bronze without any nose and then Moline adds the nose. It is made with the techniques of a dental technician, put in place, mechanically fixed and glued.
The 3rd artist’s proof is also commensurate with two other numbered sculptures. It is the reflection of his victory over his disease and thanks to art. He creates Léon in a golden colour, without patina and in mirror polished. Only the colourless wax is protecting the sculpture which is shiny to everybody’s eyes.
The 4th artist’s proof is also commensurate with two other numbered sculptures. It is the finale. Moline gets a taste back for life. He becomes a kind and respectful person, he gets back his humour. He leaves the world of sadness to look on the bright side of life again, of course without forgetting his past full of experiences. He adds colour on the last series most probably in tribute to Roland Chanco, a wonderful painter and also to his father, a lover of painting.