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So, a few years earlier, ALBEN decided to fully devote himself to his art and left his job. This period of increased experimentation served to perfect a unique sculptural technique that combines two of his great passions: object accumulation and resin.
His process initially involves searching for an existing sculpture to create a mold. In an interview with the Bordeaux Art Contemporain team, he revealed that he had the opportunity to purchase the original sculpture of Mao Zedong during a trip to China. This discovery allowed him to create brilliant satirical representations of the founder and leader of the People’s Republic of China.
Once the mold is created, the next step in the process involves a delicate balance between applying resin and precisely positioning each element to reveal a completely unique design. When the sculpture is fully solidified, it is demolded, and then comes the essential polishing stage to make it perfectly crystalline.
In his exhibition at Bordeaux Art Contemporain, titled “Time capsule,” the artist mentions that the tangible rift between the old and the contemporary is intentionally meant to reference the space-time journey. ALBEN aims to take us on a journey through time and space: an adventure as surprising as it is meditative.
Indeed, the sculptor challenges our certainties: his work relies on both the assembly of components and the shift that it can produce. He doesn’t hesitate to use iconic references, whether they come from the art world (Venus de Milo), the History (Mao Zedong), or our childhood pop culture (Goldorak), skillfully combining them with trivial artifacts. While intentionally borrowing aesthetics and forms targeting renowned figures in the art world, the artist states that he has no pretension to be part of a distinct artistic movement.
Whether paying homage or offering sharp criticism, ALBEN’s work relies on the universal and accessible nature of these images to prompt the viewer into a dialogue, often in the form of internal conflict, between two well-known entities that typically have no connection between them. Furthermore, the use of objects related to the world of childhood (Barbie dolls, toy cars) reinforces this sense of discord by tapping into our nostalgia.
Moreover, it is in the resolution of this conflict that the artwork and its underlying issue are expressed: a unique experience that provokes our conditioned thoughts, encouraging us to reconsider our beliefs and gain a clearer perspective on both our current events and our lived history.
The staging in these clear showcases of orphaned remnants of our society appears meaningful. At times critical, at times factual, it remains an informed testament to our era and its evolution.
ALBEN was notably discovered at the Salon des Artistes Indépendants in Paris in 2006, and since then, his works have garnered ever-increasing interest. Over the past fifteen years, both the works and the artist have been on a journey, appearing in galleries, contemporary art fairs, museum exhibitions, and in both private and public collections. They have crossed the doors of cities like Paris, Dubai, Hong Kong, New York, Chicago, Zurich, as well as the borders of Australia, Italy, Mexico, and Japan.
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