Jean-Marie Appriou (b. 1986 in Brest, France) is based in Paris, where he currently lives and works.
It is with remarkable technical skill that Jean-Marie Appriou takes control of sculptural materials - aluminium, bronze, glass, clay, wax—to envisage fantastical worlds inhabited by human, animal and vegetal figures. Through their skillfully constructed scale, his often imposing works nevertheless maintain an intimate relationship with the viewer, as if to better communicate their disturbing strangeness.
Deeply dreamlike, Appriou’s material universe is imbued with telluric concerns approached from an original perspective: that of the legendary. Horses, snakes, locusts, sharks and seahorses compose a bestiary charged with powerful symbolism. They evolve in a dream realm, a marvellous natural world that becomes a theatre of striking characters. Sowers, gatherers, beekeepers and Japanese Ama divers—all represent figures of passage and transformation. The transition between elements—from the aquatic to the aerial, from the underground to the terrestrial—is one of the central themes of the artist's work.
From archaic ages to futuristic civilisations, between dinosaurs and child astronauts, Appriou produces visions on the edge of psychedelia, mixing pop culture and mythologies from Greek and Egyptian antiquity to science fiction. His sculpture combines the allegorical and the sensual, leaving his fingerprints visible on the material. He weaves a paradoxical narrative that unites the past and the future, the ideal and the perceptible, in a series of hallucinatory ecstasies.
His works has been exhibited at Fondation Louis Vuitton, Paris, at Palais de Tokyo, Paris, at Fondation Lafayette Anticipations, Paris, at Fondation Vincent van Gogh, Arles, at Musée des abattoirs, Toulouse, at Villa Médicis, at Musée d'Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris, at Consortium Museum, Dijon, at the Lyon Biennale. He has been invited by the Public Art Fund to present a group of sculptures to the Doris C. Freedman Plaza, south-east entrace of Central Park, New York, and also to the Château de Versailles, to the David Roberts Art Foundation, London, to the Astrup Fearnley Museet, Oslo, to the Wien Biennial, and in the galleries Jan Kaps, Cologne, Eva Presenhuber, Zurich, Vienne and New York, C L E A R I N G, New York and Bruxelles, Massimo de Carlo, London, Perrotin, Shanghai and Kaikai Kiki, Tokyo