An autodidact with a multidisciplinary background, Jean-François André creates sculptures of such sublime beauty that it’s sometimes too easy to forget about their iron-and-stone essence.
Having worked for the Bordeaux National Orchestra, as well as for the Opera of Bordeaux where he operated as part of the ballet technical production team, Jean-François decided to fully dedicate himself to his passion for creation.
Find out more about the artist and his calling in the interview below (translated from French), in which Jean-François reveals some practical aspects of the world of sculpture.
It is said in the description of your profile that you are a self-taught artist. How can one learn arts & crafts on his/her own?
I have an inborn talent for 3D visualisation, as well as an understanding of how natural forces work, and an overview of various existing techniques. What is more, I love challenges – I can say that I am adventurous and creative. I have always experimented with tools and materials. Over time these experiments allowed me to master certain techniques, to adapt or to modify them in order to obtain the desired result.
How did you first decide what materials you wanted to work with?
The materials were chosen in an opportunistic manner based on their financial and technical accessibility. I started with earthen, plaster, cement, collected wood, then acquired wood, which was followed by crushed glass and resin, stone, iron, stainless steel…At the moment it is cling film that I am working with.
What’s the very first step you take to create a new sculpture?
The first step is the process of3D visualisation of an emotion or an idea in my head.
How do you estimate the price of a sculpture?
The current price of my work is a result of thousands of works of art that I have already sold and that serve as the point of reference for me. At first the prices of my sculptures barely covered the cost prices, but with time they were adapted based on the prices that my clients were ready to pay in order to acquire one of my works.
What’s the ultimate objective of your artwork? Is there a specific message you wish to deliver to the world?
My work, when it is not only an aesthetic pleasure, reflects my desire to promote the values of respect and humanity through humour, and, at the same, to encourage introspection.
What kind of art is “mainstream” these days and why? How do you ensure your works are in demand with so much competition?
I never strive to be in a mainstream in order to seduce people into buying. I leave it to art critics to analyse my works if they please. My only concern is to alleviate my soul from its suffering by the means of artistic expression. My wish, above all, is to not make what has already been made – this way the originality of a personal and honest creation allows me to stand out from the competition.
Would it be possible for a person who sees you for the first time to guess that your profession is art-related? Is your creativity somehow manifested in your everyday life?
No, I don’t play the artist – I do not wish to become a caricature whose sole purpose is to attract attention of potential clients. I am an artist, but I’m also father, grandfather, husband, friend, colleague, student, traveler…All of these roles integrated.
My creativity manifests itself in all aspects of my life, as it is the result of extreme greed – a desire to constantly discover and create, a need to pass on solidarity. It is not a tool to highlight for highlighting my person.
Interested in learning more about the artist or getting in touch with him? Here is where you can find Jean-François André and more of his works:
P.S. The artist’s page is entirely in French but Jean-François himself can speak some English 😉