Jean-Michel Folon - De zee, die grote beeldhouwer

Breakwater in front of the Albertplein, Het Zoute

About the statue:

Folon - De zee, die grote beeldhouwer

The little man with the hat keeps turning op in his work, lately mostly bronze figures, as a walking Jew searching for a better, utopian world. The name of his work is inspired by the art essay of Marguerite Yourcenar, Le temps, ce grand sculpteur (That Mighty Sculptor, Time). Sitting on the breakwater during high tide, twice every twenty-four hours, washed over by waves, the little statue looks as if he is actually drowning.  

As a child, Jean-Michel Folon often visited the casino of Knokke. Folon drew inspiration from the work of René Magritte for designing this statue. The little man with the bowler also looks like inspector Maigret from the Georges Simenon novels of the same name. “La Mer, ce grand sculpteur”, a bronze, stands, or better, “sits” on a breakwater, modelled by the sea in the sand.

Purchased from the artist

This Work of Art can only be perceived at low tide!

About the Artist:

Was born in Ukkel and died in Monaco. Besides sculptor, he was also a draughtsman, painter, aquarellist, etcher, lithographer, designer of tapestry and posters, a filmmaker, a maker of cartoons, décor designer for theatres and operas, maker of mosaics and stained-glass windows.

He is one of the people who epitomised Belgian art in the 20iest century.

In 1960, he showed his works to an audience for the first time. France was however not interested. He sent his works to several magazines in America. The New Yorker, Horizon and Esquire published his work without ever meeting Jean-Michel. His work was exhibited on the anniversary of the MoMA in New York and at the Venice Biennale in 1970. These exhibitions were Jean-Michel's debut. He is internationally well-known for his isolated characters that are often staged in absurd situations.  

His main source of inspiration is the insensitive and harsh world, transformed by his poetic gift and his subtle, but sometimes stinging humour. As a child, he spent his holidays in Knokke. He died of leukaemia at age 71 in Monaco.

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1997
1997
Ukkel (Belgium)
1934
Monaco
2005

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