At the moment, in Paris, no more a cat in the streets after the curfew … except (aug!) Those of Geluck.
Two legs from the Elysée Palace, on the Cats … sorry, on the Champs, between the Place de la Concorde and the Marigny Theater, the Belgian artist Philippe Geluck is exhibiting his Cat in the open air.
20 monumental bronze sculptures nearly 3m high featuring the famous feline in “different humorous-poetic-surrealist scenes”, specifies the sculptor.
“Through these twenty pieces, I hope to bring joy, laughter and a certain surrealist poetry to the public that we love in Belgium”, confides Philippe Geluck.
We discover that he has been making sculptures for 25 years: “I volumeized the Cat in 1988 for the first time, in clay. This clay is then molded, we make a wax and then a bronze.”
These giant works were made in Belgium by Belgian artists and craftsmen.
The Cat is sketched in scenes worthy of Geluck …
The Cat in a dance tutu (“Tutu and Grominet”), The Fakir Cat, the bum with a little mouse … fountains too, “The Water Charmer”, “Pipi and Grobidet”.
Others are more committed …
The Cat squashing a real car (“for once, it’s a car that was run over by a cat”), The Cat carrying, like Atlas, the celestial sphere, but stuffed with plastic bottles (“We a full back “),” The Martyr of the Cat “, inspired by the martyr of St Sébastien, homage to the murdered cartoonists of Charlie Hebdo as well as to all the cartoonists of the world.
As museums and art galleries are closed due to the pandemic, this outdoor exhibition is the only one to see in Paris at the moment. It benefited from great media coverage and significant attendance.
“Finally a little culture! It feels so good to taste the lightness of Geluck, it’s a breath of fresh air”, marveled a passerby.
A lightness which still required 20 tons of bronze since each statue weighs between 800 and 1200 kilos.
“The Cat always has a lot of lightness in his words, but this is heavy,” Geluck joked.
However, the controversy did not take long.
For some, Geluck’s works are “a pinnacle of bad taste, sculptures of large surfaces.”
They regret the time when Paris exhibited the monumental statues of Botero and Ousmane Sow …
Jean de Loisy art critic and curator tweeted: “the only cultural event authorized during the time of closed museums: commercial products derived from Geluck cats. Confusion ? Greed? Naivety? Heartbreaking !! ”
Each piece of the famous feline is for sale for the price of 300,000 to 400,000 euros each.
Philippe Geluck specifies that he is committed not to touch any cent on these sales.
The money will go directly to the financing of the Museum of the Cat and the drawing of humor that the Belgian artist wishes to open in 2024 in Brussels.
This traveling exhibition is visible in Paris until June 9, 2021.
It will then settle in Bordeaux, then in Caen and, after a tour of Europe, will end in 2024 in Brussels for the inauguration of the Museum of the Cat and the drawing of humor.