An oak tree as old as three hundred centuries has now been turned into numerous wooden characters. An exhibition of Steph Cop sculptures only is being presented at Kolly Gallery in Zurich, its space being invaded with the chainsaw-made ARO, the trademark artistic creatures of the French artist. Apparently the same, these pieces embed deeply individual spirit, bringing us both into the future and back in the past. The show once again proves the impeccable curating skills of the gallery owner, Julien Kolly, with whom we had the pleasure of chatting in one of our Podcasts.
The Universe of Steph Cop
Born and raised in France, the 47-year-old contemporary artist Steph Cop became involved with the arts during the 1980s. He was one of the figures involved with the rise of graffiti in France, following his membership in the Control of Paris group, notorious for tagging the fences of the Louvre pyramid during its construction in 1986. Creating in an urban environment became an excuse for Steph Cop to hang out and experience life in a new way. These adventures even brought him to the home of graffiti, New York City, where in 1996 he left his mark on the city’s surface together with legends like MIST and Cope2. Before that, in 1992, he also launched his streetwear labels, Homecore and Ladysoul, of which he was the artistic director until 2005.
The ARO Designers Toys
By the late 1990s, Steph Cop turned to making his graphic creations real. Stepping into the world of art toys, the artist gave birth to the Imaginary Friends, and his famous vinyl character ARO (Analyse Reflexe Obsessionnelle – Obsessive Reflex Analysis). Once made of plastic, they evolved into wooden sculptures, made from wood inside the forests of Morvan, where Steph Cop moved to live from Paris in 2007. Using fallen trees and carving them with a chainsaw, he turns their imperfections into marvellous forms, giving them a new meaning and a new life. His isolated adventure in the woods has proved to be a remarkable experience, having encouraged him to find himself and a new source of inspiration. For him, the ARO are a symbolic allegory of his emotions, a projection of the encounter between nature and machine. The exciting endeavour of discovering the wonders of century-old trees reveals the hidden notions of history and time, all the while carrying personal observation of the artist himself.
Steph Cop Sculptures at Kolly Gallery
The exhibition of Steph Cop sculptures opened at Kolly Gallery in Zurich, Switzerland, on September 3rd. At the crowded opening, the visitors were able to enjoy the small chocolate replicas of Steph Cop’s ARO, made by the famous chef of the Restaurant La Palme d’Or in Cannes, Christian Sinicropi. The exhibition will stay on view until October 4th, 2015, giving you a unique opportunity to examine, smell, touch, listen to each of these incredible pieces, carefully chosen by the artist.
Scroll down for the exhibition catalogue and price list!
Sign up for My Widewalls and enjoy contemporary art for free.
All images courtesy of Kolly Gallery.