It takes a special kind of creative brain to sort a pile of
random junk into an anamorphic arrangement that looks like
complete chaos from most angles, but comes together into a work
of art from the right perspective. These compositions are like
visual puzzles, requiring the artist to select objects of just
the right size, shape and color and place them very precisely
within a three-dimensional space to get the right result.
French artist Bernard Pras
has mastered this unusual medium, creating found object
installations that morph from messes to masterpieces.
A painter, sculptor and photographer, Pras has spent twenty
years refining his methods. He starts each project with a
sketch, and then builds the outline in three dimensional space.
His ability to intuitively choose which objects to place in the
frame comes from all those years of practice, he says, making
it almost subconscious.
“I consider that my painting work became the current form of my
work,” he says
in an interview with Age of Artists. “I see it as a logical
development of what I was doing in painting. It is an evolution
and not a change. It was a reflection and a process that
brought me to it naturally. Around thirty years old, I had an
insight of what I wanted to do in regard of what I was
painting. I realized that what I was interested in was nearly
what I was doing between two paintings. This empty space, this
kind of area… This mysterious link that ties together different
paintings I painted consecutively. So I looked for a way to
express that in a single element. It took me around twenty
years to succeed roughly in what I was looking for.”
Pras’ most recent work includes portraits of pop culture icons
like Andy Warhol, Bob Marley, Salvador Dali, Vincent Van Gogh,
Albert Einstein and many more.
You could easily spend hours gazing at each work, identifying
all the little bits and pieces that make up a portrait
subject’s facial features, hair, body and clothing – and
they’re often tailored to the subject’s identity. For example,
a portrait of David Bowie heavily features miniature musical
instruments. These installations would be really fun to see in