Steph cop

(1968)

© Bàlint Pörneczi

“The sculpture is a conscious gesture of the hand gently guided by the material, a slow motion of the mind between intuition and automatism, a way of getting in tune with the annual ring of the tree, the memory of the time, an interiority, a poetic movement, a bit of music, a mind game; Neurogamy. "

© Bálint Pörneczi

Steph Cop was born in 1968 in a Paris under construction. He grew up in the midst of construction work in the Halles district, the popular heart of the capital, which was to host the Pompidou Center and contemporary art with a bang. Between the school near the Louvre and the Tuileries and the Stravinsky fountains, two worlds collide. The playground of childhood is the concentrate of an art history that is both linear and broken. In this din, the silence that Steph Cop kept said more than the sound of the words. Another language had to be found to approach the unspeakable: inventing, building, shaping to make your singularity heard. A dream: the Boule school, but the voice was lacking. The art books in the neighborhood library told of other possible worlds. Loneliness was a vitality necessary to welcome, with insatiable curiosity, what could develop out of chaos; it has remained so. A first book purchased, an exhibition catalog still so precious and reassuring today that it should be counted among the acts that mark a future. Encyclopedias of Japanese art received as a gift, echoed by journeys of adult life to meet the so singular way of honoring slowness and purity, of giving meaning to detail. Japan: a possible anchorage, a place of resources deeply anchored under the surface of an absurd postmodern frenzy. Steph Cop doesn't compromise on nonsense. His life choices are woven from ruptures when the insignificant comes to light.

On entering adulthood, the period of graffiti, eminently social and political as well as artistic, but which Steph Cop plays like a game. Some of his fellow travelers of the time gained their notoriety there as artists; Steph Cop preferred to use it as a material to manufacture, like a craftsman-designer, textiles with logos. A saying with forms, but devoid of poetry. The business was flourishing, but the fool had to stop. The turn of the century will be radical for Steph Cop, who goes into exile to finally find his place in the steep landscapes of the Morvan. A house in an unfamiliar village, although there are family roots nearby. He discovers that this house was that of the dowser crossed in childhood: it will be his workshop, because in this pivotal period of existence was written the genesis of ARO, language structure and creator of the work. ARO was born from a singular writing where words are articulated in forms and volumes. The artist finds his axis and his syntax, his way of speaking in the first person, his way of composing with the unspeakable. Beyond finding your place, finding your center of gravity, from which a creative energy can unfold. ARO took shape from an imaginary cube, a support for keywords springing from introspection. Evils in the use of words, finally discovered in all their depth and depth. The words take the form of the sculpture. This land of the Morvan, Steph Cop explores it by running, every day, confronting temporalities. It is an encounter with trees, their complexity, the marks of their history. You have to cut dead wood for the winter. An unexpected maneuverability of the chainsaw is revealed in the clinch with the ductile material of the wood. Art makes a noise like the construction sites of the decoration of childhood. Art is born from silence, to break it. Steph Cop learns from trees, which age by sculpting their own story. Shapes and lines witness to their vitality and their flaws. Quercus Robur, the pedunculate oak, is a guardian figure. ARO becomes a form sculpted in the trunk of dead trees, standing or lying down. The ordered continuation of ARO which constitutes the work of Steph Cop is an exit from silence, a framework of life, through the thus prolonged destiny of the tree.

For the artist, the research which was embodied in ARO's series of figures is coming to an end. Steph Cop then returns to draw new energy from the cube. A new creative impulse is in genesis, the words will articulate themselves to new sculpted forms which always associate the purity with the force of gravity. The preliminary study of volumes by drawing is an essential moment in this work. Likewise, writing and sculpture are consubstantial in the work of Steph Cop, who keeps his journal daily: the architecture of words makes it possible to retain the fleeting thoughts which imagine the work in creation, they are an integral material of the sculpture. Each series in the artist's work is accompanied by a book: the texts are the imagination of the work.

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