Sébastien Gouju manipulates our visual environment and the signs of naturalistic inspirations found in popular culture. Specifically, he playfully addresses the use and decorative representations of nature in the domestic environment. Minerals, fauna, and flora are regularly summoned in the staging of their distancing as mere decorative elements.
The artist theatrically exaggerates the domesticity and servitude of living beings to the point of absurdity, with the corollary desire to invalidate social and cultural hierarchies. From the street performer to the caged animal, and through ornamental aestheticization, the artist endeavors to humorously highlight the all-too-human habits of establishing decorative menageries on a domestic scale. From these observations on our habitat and its decorum, where animality and the environment are adapted to the pleasure of humans, Sébastien Gouju seeks to abolish the criminal boundaries between culture and nature through amplification. By combining the bourgeois comfort with the ominous figure of the itinerant entertainer and rustic animality, the artist creates increasingly wild works in the context of modernist utopias.
Sébastien Gouju is a sculptor whose artistic approach consists of manipulating the signs of popular culture by appropriating everyday objects considered kitsch, such as wine jugs, potted palm trees, or lucky swallows. He employs craft techniques such as glazed earthenware, embroidery, lacework, metalwork, or leatherwork to create incongruous hybridizations and collisions of meaning and form. These transformed signs turned into images propose narratives that are at once light-hearted and ominous, blending the everyday with fable. With a gaze that is both amused and subversive, Gouju questions the aesthetic qualities of the living environment and the decor created by modern humans.
Sébastien Gouju Born in 1978, Sébastien Gouju lives and works in Paris. He graduated from the National School of Fine Arts in Nancy in 2003. Gouju’s artistic career has been built around a unique and subversive approach. He manipulates signs of popular culture and appropriates everyday objects considered kitsch, such as wine jugs, potted palm trees, or lucky swallows. Through the use of craft techniques such as glazed earthenware, embroidery, lacework, as well as metalwork and leatherwork, he creates surprising hybridizations and juxtapositions of meaning and form.
Sébastien Faucon is a French professional in contemporary art. Since 2017, he has held the position of Director and Chief Curator of the Contemporary Art Museum of Haute-Vienne, located at the Rochechouart Castle. Under his leadership, the museum has experienced a period of development and renewal, becoming a prominent venue in the contemporary art scene. His commitment to contemporary art has been reflected in the promotion of various forms of artistic expression, ranging from painting and sculpture to video, performance, and installation.