French artist Luc Lapraye, a visual philosopher
A combination of radicalism and minimalism
That guy has already quite a long journey as a background, not as an artist at first. His career was meant to be as an engineer for ever (Engineer Project Manager for 38 years in the optical fiber industry). For some reasons he quit with everything to start as an artist. To quit for him meant to go out of his comfort zone. It was his very first radical gesture as an artist. No chance of going back to point A because point A no longer exists, so take a deep breath and dive. Run Forrest run…
A few years later, we can say it was for the best. When you take a look at the body of work he has already done, it is impressive. Whether it is ink or paint on paper or canvas, or an installation, Lapraye’s angle was to propose the most minimal artwork possible. One message at a time. It sounds simple but it is not as simple as it looks like:
First you have to choose the right message, preferably not a cliché or it would show an image for a poster for Ikea rather than a piece of art.
Second, when the message is selected you have to choose the right medium. Which one would be the most effective ? a mural? black ink on paper? which size? an installation? etc..
The result is a simple but powerful message perfectly served with the right medium.
There’s a lot of thoughts behind Lapraye’s minimal art and the artist succeeds in what he is showing because he never compromises. e.g. the volume called”Dandelion” with bicycle wheels linked all together to make a sphere. “A dandelion is a wild plant which has yellow flowers with lots of thin petals. When the petals of each flower drop off, a fluffy white ball of seeds grows. And you blow it”. Why is that piece so powerful?
From the sculpture point of view, it is a perfection: it convenes all the codes required to make a good sculpture -ratio volume/space as shown above is perfect, the circulation of the light is more than good-
The strength of the formal aspect generates many direction of thoughts. For example is that sphere the earth? if yes, the holes left here and there show the fragility of our world. Or, if we take the name of the piece it is from a flower, so yellow and powerful that can ends windblown. And many more thoughts we can have just by staring at the sculpture.
This process is the same as described by Greek philosopher Plato with what has been called “dialectic”. This is a survey that is shared through discussion between a questioner and respondent. The Artist would be the questioner who ask the question with an art proposal but the Artist does not bring the truth to his interlocutor, here the viewer. He leaves the proposal open. However the Artist with his art helps to uncover the truth, to find it by himself in a constant and systematic reflection. That parallel with Plato could be pushed even further considering the pattern of the sculpture itself that could easily be the cave referred in the most famous Plato’s “Allegory of the cave”.
What I said above all seems very serious when in fact the form of Lapraye’s art is quite funny, humorous, something for sure he doesn’t have in common with Mr Plato! BCh