Bruno Catalano, one of the leading French artists is known for his beautiful bronze sculptures called ‘Les Voyageurs’ in Marseille that represents realistic human workers with most body parts missing.
Early Life and Family
Born in 1960 in Khouribga, Morocco, near Casablanca, Bruno Catalano is the third and last child of a Sicilian family. The first years of his life were spent happily in Morocco growing up in a post-colonial society full of culture, despite receiving a lack of education while there. At the age of 10, his family relocated to France, where his life journey as an artist would begin.
In 1970, he moved to France and adapted to a new life with his family, ready to explore the metropolis. He adjusted to the new environment and was reminded frequently during his schooling that he was not a native Frenchman.
Bruno’s family took full advantage of their new location, taking many family trips to Italy and Andalusia throughout his childhood. During these trips, they visited many Venetian and Florentine museums, which is where Bruno first started understanding that there were many different expressions of art and that it was not only restricted to biological, social and daily rhythms.
In 1980, at the age of 20, he started working as an electrician at a local shipping company called Paquet. After working there for 2 years, he started working at the Société Nationale Maritime Corse Méditerranée, where he worked for 4 years, although he was striving to find a way to pursue his creative interests.
Life as an Artist
Bruno had always had a taste for Opera, music, dance, and art, which left him with the strong sense of needing to do something more creative, and outside-the-box with his life. His father was passionate about Christmas crib figures and his services were appreciated at the local Church. Bruno observed the work of his father pushing him to follow his heart and pursue his creative passion.
Bruno first got his inspiration for his sculptures from a book about clay techniques by Bruno Lucchesi. He got familiar with the basics of clay work and enrolled in Françoise Hamel’s modeling class in Marseille for 2 years. During his training period, he learned about various techniques used by Italian sculptor Bruno Lucchesi and learned the many of the unique techniques that he used. Slowly and gradually, Bruno began to gain confidence in his abilities as a sculpture and began to embrace his creative nature.
Bruno Catalano’s sculpture is a clear example of technical, symbolic and artistic creativity. The statues show his imagination towards nomads and travelers. Made of Bronze, all his creations were created to celebrate the European Capital of Culture back and are inspired by travel. The 10 figurative, life-size sculptures were placed on the display at the Marseilles port known as Les Voyageurs.
Vichinie’s sculpture is possibly one of the recognized figures of a business traveler. Her sculpture seems like she is gazing into the distant look and lost in thought. Another is Le Grand van, Gogh. This sculpture is inspired by the world-weary painter.
In 1985, Bruno started his own art studio and designed his first clay figurines. He spent 5 years working in his studio learning new skills. In 1995, he rented out a small studio close to his apartment. There he started setting the stage for creating a personal melting pot where he could create his masterpieces. His first studio included a ceramic oven, shelves, work table, punches and clay bags. For 5 years, he spent his free time in the studio, creating a number of figures modeled after various animals and the human figure.
In 2000, he started his new studio, closer to his apartment. Through his training, he got inspiration from Carry-le-Route to cast his own bronze figures. He used the lost wax method and produced figures of men, carrying a piece of luggage in hand now known as his traveler collection. He begins displaying these pieces in town squares and at local markets, selling them to cover his costs.
Les Voyageurs Sculpture- An Immense success
In 2004, got his first break as an artist with his depiction of Cyrano grabbed everyone’s attention. Upon the cast of the sculpture, he notices that the torso of the sculpture has broken. Rather than trying to repair the fracture, this gives Bruno new inspiration. He hollows out the rest of the torso leaving only the supporting legs, arms, and head of the sculpture. He decides to display this happy little accident to the public and gains his sculpture mass attention from the public. He decides to replicate this same “mistake” in his other sculptures giving his sculptures a unique sense of vulnerability and strength of the weary traveler. The upper torsos seem unsupported and the whole character seems like the alien. Terming his sculptures as “Les Voyageurs” continues with this iconic feature shining light into Bruno’s thoughts regarding the present political scenario of modern day France.
Each sculpture portrays men and women with some suitcase or bags with them and representing their journey. These sculptures continue to resonate with the modern-day men/women and telling the story of the pilgrim, refugee, traveler, nomad and the immigrant. Their beautifully imperfect design relates to each and every one which has continued to allow his sculptures to gain popularity throughout the world.
His career reached new heights when Alexandre Bartoux gave him a chance to exhibit his sculptures in his Galeries Bartoux. Soon after, his work displayed in the gallery on Champs Elysees. This lead to Bruno gaining support from the most dynamic artists in the world along with a global network of galleries leading to the demand for his sculptures throughout the world.
A year later, in 2005, he exhibited his work in some local as well as international galleries like Persian Gallery Medicis and Bardoux. instilled by his Les Voyageurs sculptures appeal to the journey of life that we all experience, which continued to increase Bruno’s popularity sparking him to increase production. His work is now recognized all across the world like China, Spain, Switzerland, Spain and the US.
Awards and Exhibition
Throughout his career, Bruno Catalano has received a wide range of awards for his bronze sculptures. In 2001, he received a request to create a sculpture for Marseille fifth district- a bust of Yves Montand bound to the square devoted to the comic singer, Jean Jaures, which would be displayed in the districts public gardens.
The very same year, he exhibits in a number of exhibitions such as Bastille Contemporary art fair and SIAC Marseille and a number of local art galleries like Saintes-Maries de La Mer, Aix-en-Provence, and Saint-Remy de Provence.
What makes these sculptures unique?
Plain and simple- the incomplete pieces. According to Bruno, all the sculptures depict a global citizen who is looking for their own missing pieces. The large missing pieces of the bodies leave the viewers scratching their heads as to how the sculptures are standing on their own. Despite the fact, these make an amazing scene, especially when picturized from different Angeles.
Bruno’s creativity was shown in many famous Bruno Catalano monuments across the world that can leave anyone mesmerized and astonished. Some of the most popular displays being Les Voyageurs in Marseille, Le Grand Van Gogh and many more.
Where to Buy?
If you are looking to buy sculptures of Bruno Catalano for sale, then look no other than Dolphin Galleries. The Gallery offers the distinctive line of Bruno’s sculptures at the surprising price range. You can choose from Raphael Assis, Mademoiselle Abattu, 1940, Le Destin Du Voyageur, Nico Louis or more.
The buying process is easy and no rocket science involved. Log in to your account, click on the desired sculpture, add to the cart, make payment and let us deliver it to you.