Recycled art has grown popular nowadays and there’s a lot of amazing work out there. But French artist Edouard Martinet stands out with his unique, recognizable style and stunning realism, perfectionism and attention to detail. The insects and other creatures that he crafts from spare parts look like fantastic beings out of an alternate retro universe.
Edouard Martinet was born in Le Mans, France in 1963. He studied design at L’Ecole Superieure des Arts Graphiques, one of the ‘grandes ecoles’ in Paris, elite academies reserved for the most gifted students and graduated in 1988. From 1988 to 1992 he lived and worked in Paris as a graphic designer, and in 1990 started sculpting and staging exhibitions. From 1992 to 1995 he lived in Charente before moving to his current location in Rennes where he teaches art at L’Institut des Arts Appliques.
Edouard Martinet’s passion for insects started when he was young. He remembers being influenced by a teacher who introduced him to these elegant tiny creatures, but in a rather obsessive way. The fascination sunk in to the boy who now, 40 years later, is the art world’s biggest insectophile. Edouard Martinet’s transforms bits and pieces of cast-off junk collected from flea markets and car boot sales into exquisitely executed insect, fish and animal forms. What makes his work different is the brilliant clarity, realism of his sculptures, and their extraordinary elegance of articulation.
You wouldn’t believe what great meticulous technique this artist uses to create his pieces: he does not solder or weld parts, he screws them together. This gives his work an extra level of visual richness and character.
His pieces can take anywhere from a month to seventeen years – Edouard Martinet is obsessed with finding just the right part for his wonderful creations. But, on average, it takes about a month for him to make a sculpture and will often work on two or three at the same time.