Jérôme Gelès

Jérôme Gelès, artist inventor and sculptor


Visual artist fascinated by the famous inventors, Jérôme Gelès is interested in the making of beauty since his childhood. In his parents’ garage, his discoveries lead him on the path of fantasy, with a great many toasts’ catapults and paper planes.

With a diploma from the National School of Beaux-Arts of Paris passed in 2011, he developed his own artistic language after a training in the workshops of Tadashi Kawamata and Anne Rochette. Close to the kinetic art of the Dutch Theo Jansen, he gives life to a world where jubilation joins cleverness. He creates a poetry of movement thoughout flying sculptures. Following his stay in Africa and his training at the School of Arts in Kumassi in Ghana, he takes interest in the everyday objects, in jointing and recovery. These objects remind us of our childhood : a cocktail umbrella, an old television set, a tin of sardines. Throughout his figurines made out of relics of familiar daily objects, the artist inquires our relation towards modernity by offering a critical vision of the consumer society.

2012, the artist won the Takifuji Art Award in Tokyo, an international award of young visual artists and then got an exhibition at the Dorothy’s gallery, the Virgile Legrand Gallery. He also took part in the 2014 Designers’ days where he flew above Paris with remote-controlled drones. The same year, the inventor placed his sculptures and their flying shapes at the Palais de Tokyo. In 2015, he presented his flying sculptures including the helium balloon at the Louis Vuitton foundation.

In 2018, Mayaro dedicated a solo show, OVNI.

Jérôme Gelès, OVNI, Mayaro 2018

Exhibition at Mayaro Gallery

O.V.N.I, septembrer-octobrer 2018

From September 24 to October 31, 2018, the Mayaro Gallery hosts O.V.N.I, an exhibition of sculptures, mobiles and models by visual artist Jérôme Gelès. Bringing together some twenty works, this inventor takes us into his imaginary world.

"I would like to tell you about a Greek philosopher, "Empedocles", who in 495 BC, well before Darwin, had his own idea about evolution. He imagined that in the beginning there was the sky and the earth, and that on its surface organs such as arms, legs, stomachs etc. were moving, anarchically. And that as they assembled, they randomly formed living beings. Those who could not adapt disappeared to make room for the strongest. I like this idea that objects that are a priori inanimate can come together to take on life. "

On the one hand, the dream of conquering the sky: we are carried away by his monumental and yet extremely light sculptures, made of paper, model wood, and meticulousness, floating in the air, diaphanous. Balloons in flight, levitations of a medusant transparency driven by radial fans, an object thwarting gravity thanks to magnetic fields ... everything is there to tell the obsession of Icarus, the great dream that runs in the veins of Da Vinci to Eilon Musk, through the Wright brothers: to fly, by the strength of human engineering.

"I like to work with air, using ultralight materials. The helium balloon allows the sculpture to float in the air and the movement is created by several small motors. With the help of engineer Vincent Barzil, we have developed a new self-guiding system inspired by the bat. An arduino (embedded intelligence) and several ultra-sound sensors allow the sculpture to move in space independently. "

On the other side of the mirror, we explore the depths of the earth: in the basement, we are swept up in a battle with articulated beings that cast shadows. The installation "Les Brosses à Dents" (Toothbrushes), made of mobile sculptures all mounted on toothbrushes, features hybrid and tinkered beings, which engage in various choreographies. We are halfway between the world of the living and a purely mechanical universe. The sculptures are made of recup objects, a cocktail umbrella, a Romanian banknote, ink cartridges, a plastic lemon. All of them are mounted on cell phone vibrators and move on a ring-shaped table, thanks to an electromagnetic induction energy invented by Tesla. Each of them contains a small lamp inside. We can guess in the shapes and shadows projected a refugee raft that rubs shoulders with a dancer with flower petals, a makeshift boat and a tank, in a fight for survival.

All that remains is to enter the dance with them.

« "The movement is created thanks to a cell phone vibrator and a toothbrush, the vibrations make the bristles of the toothbrush move on the ground. Equipped with small lights, the shadows cast by these curious little beings will form a fantastic world where the living and the mechanical will mix in a choreography of their own.

Jerome Gelès