1967, Nantes, France
The first impression on discovering Alban’s art is usually that of surprise. The old rusty pieces of metal are actually faked – they are built on wood, and the erosion of time is painted on them. They look heavy, but are in fact very light.
For the last twenty years, Alban has explored a creative route that relates to the wartime nose art. He enhances the traditional expression with colours that were made popular by the pop art movement in the 50s, and he revisits the old-fashioned pin-up girls into self-confident, modern young women.
Alban does not try to replicate reality. He draws his inspiration from aircraft wrecks and industrial machinery, but his scale is distorted, colours are magnified and the subject itself is often invented. "I grew up next to an airport and a drilling platform, and the industrial machinery always fascinated me. Even though the machines were created to fulfill a functional role, they sometimes looked like real pieces of art."
Alban’s artwork often displays iconic representations of various cultures, through the use of flags and foreign languages. His art conveys a profound message about the temporality and the fragility of human beings. Each piece carries the scares of accidents and combats, the wear of years of service and the degradation from aging.
The artist has been re-interpreting objects ever since his childhood: "When I was a kid, I turned my toys into something else. For me, they looked too new, not realistic enough; I added kerosene spots around the fuel entrances, and burning marks around the reactors. Early on, I started making my own model airplanes, striving to remain very close to the reality".
Today, Alban’s model airplanes have grown up, and the spectator can observe all the details. The surrounding light plays with the forms the artist has given to his sculptures; the light thus becomes a part of the artwork, unveiling new aspects every time we look at the work.
Alban was born in 1967 in Nantes, France. He spent most of his childhood in Africa, but came back to France for his studies. He holds a BA in Advertising and Graphic Design, and a MA in Animated Movies from the École des Gobelins art school in Paris. Alban worked as set designer for the cinema industry for 12 years, before starting his career as a full-time artist. His art has been exhibited over the past 10 years in art galleries in Paris and London, and his works have found their way into many private collections around the world. Today, Alban lives and works near Paris.