Julien Laforge

The work

The idea of the artist Julien Laforge is to take significant paintings from the history of art and to transform them into sculptures. For the Hortillonnages, the artist chose the mythical figure of Narcissus painted during the Renaissance by Caravaggio. The picture illustrates a famous legend of Greek antiquity, in which a young man, Narcissus, falls in love with his reflection while contemplating himself in the water. Despairing of not being able to embrace his image, Narcissus dies at the edge of the pond whilst staring at his own reflection.  For Julien Laforge, the story of Narcissus leads us to wonder about man’s place in the landscape: how does the environment enable man to access knowledge of himself, questions the artist, whose installation, a mirror distorting the work of Caravaggio, reveals a Narcissus decked with splints, kneeling above a stream. With its wild forms, the work creates confusion between the human and its environment, for a character whose stilts refer as much to the fragility of the banks of Hortillonnages as to the weaknesses of man.

The artist

Julien Laforge was born in 1983 and graduated from the school of Beaux-Arts in Paris. Linked to the landscape as much as to his perception, his works focus on the relationship of the body to the environment. Thus installations are born that have a strong dialogue with their context, which integrate or merge with the places where they are installed.