« A genuine wall jeweler ! », Elle Décoration, April 2015
At the heart of Michaël Cailloux’s craft, one finds the intersection of two art techniques: etching and jewelry making.
Michaël Cailloux‘s work is distinguished by the fact that he sculpts the copper plates for his etchings. With the help of a bow saw, a rivet set and a chisel, he designs hybrid creations, part sculpture, part jewel, artifacts he refers to as “wall jewels“.
His etchings, on the other hand, are crafted according to tradition: point, ferric chloride etchant, aquatint… He experiments with different ink dosages, with empty spaces to serve and enhance a drawing or embossment. Michaël Cailloux’s etchings have a maximum print run of four per colours.
The artist also proposes an original take on wall Decors, with fragments destined to adorn one’s walls like genuine works of art. The Wall Decors are created with the preliminary sketches used for his Wall Jewelry and etchings. They are all limited editions.
Inspirations & themes
« His sources of inspiration? Flemish still-life painters, Art Nouveau, toile de Jouy… » Elle Décoration, April 2015.
The plants, beasts, and insects that populate our countryside have always been an immediate source of inspiration and poetry for Michaël Cailloux.
Still-life is Michaël Cailloux’s favourite theme. During the second half of the fifteenth century and the first decades of the sixteenth century, the fly was featured full-scale in Flemish, Italian and German paintings. The fly is a symbol of human vanity, it brings life where there was none, which is why Michaël Cailloux has chosen it as his signature.
Michaël Cailloux’s work is also inspired by the art of trompe l’œil, a pictorial technique that consists in confusing the spectator’s perception. A trompe l’œil is an illusion brought about by either the aspect of the preview, the technique that was used or the featured subject. Hence, Michaël Cailloux’s Wall Jewels seem to come straight from the past.
Works based on the mingling of human body parts selected by the artist, and flora, one of Michaël Cailloux’s favourite themes. Hybrid creatures, part insect, part human, symbols of metamorphoses, forever at one with nature.
Michaël Cailloux’s work with the symbolism of bouquets and the messages they are meant to convey. His goal: to create jewels that are like magic talismans, adorning our walls as symbols of life and faith.
Michaël Cailloux’s work on optical illusions, such as the ones that make us see animals or faces in clouds. A surrealistic theme where nature loses control of reason.
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Michaël Cailloux’s still-lives are inspired by :
• Art nouveau trinkets, such as René Lalique’s jewels, sketches and combs;
• Seventeenth century still lives by Dutch and Flemish masters;
• “Madonna and Child”, by Carlo Crivelli, 1473;
• Félix Bracquemond, particularly his individual representation of a rock lobster: « la Grande Langouste aux antennes relevées »;
• Chinese paper-cuts, preferably in the tradition of Gaomi folk art, using copper sheets instead of paper;
• Antique quillings and other artifacts meant to honor the dead during the second half of the seventeenth century;
• The graphic techniques of antique etchings;