Stéphane Gautier is one of those "extraordinary" creators that one comes across off the beaten track of contemporary art, yet who uses a language that is unusual and direct. His work is located on the fine line between design and art, and surprises us with its relevance and visual effectiveness. Beyond its forceful nature, however, Stéphane Gautier's world opens up spaces for reflection that hold a mirror up to our childhood, with its memories and its universal dimension, its symbols and the sacralisation it sparks off in us.
A designer and graphic artist, both by training and trade, Stéphane Gautier designs interiors that have a strong personality; original concepts that are born of his ideas and intuitions; he is like an orchestral conductor, coordinating the various trades until completion. From this practice, which has earned him recognition in the design world, he draws on a unique talent for deciphering symbols and images in his art, and for transforming them into a universal alphabet that everyone can perceive, in a direct and immediate link to the work.
Stéphane Gautier created his first picture at the age of 13, deciding to stick and paint his toys on a canvas. This first provocative gesture and artistic genesis, which, rediscovered years later, arouses emotion and recognition in all those who see the emotional objects that marked their past.
After this founding impulse, Stéphane Gautier would never abandon his interest in childhood, the moment in which he believes one's primary needs are expressed universally.
There is no point in searching further for the reason behind the attachment that everyone brings to these works: they touch instinctively.
And yet, if Stéphane's rooms arouse immediate empathy by their symbolic nature and the way in which they appeal to memory, this attraction also brings with it a more ambitious programme.
Make no mistake, if this visual artist charms us, it is to make us think more profoundly and feel the power of the image: a misappropriation of contexts such as "Happy Bears", a troubling gap between form and substance when a group of small plastic soldiers comes together in a heart shape on the canvas.…
His creations are undoubtedly jubilant and display his expertise as much as his enthusiasm, moving from one medium to another, using all the possibilities of ready-made art to turn them into pictures, sculptures, surrealist or valuable objects... Everything, or almost everything, is shown here.
Understanding only comes as a second phase, however: the art of Stéphane Gautier is permanently shifting. By moving an object from one context to another, re-injecting the stereotypical symbols of childhood into an adult setting, he turns away from all traditional codes of art (pictures, paintings, sculptures, drawings) only to reappropriate them. And it is by way of this ironic distance that this intuitive creator invites us to a deeper consideration of the means of representation, of the effectiveness of advertising and propaganda, and finally of the sacralisation and misappropriation of childhood nostalgia.