Olivier Bertrand was born in Marseille in 1975, to a French father and an Asian mother. He became fascinated with drawing, visual arts and, more specifically, origami at a very early age. “As far back as I can remember, I’ve always been captivated by the metamorphosis of a simple sheet of paper which, with a few smart folds, comes to life and sparks emotion.” After graduating with a Master’s in Economics and completing his studies, he finally chose to move into web design. 15 years on, he took advantage of a period of convalescence to go back to roots, to his first love. Although this time round he’s not folding pieces of paper, his mantra remains the same: and it’s cardboard that he works with a new twist. By assembling bits of cardboard together, he now creates extraordinarily-amazing life-sized animals. “Cardboard offers a host of advantages; it’s ever-so easy to get hold of and it’s a light material which is perfectly workable for large-scale subjects… I really love the idea of creating using an everyday product, one which people throw out, get rid of, and of striving to make it desirable. By sculpting cardboard animals, I really feel as if I’m totally in tune with my favourite topic, i.e. the environment. I enjoy choosing animals which radiate considerable power, rather contradictory actually at first glance given the fragility of the cardboard I use. Through this duality harmonizing the subject and its material, I try, in my own way, to sound the alarm bell as to the precariousness of animal species.”
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