You know the phrase… one man’s rubbish is another man’s treasure? Well this is definitely the case for artist Vortex Recup’art aka Adrien Vinet. Vinet takes what others throw away and makes mystical and fascinating creatures out of what he finds. Vinet’s sculptures juxtapose the natural or psychological world with robotic forms to create sometime monstrous, sometimes beautiful beings which demonstrate a personality and emotion in his work.
Before we take a closer look at one of his pieces, Vinet talked to me about his art and inspirations…
You use recycled items to make your art – what inspired you to do this?
In fact, I started making robots out of little scrap items as a child (during long holidays with an old
aunt…), with all the scrap I could find. I had a “treasure box” with everything you usually throw away and started putting them together to make my own robots and stories. It didn’t last but some years ago, I immersed myself in it again, with the desire to push the concept further and give an original and artistic dimension to these sculptures. This kind of art is fabulous, itis limitless and at the same time has a huge constraint. Indeed, plastic or metal waste of all kinds are not lacking and brings a very interesting artistic challenge. The imagination is the only limit! The meaning of making art from scrap is also very strong in my point of view. In a society of massive consumption, we quickly forget everything we throw away on a daily basis and if these sculptures can allow the viewer to take a step back on its consumption habits, without being moralistic either, then it makes sense. In addition, I find that there is a real poetry in giving a second life to forgotten and thrown objects.
Insects or creatures resembling insects form a large part of your body of work, do they have a
greater meaning to you?
Well, I’m fascinated by all kind of bugs. I studied entomology at university, and my imagination made the rest. They allow all kinds of variations and mutations. Of course, they also play on our fears hidden in the shadows and arouse various emotions: positive or negative…basically, these creatures are already the chimeras of their previous life and their new life, they are sometimes mixed with organic and synthetic. My goal is also to play with the limits brought by forms, materials and their state of degradation. For that the insects, spiders or humanoid halfway are the perfect subjects!
Your nightmare work is outstanding. When you create these pieces, do you have stories behind the
nightmares or are these created from others stories?
The creatures of the nightmare series were born from a concept of a dying world where the remains of humanity come to life to walk like martyrs, endlessly. When I create these creatures there is an intention, but as they end, they write their own story, in my eyes but also in the imagination of their spectators.
Where do you draw your inspirations from?
Being a big dreamer, I have always been very drawn to fantasy and science fiction. I think I read the “Lord of the Rings” books when I was 7 or 8 years old. These books had a huge impact on me and even today I draw a large part of my inspiration from the fantastic imagination (books, movies, manga, comics).
Among the most striking authors, there are of course the most famous such as Edgar Allan Poe, H.P. Lovecraft, Philip K Dick, the graphic universe of H.R. Giger, Tsutomu Nihei with his series “Blame”, Robert Kirkman (author of the comic “The walking Dead”). There are also many less well-known contemporary artists, painters, sculptors, plastic artists which inspire my work.
What is your favourite piece that you have created?
Hard to choose one, as they can be very different. “Ecorché – Skinned” is maybe my favorite. The material used is pretty simple: recycles wires, but the symbolism is pretty strong. This tortured angel symbolizes the failure of humanity to rise, a desire for life imprisoned in the monstrous appendages of a humanity that has been lost through excess of pride.
Finally – what exciting things do you have in the pipeline?
I’m testing new recycled materials (such as inner tubes) which can give a new dimension to the sculptures. I’m starting a series of pictures of the sculptures in nature, the contrast between full nature and these sculptures from waste is very interesting. Of course, I’m waiting for more events and exhibits to come when the pandemic situation will allow it…
Vinet is a man of few words, but with a huge social conscience, which is demonstrated in his sculptures and the material he uses. I find the insects an interesting twist, as without these, our world would be uninhabitable, but what I am really drawn to are his nightmare scultpures.
This piece is called “Skinned” and I find it so intriguing. Created from wire, the dark angel makes me think of Lucifer’s fall from grace. The use of wires makes the wings looked tattered, as though they have been injured in some way, and the being is dark, as if it has been burnt as it descends through the atmosphere to the murky depths of hell.
Personally, when every I talk about Lucifer, I do think he gets a bit of a bad rap, as the only wrongdoing he really did was get a bit too big for his boots, or get annoyed that he was no longer God’s right hand man (depending which version you read… Once again, please remember I am an Atheist and I am not writing this to provoke comments telling me I am wrong…).
I particularly like how this piece has, what feels like roots, dragging the winged being down. This again makes me think of the story of Lucifer, and how he was bound to the underworld through this defiance of the almighty being. It was said in scriptures that Lucifer was bound to the Earth, with God permitting him to create a certain amount of evil in a test for mankind (God just loves to test his flock doesn’t he… Also it is arguable that God creates more havok that Lucifer… look at the great flooding as an example – intent on wiping out all of mankind except for a chosen few… not particularly forgiving in my book…). Vinet’s piece just feels like the embodiment of the fall.
This type of sculpture is so interesting, and will be ever evolving as the materials use decay and decontrust themselves over time, which I can’t wait to see.
To see more of Vinet’s work you can find his website here.
You can also find him on Instagram – @vortex_recupart
What do you think of this type of sculpture? Why not let me know in the comments? Like this piece? Why not share it?