Edouard Martinet’s Masterfully Sculpted Animals and Insects Made from Bicycle, Car, and Motorcycle Parts

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Robin. Bronze, one of an edition of 12 copies, 22 x 32 x 18 cm. LEGS: springs , pieces of costume jewellery; BODY: children’s tricycle fender; FEATHERS: hood ornament of a Citroen; WINGS: petrol tank plates of a 50s motorcycle Monet-Goyon, bike chain guards; TAIL: car part, motorcycle decoration; EYES: marbles; HEAD: two seed scoops, ornaments for bike lights; BEAK: autoscope part, bike ornament.

French artist Edouard Martinet assembles faithful interpretations of birds, crustaceans, insects, and other creatures with countless objects from discarded bicycles, cars, and household objects. A bicycle pump forms the abdomen of a dragonfly, windshield wipers serve as the legs of a fly, or the metal logos of a bicycle manufacturer are layered to create the dense scales of a fish. All the more incredible considering Martinet never welds or solders his pieces, but instead uses only screws or fasteners, selecting only the perfect components that “fit” each assemblage like a puzzle. From Sladmore Contemporary:

What sets Martinet’s work apart is the brilliant formal clarity of his sculptures, and their extraordinary elegance of articulation. His degree of virtuosity is unique: he does not solder or weld parts. His sculptures are screwed together. This gives his forms an extra level of visual richness – but not in a way that merely conveys the dry precision of, say, a watchmaker. There is an X-Factor here, a graceful wit, a re-imagining of the obvious in which a beautifully finished object glows not with perfection, but with character, with new life.

Martinet will open a new exhibition of work at Sladmore Contemporary in London starting May 5th, 2016.

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Dragonfly, 115 x 54 x 80 cm. ABDOMEN: bicycle pump; THORAX: four bike rear lights, two small car lights, big upholstery tacks , gas cap, ball furniture casters; HEAD: two old bike headlights, inside round sunglasses, shoe tree parts, parts of a daisy wheel for typewriter (hair from the mouth), under the head parts of acetylene bike lights; LEGS: tubes, bike cable guide, wing nuts, cream chargers; WINGS: umbrella ribs, fencing wire, aluminium metal mesh.

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Dragonfly, detail.

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Fly, 47 x 40 x 27 cm. LEGS : windshield wiper arms, bike brakes, bike chains, small typewriter parts; HEAD: motor vehicle rear light; PROBOSCIS: car hood hinge; ANTENNAE: ski boot fasteners; THORAX: motorbike headlight; On the top : 50’s kitchen utensil. WINGS: the glass is set in a windscreen brush holder, the wing ribs are made with soldering wire; ABDOMEN: motorbike headlight, part of ceiling lamp.

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Fly, detail.

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Toad

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Sardine, 25 x 70 x 11 cm. BODY: Moped chain guard covered with multiple bicycle logo badges; HEAD: Solex front fenders, car bumpers. EYES: Flashlights; GILLS: Car door parts, bicycle chain guards. TAIL: Motorbike exhaust pipe; FINS: Cake tins.

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Sardine, detail.

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Black Swift, 45 x 20 x 17 cm. LEGS: springs, pieces of costume jewellery; BODY: silver sauce jug; WINGS and FEATHERS: petrol tank plates of a 50s Villier motorcycle, bike chain guards, scooter decoration; TAIL: car decoration; EYES: metal balls; HEAD: one seed scoop, bike headlight; BEAK: dental forceps.

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Black Swift, detail.

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Praying Mantis, 104 x 50 x 74 cm. ABDOMEN: bike fender, car ventilator and ski boots fasteners; WINGS: rear lights of a Peugeot 404; HEAD: two moped indicators; TOP FORELEGS: car mirror handles, ham slicers, nutcracker handles, spaghetti tongs; FOR ALL THE LEGS: the ends are parts from bike brakes plus a bit of bike chain; THE OTHER LEGS: windshield wiper arms, aluminium tubes; THORAX: car bumper, car mirror handles.

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