The bright artist who images a different time

He has everything of a great man: The physical size, a well-pitched voice, with a twinkle and in his eye and lots of humility, then big-thinking projects led with the ingenuity of the electronics engineer and the sensitivity of the artist. Indeed, Alainpers seems to carry permanently the light, that very one that pushed him one day to examine matter and crystals and from there, to shape time in thousands of different ways. His passion for beauty and his urge to represent all facets of reality are now conveyed in works of great creativity. Current and future, past and present, the world becomes a land of discoveries and encounters for this passionate and atypical artist, who embraces the secrets of the luminous matter to produce living and poetic works of art.

A childhood desire

Nothing really intended him to pursue this career, and yet everything prepared him for it. A rural childhood in the Cantal in France, with farming parents who worked the land. “I do not know where this passion comes from, but I know I’ve always wanted to do that.” Early and curious, he observed the natural elements, and especially the wind, and started building wind turbines and mills. I wanted to use “this natural and free energy that is sometimes so complicated to manage” to put in motion objects. Alain also tried to understand materials and their resistance to the forces of nature, learning both technical and spiritual concepts that will develop his ingenuity and a great sensitivity to natural rhythms and pulsations. At the age of 16, in the family workshop, he began to divert the electronics on which his older brother worked to create animated objects. The arrival of the light-emitting diode, the LED, in the early 60’s will mark a turning point in his life. “I was fascinated by this light of such purity. From a semiconductor, from a crystal, it produces radiation with a single wavelength and so, one single color at the end. And this is fabulous!”

His desire to create objects and shapes with this light material began there, but he remained divided between electronics and art design careers. “And as I was a bit in the desert, I did not have any landmarks in the arts, so I studied electronics and then industrial design and I went to work in both the aeronautical and industrial fields.”

From Electronics to Art Design

His thirst for beauty will push him back to the Fine Arts. Alainpers will take evening classes with the City of Paris to learn design and art. “I still had that passion for creating and that great curiosity. It allowed me to meet design agencies around 27 years old.” He then will leave everything to work in a design agency, and finally to satisfy his “visceral desire to discover and work volumes and spaces”. At that moment, time provided him a fabulous excuse to work the light and set it in motion. For the artist, it is light that vibrates, with visible mark points that shine and run out; and he naturally became a creator of luminous clocks, putting electronics at the service of his art. His first works arrived in 1989, representing the theme of time with newness and poetry. “Objects, clocks, but also monumental paintings and sculptures of contemporary art at the scale of the city.” A giant clepsydra, for example, for the courtyard of a college in the Paris suburbs. Alainpers works blown glass, light-emitting diodes and porcelain stoneware, to represent the flow of time through water, light and knowledge.

“Each time, it’s a challenge and I like to do something more.” The artist also brings novelty in the use of materials such as polished lava stone and sandblasted glass to create unexpected shapes. More recently, he introduces the crystal, both as a support for the clock and the clock itself with the quartz crystal LEDs that rhythm the movement.

More powerful and daring works

Alainpers’ art works will succeed one another; first in France and then worldwide; as modelling sculptures and design objects or monumental projects in big hotels in Switzerland, in Asia (Taipei, Shanghai) and in the Middle East. He will even create a special clock for the 3rd OPEC summit in 2007. The idea was to link the rest of the world to the OPEC members showing the hour in each of the 12 countries and the place of the sun of earth. This special order will be made in 105 copies, with engraved brass and gold, crystal foot with gold leaves from Murano, amber leads 12 watches and jewel-case. Each time, Alain’ sculptures are both useful objects and works of art, opening the minds and inviting to see and think differently. Sun and moon, Middway somewhere on earth, The rising of time, The birth of time, Time sails and Curved time are some examples. “Matter and electronics serve my creations and not the contrary. And I put no limits to creativity. Every time I find bold artisans who will know how to do things.”

Alain remains the same, realizing a simple object or a monumental project. As a perfectionist, he is concerned about every detail. As a visionary, he proposes new creations, listening to each of his inspirations. “I can create in my workshop from a personal idea, or, if it is an order, imagine the project in 3 dimensions by going into the field or according to plans. Each time, it is an aesthetic piece that comes out of the ordinary, with a team behind.”

Beyond Time

Through his art, Alainpers visits all the concepts of time, whether historical, scientific or spiritual. As an inspired and curious artist, he wants to understand “this absolutely fabulous history of time with all the discoveries and the sociological aspects, throughout the evolution of mankind”. This training took place throughout his encounters, readings and innovative projects; “from the ancient sundial with the gnomons to the atomic clock today, then the pendulum which measures the longitudes and makes it possible to go to the conquest of the world”. He meets and befriends with thinkers and scientists, including researchers who explore matter, time and light. “One day an eminent physicist told me that my latest creation illustrated the principles of Quantum Mechanics. Yet, I just wanted to create a piece that evolves in that way. So I started to take an interest in it.”

The utopia of perpetual motion, the theories of general relativity or the nothingness behind all matter; Alain goes even further proposing works that update and push the boundaries of knowledge. “The arrow of time, for example, which remains an enigma for scientists with an expanding or explosive universe”, and even works beyond time that challenge and open to contemplation, like a series of “live” paintings where a light movement indicating the second or minute occurs without any link with the universal time measurement. “Finally, true wisdom is to live detached from time… Isn’t it?”

With an incredible energy and talent, Alainpers continues to impress with his art, enjoying today a total freedom with his creation that goes beyond the concept of time. “My most beautiful work is always the next one, and I have new series coming that open even more the fields of possibilities.” There, you can notice the spark of joy in his eyes, the one that made his childhood dream come true, creating living objects where light and time come together to disclose the beats of the present moment.

Interview with Carine Mouradian held in Paris on April 22, 2017

Link to the Alainpers website

Galerie photos d'Alainpers

Authenticity according to Alainpers, the sculptor of time

“ Authenticity means knowing yourself. And I have this huge need for creation, probably linked to my childhood and the lack of aesthetic and artistic landmarks at that time. Thus, there is always a positive side in suffering. If one receives everything effortlessly, as a free ride, there is no longer the desire to push back the limits of creation with a totally disproportionate energy that comes to you and let you be everything that you are, expanding new horizons. Each artist has his own journey, but creation becomes authentic when there is this crucible often resulting from an unsatisfied lack. Today, I assume my past as a wealth and I create by nature, seeking for truth. Then the difficulties disappear every time. With each work, I say to myself: “I’m crazy to do something so complex and technical.” But when the harmony is there finally, when everything works wonderfully, then it is an explosion of happiness.

I have this impetuous need to trace my own path and have my personal signature which is infinitely more difficult than to follow existing standards. Authenticity is a choice. Either one buys a representation of Modigliani or Cartier, or one goes to the true creators, real inspired painters for example. So I have my universe in there, as pioneer creators who started like that and unfortunately have become over managed brands today.

Obviously, I am inspired by my time; Besides, I consider myself a current researcher. In my work, it is also essential to position ourselves in a continuity because there have always been researchers at all times. Recently, a historian introduced me to a collector named Nicolas Grollier de Servière (1596-1689) from Lyon. This inventor had a cabinet of curiosities to measure time, with drawings and sketches of pieces of which he had only the vision (a little like Leonardo da Vinci) without knowing if they could work with the materials and techniques of his time. Living in its time is to become aware of what united us to these people who create things and ideas and resume their work later in order to realize them. Cartier for example created watches and clocks inspired by Grollier’s models.

Authenticity is in our gaze. Just opening your eyes, you can find beauty everywhere, and moreover, the quality reveals itself in the eyes of the beholder. There are some exhibitions that give me an incredible energy and awakens such a desire to create. Associations that have nothing to do begin to emerge, like I already had these ideas buried deep inside of me. This is what we must keep to move forward, and stay positive because otherwise we will always find things less beautiful. I have this empathy and a kind of wisdom looking at our world. Running after time and dependency on technological inventions, have become a sociological problem. But all this euphoria has always existed and new inventions always impress when one is not accustomed to living with it. After a while, a decade often, it goes into habits and excesses are smoothed out. As for the radio for example at the time of the old pop stars, then television in the 1970s, then computers in the 1990s and soon phones and digital tablets will not impress us anymore. The question is always in the use we make and if it tends to enhance human contacts. Today, we just have to regulate and disconnect from time to time, for a better connection to the others.

The subject I am dealing with is so vast that I have to be neutral and say that I do not know. What is time? There are all the possible answers with two ends between the physical and the spiritual, passing by all the theories of the perceived time. We also have in ourselves our own biological clock, with a birth and an end of life one day. Then there are elderly but extremely young people in their heads, and some who are young and old at the same time. So, there are so many aspects of time … We are not even sure that it really exists and whether the present moment has already taken place or will be, in the past or the future. I believe that one can live without time; for the ideal state, and therefore the great wisdom, is not to be bound to time. But in the meantime, the right balance not to lose ground is to say that there is need to create clocks not to miss the train, or to have luminous objects to contemplate the beauty of time. I stand at that level.

I am therefore a sculptor of something that does not exist (for even the light, one does not know what it is) and I get amused with the lights. The high reliability and purity of light-emitting diodes allows me to do things rather sophisticated because I am not limited by the mechanics. I will master the aesthetics from the materials; I will be inspired by the technical possibilities like wood or synthetic materials, but also the luminous material. That is stimulates me. In short, what I like is to make living objects and get out of the frame. For example, my last piece is this combination of 4 paintings. It’s a bit extreme of what I do, but it really opens up other horizons and give us to think and to meditate. I like to arouse another way of seeing the world. And there are people who have that sensitivity. It is a great happiness for me when I touch them ! ”

Interview by Carine Mouradian, held in Paris on April 22, 2017

Link to the Alainpers website

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