Jean-Jacques Porret Bio
Surrounded by beautiful antiquities, statues, and artwork every day, the seed of art was planted early, and he began carving wood when he was just six years old. He specialized in creating magnificent works with the lost wax technique of casting Bronze. Bronze primarily interested him “because it is the most demanding material which is responsive and sweet to the touch.”
After acquiring his engineering degree, Porret came to New York, anxious to learn English and build a life on his terms. There, his career was set into motion, which soon after led him to Chicago. Porret’s thirst for knowledge took him to museums all over the world, absorbing all he could and sharing philosophies with the most prominent artist of the time.
As an artist, Porret is continuously evolving, and his work and style have changed over the years. From sharper to a softer expression of molten metal. Porret muses, “If my approach seems figurative, I do not aim for a reproduction of the human form: what interests me is to transmit an abstract feeling or an idea rather than an image of reality. I use recognizable forms to arouse emotion, to give birth to sensations. I consider myself, in fact, an impressionist.” This vision drives his work, and each sculpture imbues depth and intensity.
Though he initially started his career by working in Bronze, Porret began experimenting with various stones. Dissatisfied, with his sculpture’s bases, bought a granite and marble company, to have complete control in his work’s creation. Yet this choice also evolved his work, and these various stone elements have become an integral part of his creative process and vision.
Many of his signature pieces with their soft angular movements are harmoniously mixed with sharply defined textures captivating thoughtful designs with an immortal richness, boldness, and unsettling beauty. Porret’s work is infused with his personality, unsuppressed by traditional rules; his work is original and buried within each piece is the poetry of his work. Creating figures of humanity in the abstract, each form courageously melting into the next. Emotions created from fragments of granite or marble jutting and piercing through the bronzes bring the concepts of nature and man together, creating a stunningly modernistic and seductive interpretation of the human form.
When viewing one of his sculptures, the human form seems to leap out at the viewer. Jean-Jacques describes this movement as “rhythm in space.” Porret said of his artistic method and vision, “I work without any preconceived idea…(I) continue instinctively, with one shape leading to the next, until the figure is simply rhythm in space”.
Jean-Jacques Porret’s bronzes can be seen in innumerable collections throughout Europe, Japan, and the United States. He was commissioned to create the bronze sculpture for the American-Swiss Friendship Award. The “Abage Encyclopedia of Bronzes” describes Porret as “an independent thinker, whose bronze sculpture might be described as a naturalistic, modern blend, in which forms are simplified to their essential rhythms and elements.”
“Lost wax is a slow multi-step process that has endured only because of the results…knowing that my bronze sculptures will outlive me provides a comforting whiff of immortality. I believe everyone wants to leave something behind.” Porret’s work is entirely his, unique, crafted with his strong individuality and melded with tremendous sensitivity. His work and art, a dedication of exacting professionalism, and unswerving integrity have guided a life of total artistic commitment and personal expression.
I work without any preconceived idea, I continue instinctively, with one shape leading to the next, until the figure is simply rhythm in space.