Gérald Vatrin is a young French glass sculptor whose graphic and poetic work is being discovered and enjoyed by art lovers in galleries around the world, including France, Belgium, the Netherlands, and the USA. Vatrin represents one of the brightest forces in European contemporary glass design, and we are excited to see where his artistic career takes him.
The Conquest of Glass
A native of Nancy, France – a region famous for its glassmaking traditions – Vatrin graduated from the European Centre for Research and Training in Glass Arts (CERFAV). This talented artist combines practical expertise with a deep knowledge of the arts. He has matured in many artistic disciplines, including painting, printmaking, and sculpture, but it is in working with glass that he could finally reveal his full potential. By sharing his creativity through glass, Vatrin has found his ideal and most meaningful avenue of expression.
After a course in fine arts, Vatrin joined the International Center for Research on Glass and Visual Arts (CIRVA) in Marseille, a creative laboratory for glassmaking techniques where he met a number of other artists and designers, including Jean-Michel Othoniel, Anish Kapoor, and Erik Dietman.
A Multifaceted Heart Informs His Artistic Approach
It is through a fusion of techniques and different materials that the artist experiments in his very personal and creative universe. After traveling on most continents, from Africa to Australia, Vatrin truly revealed his talent through the transcontinental blending that can be found in his pieces. He manages – in his own words – a double life, linking France to Mali, where he has worked as a ceramist.
Fascinated by the evocative powers of African lands and their ancestral cultures, he reinterprets and sublimates this legacy in his glass bubbles engraved with both ethnical and contemporary motifs.
Utilizing glass, I share my impressions of the environments in which I travel to and immerse myself. Each piece is a door opening onto a garden of visual and tactile sensations, where one can appreciate the beauty and serenity of glass. –Gérald Vatrin
Blown and Engraved Glass Gourds
Vatrin’s sculptures are enticing invitations to travel, windows on a dreamlike world. The melting of glass allows him to model his “gourds”. Once a piece has cooled down and solidified in its final shape, the artist begins the work of its sublimation through various techniques, including engraving and the use of pigments.
Vatrin engraves his pieces using micro-tools to make his remarkable animal and decorative patterns. He prefers a natural and somewhat rough aspect to his work, rather than pursuing the perfection of lines. The surfaces are covered in patterns of ethnic inspiration that recall traditional African and Oceanic motifs.
From every creation arises a multitude of tactile and visual sensations that are conducive to introspection and discovery.