Sylvestre Gauvrit, who as an artist uses his first name Sylvestre, was born in Moulins, France in 1977. He grew up on the Île d’Oléron, an island off the west coast of central France. In 1996 he successfully finished his secondary education and some four years later he decided to leave for the Italian Carrara, where he enrolled in the Accademia di Belli Arti di Carrara. He chose the Sculpture department, which of course cannot be dissociated from the marble quarries surrounding this city.
In 2006 he graduated from the academy. In the years that followed, he worked in various sculpture studios in the nearby Pietrasanta, where he further developed his marble sculpturing skills. Not only did he master the purely manual techniques with chisel and hammer, but also the state-of-the art 3D-computer techniques used to shape the material. He enters his sketches digitally and then the material can be modelled in minute detail with sophisticated tools.
In his designs, Sylvestre explicitly chooses to use flowing, organic forms. He experiences these forms in nature, in human movements and in the shapes and patterns summoned by the natural elements air, water and fire. The sculptor mostly uses white marble, which is the perfect material for placing these movements brightly in the space. The new technical possibilities he applies enable him to shape the material rather than to leave traces of the process of chopping and hacking. The linear patterns in his mind’s eye come out well and the work imparts an almost natural ease, making the lines and areas flow and whirl. These qualities can be identified both in his small works and in his monumental sculptures.
Besides these natural processes and movements, the artist is also guided by forms and objects he finds and observes in everyday life. Various works are consequently poised between the figurative and the abstract. He does not seek to show familiar forms as a neo-pop artist. On the contrary, he wants to reduce the forms to their most characteristic pictorial elements and to lend them a certain autonomy in the process.