Michaël Cailloux is born in Paris in 1975. In 1998, he received a diploma in Applied Arts from the École Duperré with honors. His thesis on the “fly” in the 18th century, a subject that has always fascinated him, garnered accolades from his colleagues and professors. He continued his work the following year with the creation of the Atelier LZC with two of his former art school colleagues. Together, they specialized in the creation of design objects, working for over ten years on the the collections displayed at the Maison et Objets, as well as creating personalized pieces for such brands as Baccarat, Cartier, Habitat, Van Cleed & Arpels, S.T. Dupont… In 2009, Michaël Cailloux decided to undertake a personal artistic adventure and taught himself jewelry making and water etching techniques. His imagination ran wild and thus the idea of wall jewelry in copper which he calls “fly art”, accompanied by “pressed flies” was born.
His “wall jewelry” is created patiently and meticulously by hand, just as a jeweler would create his jewelry with a bow saw, rivet setter or finely chiseled.Before putting it together and exhibiting it in a collectors box like a treasure chest to dress not a body but a wall, he prints the limited series jewelry ( no more than 4 copies per color) to obtain the pressings which are the print of the object.The Fly, symbolic for both life and death, becomes the signature of all his work, a reference to the still life masterpieces of the 16th century. Michaël Cailloux is also the Artistic Director of the École Supérieure d’Art Françoise Conte, specializing in design, textile and fashion – Paris 12e. He also co-authored the reference manual “Design Textile – le métier, la tendance, la création » published in 2013 with Editions Eyrolles. Michaël Cailloux feature in this number two issue of The New Artisans, Thames & Hudson.
What bug did he catch ?
The plants and animals of our countryside or rather the insects have always been for him a source of poetry and inspiration in our own backyard. Illusion, anachronism, the past and chance, have also inspired his work.
The Fly inspires illusion, which is a type of picture intended to play on confusion in our perception. This particular illusion is provoked either by the result of the finish, the technique used or the subject exposed. Thus, “ the fly art” seems to arrive directly from the past. The game of seduction and confusion of the spectator through the illusion is created through the theme of “still life art” a favorite subject of specialists of this genre.Still life art
Still life art is his favorite theme. In the art world, between the second half of the 15thcentury and the first decades of the 16th century, the meat fly was depicted as life sized in certain Dutch, German or Italian paintings. The Fly in painting symbolizes human vanity and brings life to places where life does not exist ( still life) and death with the contrast of the living object ( portrait, religious theme). This is precisely the reason why the fly became a familiar element in still life paintings and consequently, a signature in Michaël’s work.
The work of Michaël Cailloux lies at the intersection of two artisanal techniques, the art of jewelry making and the art of water etching. For his jewelry, he uses the bow saw (bocfil) which implies the mastering of external and internal cutting (piercing), embossing ( with the help of a double rivet) and chiseling ( with an engraver). As for the water etching, he uses classic techniques : preparation of the plaque, already cut, point work, piercing with chloride inking and printing.
Concretely the mixing of these two techniques allows Michaël to obtain a work in cut copper which is printed with the help of a printing press. Each pressing is printed in color with a maximum of 4 copies, playing on the amount of ink intensity, erasing the defaults in the prints which makes the embossing or the drawing pop. The transformation of the copper plaque, constructed through hammering and chiseling, allows him to obtain a jewelry sculpture which can be placed directly on a wall or installed in a box before being exhibited.