Julien Marinetti

Born in 1967, Julien Marinetti spent his youth between the workshops of great artists and national museums. He was only five when he created his first still life oil painting on a tea towel and started frenziedly distorting everyday objects into primitive polychromatic sculptures. A few years on, academic drawing and sculpture lessons at the “Ateliers de la Grande Chaumière” became part of his daily routine. He fed his imagination on cinema, classical music and punk rock. Young, impatient and already a prolific artist, he only spent one day at the Beaux-Arts (French Academy of Fine Arts) before dropping out and devoting himself to his art.

After several years of oil painting, in 2004 Julien Marinetti renewed his relationship with sculpture, when his masterpiece «Doggy John» rapidly gained him a name in the artistic world. The artist goes against the tide by choosing to work with bronze, a noble and unalterable material, while the trend is to use resin. He is a master of shape and material, but any classicism ends here: the sculpture unexpectedly becomes a three-dimensional canvas for his imagination.

After his first set of «Doggy John» monochromes, the artist decides to revisit the history of art and its Masters through collages, paintings and lacquers. With the series «Doggy John Herald Tribune”, Julien Marinetti explores current events and its sequence of tragedies and fleeting trends. Each «Doggy John” is a unique piece of work; like a sphinx of modern times it reflects contemporary society and its history. Symbolism, the explosion of colour and the power of the composition strike the amateur on every occasion.

In 2006, while «Doggy John» has become a global icon, Julien Marinetti abandons collages and starts treating his masterpiece itself as a “supportsurface”. He enriches his sculptural work by an oversized and stately Vanities «Skull», and a regressive teddy bear «Popy», both in bronze. The artist unleashes his insolent mastery of colour, always magnified by impeccable lacquered finishes. The works are violent, funny or mysterious, and always unsettling. The amateur immediately projects his own personality through the piece, which generates a personal, almost instinctive connexion with the sculpture, so much so that the most discerning collectors do not hesitate to rename their «Doggy John.»

In his exploratory approach to “support-surface” Julien Marinetti extends his talent to monumental sculptures. His «Doggy John – Obama,» at 2 meters and 600 kilograms (about 1320 pounds), is presented in 2007 at the Grand Palais, and, subsequently, in various international galleries. This colossal bronze is yet another opportunity for the artist to let his exceptional creativity flourish.

Meanwhile in 2009, having never stopped painting, the artist tries his hand at portraits and self-portraits. He applies his lacquer technique to his two-dimensional pieces, giving his acrylics an innovative mirror-like finish. The first series of lacquered portraits is called, not without wit, “Flat Doggy John”. It is followed by a series of Vanities, on which symbols, graphs and poems reflect the artists’ questions and about his own condition.

In 2010, a giant bath duck, an animal representation reduced to its simplest expression, enriches the bestiary. New volumes, new shapes, the duck is yet another challenge for the artist, constantly in search of unexpected ways to express his creative vision.

Julien Marinetti approaches his paintings and his sculptures in the same way, covering two-dimensional or three-dimensional surface with the same effervescence. He actually refers to his sculptures as paintings.

At 43, Julien Marinetti has a rich and diverse work to his name. He uses his disconcerting technical mastery and his eye for unexpected combinations to reject traditional constraints and to let his creativity explode and be constantly renewed. Known as free figuration and abstract expressionism, sometimes bordering on “Bad Painting”, his work is symbolic and rich in sources. Syncretic and universal, it is as accessible to the uninitiated as to the most discerning collectors. Marinetti’s work has not ceased to surprise.

Portrait of Julien Marinetti