Marseille in Paris was the European Capital of Culture in 2013. For the occasion, French artist Bruno Catalano made a dozen of sculptures and installed them in September in the streets of the city. The sculptures, called “Les Voyageurs” are an extraordinary piece of art showing a meaning not many understand.
The translation of Les Voyageurs means “travelers”. They are series of surreal sculptures put on display in Marseille. The eye-catching bronze sculptures depict realistic human workers. But the part that is great is the part that is missing. Large parts of their bodies are missing.
The artist, Bruno Catalano says this is because he wants the sculptures to evoke memories and things that every traveler inevitably leaves behind. His technique is flawless.
The sculptures works of art even without the omissions, but the missing parts make them extraordinary and unique. The sculptures leave room for imagination. The question you need to ask yourself is whether they are missing something, or is it that these travelers have simply left behind? Some of the sculptures stand on very little support, making them more surreal and giving them ethereal appearance.
Bruno installed 10 of the life-size sculptures at the port of the Marseille. Many more were part of the collection that can be seen on his website.
When you look at art, you always need to ask yourself, who is the artist, where does he come from, what experiences shaped his life?
Bruno Catalano is a French sculptor, known for making surreal piece of art. He is originally from Morocco, and he is the third child of a Sicilian family. His family left Morocco for France in 1970, and he started working for a French marine company in 1982. His experience as a sailor, along with the experience of moving from Morocco to France is central to his inspiration.
He enrolled Francoise Hamel’s modeling classes in 1981 in Marseille, and after two years, he opened his own practice in 1985.
He started as a compact and conventional sculptor. However, it wasn’t long before he started making surreal sculptures. Everything started in 2004, when a flaw in one of his characters, a depiction of Cyrano, gave Bruno an idea. He dig and hollow out the chest of the sculpture, ensuring a new path of work. And the rest, is history.
Marseille is a port city once notorious for gangs, violence, and drugs. How such a city became the European Capital of Culture? Well, it started with an investment worth more than $8 billion. The rebirth of Marseille, including flashy new architecture, helped the city secure the tittle European Capital of Culture in 2013. There were more than 600,000 visitors on opening weekend, and many more through the year.
The best way to describe Marseille is “a city that is never in a hurry”. The city has been a building city for more than 15 years prior to the title European Capital of Culture. Marseille has built The Villa Mediterranee to symbolize the city’s desire to build a place dedicated to peace and solidarity and for reflecting shared destinies.
Some points of interest in Marseille include the Notre-Dame de la Grande, Calanques National Park, Museum of European and Mediterranean Civilizations, Old Port of Marseille, Chateau d’If, Palais Longchamp, La Vielle Charite, Fort Saint-Jean, Parc Borely, and Calanque de Sormiou.