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« I was born with a knife in my pocket»… 

Born in 1959 in Paris, Yves Chemin, known as « Yvon » trained in woodworking techniques from a young age. He began as a carpenter before becoming a cabinet-maker and an antique furniture restorer, working in some of the most prestigious French workshops.

During the 1990s he turned to sculpture. Influenced by the work of Hans Arp, Brancusi and Henri Moore, it was the work of Alexandre Noll, of whom he became a pupil, which was decisive.

« I don’t decide what to make, the wood dictates »

Yvon mixes traditional and modern tools. He uses a chainsaw, chisels, a sander, a blowtorch, a polisher. Using these tools, wood takes on a different aspect: leather, obsidian, bronze. In his hands the smallest piece of bark, the slightest twig can be sculpted. Tree stumps, trunks, planks, Yvon sculpts anything that inspires him. He sculpts wood in the same way that children see shapes in the clouds.

From ethnic art to outsider art, from abstract to figurative, Yvon produces some imposing pieces - totems, statuary – together with more standard objects and jewellery.

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