11 Nov Ones to Watch: Guilloume
By gracing his bronze sculptures with minimalist faces, Guilloume’s sculptures speak to the universality of man, of our relationships with each other and the importance of family.
“In the art, almost everything has been done,” Guilloume says. “I want to put what’s inside of me into my work. I want to talk about our similarities, not about our differences. The reason I don’t do features on the faces is my choice. When you depict faces the only thing you’re doing is pointing out what sets us apart from each other.”
Some might say that the hat is his trademark, but to Guilloume it is his passionate belief in the commonality of us all. It is clear in the way he portrays people in groups, sometimes huddled, sometimes in loving embrace, representing our need as human beings to belong. “I love when people are together,” he says. “The most important things for me are partnerships and family.”
Working in bronze, using the lost wax process, Guilloume starts his sculptures in clay. It is a medium that allows him to constantly augment and subtract until the figure stands exactly how he sees it in his head. “The whole idea I have about the clay is the addition and deduction, you can take away or add to the clay,” he says. “But bronze is the only kind of medium in which you can do both. In stone, the only thing you can do is take away because you cannot add in marble. In clay sculpting, if you’re not satisfied you can add or take away until you’re happy.”
Guilloume doesn’t leave it there. He follows his sculpture to the foundry where, if he sees something he doesn’t like at the wax stage, he can manipulate it again. Once the wax is melted out from the cast and the hot bronze is filled in, the alterations still don’t stop.
“Even at the bronze stage I can weld and change it,” he says. “I do that several times. It’s the final form that has to speak to me. I do the metalwork, so I can do anything I please. If I’m not satisfied with any given form I can modify it.”
Unlike many bronze sculptors, Guilloume’s individual pieces are unique. Since he plays with each piece after the foundry, they are not merely noted with numbered editions, but are individualized on the spot.
“One thing I learned, trying to match the patina every time is a challenge,” he says. “So I don’t do it. Each piece doesn’t have the same patina. Even with the same series. That’s my intention. Everything for me has to have the finish of the artist. So since I’m doing the patinas myself; I want every piece to be different. I’m completely focused on every part of every sculpture. They’re my babies.”
Guilloume’s work is included in private collections in Australia, Asia, Europe, and North and South America. He is represented by Xanadu Gallery in Scottsdale, Arizona; Simon Gallery in Tucson, Arizona; Guilloume Fine Art Gallery in Sandia Park, New Mexico; Sedona Fine Art Experience in Sedona, Arizona; and Pippin Contemporary Gallery in Santa Fe, New Mexico.