Gilles Barbier

This South Pacific-born, Marseilles-based artist known for his unconventional approach and provocative tendencies has created unexpected, uninhibited pieces, examining explosion and implosion in nature and society.

"Explosions and implosions are violent physical phenomenon, but there are also similar physical transitions that fit into something much slower: coagulation, growth."

Born in 1965 in Vanuatu, a small island nation in the South Pacific, Gilles Barbier moved to France at age 20, abandoning his initial studies in literature to enroll at L’ École Superieure des Beaux-Arts de Marseille and joining the local art scene there. 

Today, Barbier’s art is defined by his unconventional approach. He takes inspiration from various forms of expression, including sculpture, photography, drawing and the world of science fiction. 

Because his work is provocative and uninhibited, Barbier could be described as an enfant terrible; he uses humor, repetition and image manipulation to oppose anything linear or expected. He is known for using his own image in his work.

 Since 1995, Barbier has exhibited his creations at galleries and institutions in France, Germany, the Netherlands, Austria and the U.S. In 2005, he was nominated for the Marcel Duchamp Prize, an annual award given to a young French artist. He currently lives and works in Marseilles.