Arman (Nice, 1928 - New York, 2005)
"I am a witness of my time," a witness of his time, so he calls it in 1983. The artist Arman, born with the name Armand Pierre Fernandez, in Nice in 1928, lead the international art scene in the second half of the twentieth century.
The son of an antiquarian, he began to paint at the age of ten. At fourteen they called him "little savage" because he would attach pictures on the wheels of his bicycle. At nineteen he met Yves Klein and Claude Pascal, with whom he shared hitch-hiking in a car to Europe and the interest in extravagant issues like astrology, philosophy and Buddhism. With them he meets Pierre Restany, the critic reference of the "New Realism” group in which he joins.
Arman began to sign his artwork only with his last name "Armand", but in 1958, an exhibition held by Iris Clert, turns his signature into "Arman", due to a Press error on the invitation card that had left out the "d". Influenced by Schwitters and Pollock, the artist begins to use objects, first he used ink pads and then stones, egg shells, needles, waste of any kind, which he becomes an obsessive accumulator of and uses as subjects for his sculptures. As recalled by Umberto Eco "His building being in a degraded area in New York had become a magical place for him, on two floors and filled with every unlikely object that he collected and then reassembled.
His artwork was always multiplications of a single object, or almost. He often played, and enjoyed himself but at the same time in a sly manner he wondered about our world as a huge parade of objects that had not yet found the appropriate boxes where we could put them in order to store a harmonious relationship with each other, nevertheless, we just have to put them together just like waiting in distress. To discover the secret of a hidden form, of a golden rule that permits you to experience nostalgia. "