“The Extraordinary Garden” is the result of the meeting of two multi-medium artists, Jean-Claude Mazel and Yann Jalix.

Jean-Claude Mazel was born in Paris in 1950, and he attended the Beaux Arts and the Arts Décoratifs. Mazel explores different pictorial techniques, but his true passion lies in drawing. He began exhibiting his work in 1974 focusing on the lines and grace of his subjects. Very early, he became interested in sculpture, and through this medium, he explored the studied refinement that he discovered. Through this technique, he simplified his models to reveal a poetic exaggeration that lends itself to the full size of his work.

Yann Jalix, bronze sculptor and video artist, has been interested for many years by plant life, and in his installations, he blurs the boundaries of video, photography, and sculpture through a combination of the three mediums.

Jean-Claude Mazel and Yann Jalix met in the 1980s but did not begin to collaborate until 1989.
They have since developed their own foundry and cultivated a creative dialogue where their respective works, presented in different ways, reveal the same artistic discourse and the same aesthetic exploration. In 2000, they decided to collaborate and bring to life “The Extraordinary Garden.”
In this collaborative work, their artistic vision is so prolific that the two sign as one artist “Mazel & Jalix”.

Interview of the artists Mazel & Jalix

Why did you choose sculpture?

Mazel: I had been drawing and painting for a number of years.  I have always been attracted to disproportion. I love the little details, which for some are insignificant while for others they can take on extraordinary dimensions.

Jalix: A flower, for example, if you come close to it can become the center of your universe, but from afar it can only be seen as one flower among others, a field of flowers. This is just a question of positioning.  Sculpture gradually imposed itself on our work.

Mazel: We wanted to be able to touch, with the tip of our finger, life in all its banality and sensuality: what I mean to say is that painting wasn’t enough and we needed to move onto working in three dimensions as a way to highlight our subjects.

Don’t you think that the fruit constitutes an interesting metaphor for the most trivial and the most extraordinary that life has to offer?

Jalix: Yes, the most sacred and the most innocuous.
Obviously, one thinks immediately of the Garden of Eden and the beginning of creation.  The fruit as temptation, Eve tempts Adam with the apple. The fruit, therefore, has a sensual connotation, even sexual and it is exactly that which concerns touch, smell, taste and sight.  Where there are senses, there is life.

Mazel: One can also envision the fruit as innocuous, an apple resting on a table, for example.  Imagine the number of painters that have at one moment in their lives had the desire to paint this fruit; it is extraordinary when you think about it.  An ordinary apple, selected as a subject by some of the most talented painters in history, Chardin and Cezanne, to name a few.  Life does not always need art to make it appear spectacular, but art will always need life as its subject no matter how simple or ordinary life may appear.

You create your own extraordinary garden.  It seems that you have some Gulliver in you.

Jalix: Once again, it all depends on the point of view from which you position yourself; is the fruit enormous or ridiculously small?  Of what I amsure is that within each of the sculptures exists life.  We are  gardener dumbfounded by their own crop.  The subject that we focus on leans toward the extreme. we like the idea of creation in its most exaggerated state, choosing for itself its own limits and escaping all rules of proportion and of the ideal form that we impose on it – it claims its own place.

People often refer to your sculptures as erotic.

Mazel: Certainly, and we approve. They are indeed erotic, sensual in the sense that they represent the metaphors of pleasure that are visual, tactile, gustatory and olfactive.  Furthermore, we would say that the body is never far from the subject, in a curve or a rounded form – stretching, reaching. Perhaps each fruit, therefore, in its totality or in its partiality, complements the human body in the most sophisticated and most expressive form.  So, yes, our sculptures are erotic!

To cite a famous quote, one could say of your sculpture, “Everything should be as simple as possible, but not too simple.”

Mazel: We like the idea of simplicity and we believe that as we’ve already said, the subject itself brings us back to this idea of simplicity.

Jalix: At the same time, sculpture is also the extreme complexity of the creation process, the casting, the carving, and, finally, the patina.  The difficulty of the work should never appear in the finished product, but like the mystery of life, the long process of creation is inherent in the final work.  The simplicity that is found in the finished product is the result of a long creative and complex process.


Galleries & Art fairs

2000-2002 Galerie California – Paris
2002-2004 Galerie Villard Lalande – Paris
2002-2005 Galerie Félix Haloux – Paris
2003 Art fair – Genève
2006 International art fair – Shanghai
2008 Marigold Fine Art gallery – New Delhi
2010 International art fair – Shanghai
2011 International art fair – Shanghai

Permanent Exhibits

See the page » Expositions permanentes – Permanent exhibitions


2007-2008 Musée du Luxembourg – Paris

MAZEL & JALIX Catalog 
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