Laurent Valera was born in 1972 in Langon, France, but now lives and works in Bordeaux.
He trained at the Institute of Fine Arts in Bordeaux, having previously obtained a qualification in civil engineering. His first jobs were in the construction business. It was through this contact with raw industrial materials, space and colour that his artistic choices came to be articulated. He was able to move from an overall view of the most diverse projects to a more detailed examination of the actual materials used.
“Humanité” was his first series of work produced in 2001 and 2002. The series is made up of an ensemble of highly expressive portraits which were to be revealing of his way of working.
Detail, sensations, flow :
Laurent Valera’s work has a spontaneous and instinctive approach, an almost physical one. Wide and liberated movements are at the fore. An immediate penetration to the centre of the work becomes one with the project in hand. A move back is thus made possible together with reflection and an insight into the evolution of the project. It is thus that links with previous works, sensations and the desire to share are woven.
The next stage is the need to enlarge, to get inside the subject matter so as to better comprehend. The work and the matter have to be penetrated in order to extract the essence and to feel the rhythm. The artist is constantly within the process of creating new series. It is thus that his work matures and evolves.
A hymn to life - the fluidity of concrete set in time :
In 2004, the artist produced a series of works made in concrete called “Stèles” The idea was to “link depth and form in the same material”. Parts of the human body were directly applied to freshly mixed concrete for the human stelas. Vegetal matter and objects were included in the vegetal stelas. Pigment, paint and coloured essences were used to finish these monoliths. Grey tones, mass and concrete counterbalance nature and life. They are a contrast of matter and meaning where the matter ends up by disappearing and where the concrete becomes fluid and aerial so as to be replaced by the “fossile” energy of bodies and vegetal matter. They are life itself.
The move from detail to a microscopic vision :
The series entitled “Barres” was produced in 2005 and 2006 and was indicative of a rupture with the figurative style. There is a more scientific approach reminiscent of the slides used on microscopes.
“Energy” was completed in 2007 and 2008. This series is a split with the “Barres” series. Previous forms were abandoned as the artist penetrated even further into free and fluid matter. It was a question of attaining the very cells of matter. Everything flows, circulates and moves. The cells bathe in a flux of energy. This energy, white and luminous, irrigates the cells or is it the cells themselves which generate the energy ?
Light - universal energy :
In 2008 Laurent Valera embarked on a new phase of work. An energetic link is created through movement and the play with light and the energy which it emanates. The element that brings everything together is light.
Laurent Valera’s career
2009 Exhibition of “reflets” along the canal in the public garden in Bordeaux
2008 Exhibition at Château Beychevelle (Médoc)
2008 Laurent Valera’s work was included in the new talents section at the contemporary art exhibition in Montrouge (Paris)
2007 Exhibition of the “Barres” series at Bürgerhauss Pullach in Munich, Germany
2007 Exhibition of “Spirit of Pauillac” at the Maison d’Aquitaine in Paris in a celebration of art and wine from the Médoc region in France
2007 Exhibition of the “Barres” series at the Maison du Tourisme et du Vin in Pauillac, France