Olivier de Sagazan, a French painter, sculptor, and performance artist, has long used his body as a canvas for his absorbing and disconcerting pieces. Using layers of clay, paint, and his own physicality, the artist offers animalistic and spiritual performances that both deconstruct humanity and go beyond its confines. He’s performed these pieces across the world, from Shanghai and London to spots across the U.S. The artist also creates unsettling sculptures apart from his body.
“I am flabbergasted in seeing to what degree people think it’s normal, or even trite, to be alive. For men have shut themselves up in a kind of collective hallucination, they have forgotten the time before the time.”
“Transfiguration” is one example of this effort. The narrative, “a story of the artist’s unfulfilled longing to breathe life into his creation,” involves Sagazan burying himself in materials, transforming his own body into something new. The piece was created in 1999, at the beginning of the former biologist’s career in performance art.