Vincent Champion-ErcoliPresenting the work of a sculptor is like representing a landscape or a nude with only a few pencil strokes... extremely delicate! These few words do not pretend to be able to present neither the man nor his sculptures, but rather to evoke the connections that link them together, almost like a look into the universe that brings them together.

"My greatest joy is when I am working with raw material to give it its own existence. What I love most of all is that it doesn't cheat, it doesn't tell a story, it just is. Maybe that's why we get along so well."

That says it all. We could almost just leave it at that, right?

No, Vincent is telling me to continue. He wants to share his work, to show it off... He is trying to explain his relationship with the raw material, and it is not a question of reasoning, but of feeling, that of his natural and human environment.

Whether it be vegetal, mineral or human, Vincent does not copy Nature, he doesn't depict it, he simply takes part in it, letting his own energy be transmitted to the material through his hands. In other words, it's not the landscape that inspires him, but the joy and wonder that a forest or a river gives him. It's not the beauty of a woman that guides his hands on the wax, but the warmth that she creates in his heart. And it's not words that drive him into his studio, but rather the spark that they give to his imagination. And as a tree produces its fruit, or a seed gives rise to a flower, Vincenzo gives shape to raw material, he gives life to his work. He himself becomes the media of this energy to create his sculptures...

How? First off, with exploration and experimentation. His work is born of intersections, oppositions and complements that he tries out, marries and mixes together. The roundness or softness of polished pieces go together with the angles and roughness of the raw material. Tenderness and aggression are constantly falling in love. Balance and disorder play hide-and-seek. Detours and digressions are in fact the expressions of openness and generosity... His sculptures, simplified and tortured at the same time, are a reflection of the man, as if he was so whole that he could not be one thing without also being its opposite, as if he could not help but explore every facet of a character, a way of being, an emotion... He is constantly oscillating between an unshakable faith in his work and a lack of complete confidence in himself, to such a point that his search for perfection leads to an over-the-top quality, going beyond both himself and the limits of the material...

Beginning with weight. Vincent's sculptures seem to float, sometimes even to breathe, their balance born out of nothing but a series of slight imbalances. Reposing on a few points, on an edge, on a stone, hesitant but yet unshakable. "No one is going to make me believe that a bronze sculpture is a work doomed to sit atop a pedestal. I want to give it a new dimension, so it can stand on its own in unusual positions, playing with gravity, but also seem so light that a breeze might knock it over."

But how? By taking his time... Vincent's work is often instinctive, sometimes initially impossible. But he does not work alone.  He lets the material take the forms that he proposes to it, he waits for an idea to take hold, for the energy to balance and for the sculpture to be born...quite simply. Sometimes brutally, sometimes quietly, but almost always after a long period of maturation. Vincent is incapable of reasoning his investment, but he knows how to take his time, even to the point of letting the sculpture surprise him. "The creative process deeply fascinates me and the sculptures take hold of me... To see them slowly take shape surprises me every time."

The work then appears as obvious and whole, like an elegy to slowness.

Félicie Louf, May 2010