exhibitions artists about contact


outsider artists

hawkins bolden
eugene von bruenchenhein
eileen doman
paul duhem
howard finster
william hawkins
s.l. jones
gilles manero
justin mccarthy
jean-michel messager
j.b. murray
philadelphia wireman
gerard sendrey
simon sparrow
carter todd
mose tolliver
robert wilkinson
purvis young

 Gilles Manero: French (born 1960)

Gilles Manero
Anatomie 1 (ca. 2003-4)
Paint and ink on collaged paper :: 10 x 6

biographical information

Although he is self taught as an artist, Gilles Manero may have a looser connection to the artists we commonly identify as “outsiders” than to such prominent surrealists as Andre Breton, Max Ernst and Joseph Cornell. Like these moderns, all of whom experimented with assemblage, Manero seeks with his seamlessly painted and collaged work to bring the past forward, and vice versa.

Working with the precision of a surgeon, he scissors details of body organs from 18th and 19th century illustrated medical books and grafts the parts together. Then, with printer’s inks and jewel-colored paints, he further alters his snippets, reconstituting the parts of hearts and lungs and brains into fabulous, often startling, nonesuch creatures.

Manero forages for the materials of his paintings/collages at flea markets and in the sections of secondhand shops where the dust and cobwebs have gathered thickest. His house/studio is an ominium-gatherum of 100 and 200 year old mice-chewed physician tomes and maps whose boundaries demarcate countries that no longer exist. He also has a large collection of phonograph records. In an exercise akin to Rauschenberg’s famous erasing of a DeKooning’s drawing, Manero always irrevocably changes the nature of his source materials. Once he selects a 33 1/3rd LP as the support for a new creation, for example, the record loses its capability for stimulating our aural senses, and, instead, takes on an identity whose interest is purely visual. The vinyl platter is transformed into a tondo that, in its rich colors and welters of fabulous creatures, might suggest a Pieter Brueghel the Elder drollery of peasants drinking, stuffing themselves, fighting and carousing.

Manero artist was born in Loiret, France. After graduating from a lycee in Paris where he studied photography, he took employment as a photo-engraver, a trade at which he still works. He started bringing his interest in art and photography together in 1991 when the first of his painting/collages started to appear.

The artist strikes some who know him as an aesthete who could be a holdover from an earlier age. It is said that he shows almost no interest in the world’s current affairs as presented through television, the cinema, newspapers or magazines. When he is away from his job as a photo-engraver, he devotes virtually all his waking time to art.

Manero’s work has been widely exhibited both in Europe and the United States somce 1993. An exhibition of his paintings/collages, all drawn together in a production called “A Cabinet of Curiosities, traveled in 2003 to museums in Paris, Begles and Oyonnax, France. His work is in numerous private collections of art brut, as well as the collections of such institutions as the Musee de la Creation Franche, Begles; the Museum of Stadshof in Zwolle, The Netherlands, the Museum of Navarra in Pamplona, Spain, and the Museum of Naive Art in Figueras, Spain.

price range:

Contact gallery for prices