A native of Carcassonne in France, Bernard Rives completed his studies at the University of Photography in Cologne. He then settled in Barcelona, where he worked as a photographerfor internationally renowned advertising agencies. Alongside his main activity he began to create sculptures of female bodies–spontaneously, then transposing them to larger clay form and to wooden sculptures. He creates these pieces spontaneously, then transposes them into clay and gouged wood. Around this time he won first prize from the Paul Ricard Foundation and decided to devote himself wholly to sculpture, inspired by dynamic, free women. Since then he has exhibited his work in Spain (where he still lives), France and further afield.
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Bernard Rives regards nudity as a symbol of freedom. While for many centuries human bodies have been covered from head to foot as a result of religious oppression, Bernard Rives’ sculptures convey through movement aninalienable power of life. Through an intricate balance of volume and the sensual, stylish beauty of nude bodies, he conveys an irrepressible emotion. Humour, transgression, controversy… the grace of the feminine form remains at the heart of his work.
Spontaneous, optimistic, energetic, Bernard Rives creates his sculptures using two approaches. They are molten following a one-thousand-year process: “lost wax” bronze casting that is polished, patinated by hand, numbered and signed; or manufactured with prestigious materials used in racing yachts and surfboard construction (resin, glass fiber and polyurethane gloss). This gives them a lightness and resistance to extreme weather conditions.
His subjects of predilection are women and animal life. Essential art, guided by their materials, his sculptures are characterized by extremely simplified lines and perfect aerial balance. Each creation contains movement, as if in flight. Each of his sculptures emerges as an essential form, a silhouette in unhindered expansion.