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Juan-Luis Baroja-Collet

France Born in: 1957
Jean-Luis Baroja-Collet was born in a town called Creusot in the region of Burgundy in 1957. He is known as much for his iron, bronze or wooden sculptures as he is for his printmaking and collages. He taught graphic arts at the Deba art school in Gipuzkoa, but his true vocation was to explore the paradoxes of life and objects. "Is an actual object real? Is abstract work unreal?

When Jean-Luis Baroja-Collet was a child, he used to observe his seamstress mother cut fabrics to make dresses, jackets and pants. He used to listen to his father, who was a worker in Schneider steel mills, explain how the metal sheets which came out of the rolling-mill were cut, welded and processed in tanks and garages. Although Juan Luis preferred devoting himself to art rather than working in a factory, he remained deeply influenced by crafts and the metal industry.

His first solo painting exhibition was in Eibar (Spain) in 1978. He was close to the GAUR and Chillida movement, whose sculptures have decorated the cities of Bilbao, San Sebastien, Valladolid...

The fact that he worked for a while with Chillida's son, set him free from those paintings that "restricted" him. He moved on to printmaking and then collages which allowed him to express his technique freely. He works with iron, bronze and wood to create sculptures which are often imposing. Due to automatic drawing, he was able to go with the flow and express his sensitivity through abstract forms.

Since 1983, Juan-Luis Baroja-Collet heads the Printmaking school in Deba and thanks to his talent, Deba has become a reference city for printmaking in Spain since 2015.
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