Monumental work in bronze
Jean-Michel Folon, well known for his illustrations, watercolors, and animations, came to sculpture late in his career and L’Oiseau is one of his earliest, as well as most monumental works in bronze.
Folon identifies with birds, and in his work, they are a frequent leitmotif. Sometimes as an autobiographical avatar, and notably as a symbol of the bicentennial of the French Revolution, birds are also present in his illustrations for the 1988 Universal Declaration of Human Rights, published for the United Nations by Amnesty International.
In the totemic form of L’Oiseau, a skyward glancing bird is set high above the bronze column cast of rough-hewn beams and assembled detritus. Eyeing the open horizon, the bird is a proud voyager who speaks to the aspirations of humanity and implies the powers of determination and will.