Located on Rue des Rosiers in the Marché aux Puces of Paris, her gallery Briac Art is a virtual treasure trove of all things unique with a particular emphasis on pop culture and animals as an art form. From a life-size silvered bronze crocodile sculpture that glides realistically across the floor to a fanciful trio of multi-color hippos dotting the lawn, her artists give new meaning to the term conversation piece.
LUXPOP!: What influenced you to become a gallery owner?
Raphaele Jacob: My grandfather (who was known as Ferjac) was a fifties artist who designed vases and statues in opalescent glass and especially statues of animals. As I am a big collector of his work, I would frequently walk in the Le Marché aux Puces in Paris where you can discover antique shops and (in the past few years) art galleries and contemporary artists. Eventually we had the opportunity to open a gallery on the main street, Rue des Rosiers.
LUXPOP!: Talk about making a design statement! We can't get enough of the entertaining and assorted animals in your gallery.
Raphaele Jacob: Animals play a big part in our collection. Our goal is to reinvent the animal subject. Briac Art asks singular artists to create some contemporary items of animal design in all possible media. The animal reveals itself either as trophy hunting or as an object of art in bronze, fiberglass or resin coated with colored pigments, chrome, silver spray or velvet which magnify these original pieces and they are created as limited editions or as unique pieces.
Evidenced by these exceptional pieces is the superb life-size large red Rhino in fiberglass or with our aquatic bronze crocodile of the Nile that lays on the floor. Animals of the Savannah and reptiles await you in this "wild bestiary." We also create animal statues on request.
LUXPOP!: The sheep are very unique. What inspired the collection?
Raphaele Jacob: We took our inspiration from the famous sheep made by the sculptor Francois-Xavier Lalanne (but at a very accessible price). Our sheep and llama can be used in some very unusual ways as a chair or stool. I would call them utility sculpture.
LUXPOP!: Your Pop Art collection has really caught our eye. What can you tell us about your artists?
Raphaele Jacob: We search for painters whose artworks would match with our colored bestiary collection. Hayo Sol from Amsterdam uses the images of true icons from the worlds of entertainment, royalty, fashion and politics. Every Pop Art painting is hand-painted silkscreened skin with acrylic and metal paint and hand-embellished with original Swarovski crystals. Thomas Vaughan paints celebrities in general costumes of the l9th century and painted Bowie and Prince before they died. The artist Raph lives in Paris and is fascinated with bringing works together in a kind of Ali Baba's cave. His media includes paint, sculpture, plastic, photography, candies and toys and influenced by current events, comics and pop culture.
LUXPOP!: As a gallery owner, it is important to have the right mix of artwork and decorative objects.
Raphaele Jacob: All of the artworks of the painters presented by Briac Art match with the modern places used for our animal collection. We like the splash of gay colors and motifs where sparkling and joyful communication is present.
LUXPOP!: And lastly, what do you think sets Briac Arts so distinctive?
Raphaele Jacob: The inventiveness of Briac Art characterizes these animal creations whose singularity is matched only with its exceptional character. Our creativity is limitless and reflects our desire to materialize the "Bel Object" (beautiful object) in all its forms.