Martial Raysse was born on February 12, 1936 in Golfe-Juan (Alpes-Maritimes) into a family of ceramic craftsmen. Like many painters and artists of the time of the birth of pop art, he aspired to a new world detached from the overly received practices of the old. He also set the bar high to be able to play on the same field as the great artists who came before him.
An artist since childhood
From a young age, Martial Raysse was interested in art, works and artistic representation. He first studied literature and began writing poems at the age of 12. His first steps in painting and visual art began with the assembly of various objects, insignificant parts, common elements of everyday life, from which he drew inspiration and created his first works. These works soon became some of the most famous of his time, because at the age of 25, all of his works were purchased by collectors just minutes before his exhibition in Milan in 1961.
He became official in the pop art movement during his stay in the United States, during which he met great artists of the same field, such as Ben and Arman, or Yves Klein. He will adhere very early to the movement of the New Realists.
Originality in the blood
Martial Raysse was best known for his inventions created from objects that one would never have imagined could be used in art. He used plastic, Plexiglas, neon, artificial lights, all sorts of objects to assemble, cut them out, flock them, mount them, enlarging them most of the time: all of this to obtain totally extraordinary results.
Unlike his colleagues who were “salvaging” in the practice of modern art, Martial Raysse managed to go to several stores to buy new unused objects. He would first collect the elements and only then could the assembly stage begin. And so was born the famous “Hygiene of Vision”, one of the countless works of the artist that contributed to his success.
A talent at the service of pop art
After his stay in the United States, this painter and at the same time film director (Camembert extra-sweet in 1969; Le Grand Départ, in 1970) returns to Paris to carry out his cultural and especially social revolution. With the precious help of neon, for example, he uses the different shades between soft and rather vivid artificial colors to illustrate certain aspects that really need to be emphasized. It is thus, and by other means, that he knew to represent this society of “consumption” in which the world adheres more and more.