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François DELAROZIERE - Detailed biography

 François Delarozière was born in Marseille on 25th May, 1963, where he studied agriculture, before pursuing a path in the Fine Arts.  He took advantage of these five years of studies, exploring all the techniques of plastic art.  Following the example of utopian architects working at the beginning of the century, he filled his sketchbook with fantastic machines, taking care to represent the dimensions of their mechanisms.  “I like seeing the inside of things; the inside of the design, the clockwork, the pulleys, so that we can appreciate how it’s made.”

Designer and constructor, François Delarozière has been exploring the art of machines in movement for the past twenty years.  In 1991, in Toulouse, he met the French street theatre company, Royal de Luxe, with whom he engaged in a long collaboration.  Working with the director Jean-Luc Courcout opened up new possibilities for works in the street and on the road, and gave him “a more popular vision of creation”.

In 1999 he created the association: La Machine, which stepped in to build the designs of theatres, merry-go rounds for children and machines for towns, for different companies.

In the framework of the urban development of the Ile de Nantes, François Delarozière and his team constructed cultural and touristic facilities on the old naval yard, assembling ten monumental mechanical structures: the “Machines of the Island”.  In collaboration with the architect Patrick Bouchain, La Machine conceived and realised the furniture and facades for the Channel de Calais.  The son of a musician and of a mason, François makes strange animals: elephants, merry-go rounds, giants, marine animals, giraffe…The new creation of François Delarozière, “The performing machines”, appeared in Liverpool in September 2008 and afterwards in Yokohama in April 2009. 

In 2003, François Delarozière and Pierre Oréfice displayed many sketches of extraordinary machines in the exhibition space, Le Grand Répertoire; inspired by the works of both Leonardo de Vinci and Jules Verne.   

In 2007, François Delarozière made a journey to India.  He took with him several lithographs in order to enhance them with coffee.  The lithographs were those of the performing machines, including that of the Big Elephant, the components of the merry-go rounds (the Pirate Fish and the Ox in the merry-go round of Sénart, the Squid and the Deep-Sea Angler Fish), the Dragon and the Spider.

The sketches and drawings of Francois Delarozière are made up of numerous curving and spiraling lines. The artist has a real concern for precision and the relief gives it an architectural dimension.  The fine, painstaking marks of multiple details attract and hold our gaze captive.