Robot Invasion: +Brauer
Interview by Charles Brandt
After machines have served their purpose, after devices have fallen into the realm of old technology, their parts are left to wonder what their future may be. A junkyard? Or perhaps they will lay in wait, left on a shelf to gather dust as time goes by around them. To the treasure hunter, one who sees the golden potential in these scraps and leftovers, some hard work and dedication can be the beginning to a great project. Breathing new life into these antiquated parts, metals forged by industry, and miscellaneous objects, is +Brauer. This Paris based artist does not hide the worn nature of these used objects in his final work, but uses these aspects to give his creations character. Extending from childhood influences, his love of the robots that were celebrated in the earlier years of science fiction, has inspired him to create his own. Each one is varied and unique, capturing a different feel and demeanor. +Brauer takes the objects, molded metal and lights in his workshop, each from with their own background, and artistically transforms them, shapes and fits them into these robotic sculptures. They are a magical reminder that just because something is no longer used, does not mean it is without value. +Brauer's robots have a vintage charm about them. One can imagine them taking the stage and playing a part in science fiction novels from the past, or perhaps in the grand design of an alternate future that never was.
Charles: Where are you currently based out of?
+Brauer: My studio is located just outside Paris, but some of my work can be seen in Paris at my showroom. It is located at 48 rue de Montmorency, in the Marais area, just in front of the oldest house in Paris, which dates back 1407.
Has living in Paris affected the evolution of your work, or artistically inspired you in any other way?
You mean Paris, as in "The City of Lights"?!
Well, I don’t think that Paris affects my work in any way, but my studio is located in a neighborhood that has a strong industrial and artisanal past. This specific environment may have had an influence on me.
What initially drew you into creating robots?
As a child, my imagination was struck by science fiction stories. The Robot, half man, half machine, as described in these stories, with its nearly human appearance, influenced me a lot.
Your robots each have their own distinct personalities Does your vision create this uniqueness, or does the process you go through influence the final creation?
I know from the beginning what kind of robot I want to create. I sketch its volume and shape and I know exactly what personality I want to give it. I start working on the light design at the very beginning, at the sketching stage.
You must have a very interesting process for designing and assembling your wonderfully unique robot creations. Could you explain how you go from designing a robot to a final creation?
For years, I’ve been retrieving, sorting, ordering and storing parts. It is necessary to go through this, in order to be able to create with more freedom.
How do you find your materials, and how has this processed affected the evolution of your work?
I’m fortunate enough to have collected the stock of a family car garage. I also recycle abandoned objects that I find in the streets, or items that people who know my work bring to me. However, some robots may remain unfinished for several months until I finally find the missing element!
Do you have any upcoming shows, events or projects that you would like to share with our audience?
Some of my robot sculptures can be seen at :
- The GO Gallery, Amsterdam until April 2014
- In my showroom 48 rue de Montmorency in Paris
- The Streets Hotel in Paris