Olivier Duhamel (France - )


Olivier Duhamel is a figurative sculptor specializing in bronze figurines. A New Zealander since 1991, Frenchborn Olivier Duhamel lives on Waiheke Island.
The young Duhamel leaves France before his 20th birthday for extensive travels in Europe, in Africa and in the South Pacific. He arrives in New Zealand with his wife in 1986 and leads a successful 15 years career as a software engineer until 2002 at which times he resumes his artistic pursuits.
A self taught hobbyist and long time recreational draughtsman Mr. Duhamel has been a student of Chrystèle Legardinier (etching on copper plates – 1985) and of David Reid (sculptor and founder -2006). He has been a member of the Catherine Mitchell Life Drawing group since 2004.
His principal inspiration is the female nude which he depicts using graphite pencil on paper with great attention to details. Since 2006, Olivier Duhamel also makes small figurative bronze sculptures. The rapid success of these classical and elegant figurines convinces him to become a full time sculptor.
A prolific artist and regular exhibitor, his bronze figurines and laminated sculptures have won awards and are held in many private and public collections, including the Wallace Arts Trust. He exhibits in New Zealand, Australia, France, Switzerland, Spain, Belgium, and Singapore.
Like few other sculptors, Olivier Duhamel casts his bronze himself in his Waiheke workshop. This allows him to keep full control over the entire creative process. He prides himself on the quality of his castings.
With his exceptional attention to detail, Duhamel is also very particular about his materials. Fibre board wood is made by recycling a natural resource. It is denser than plywood and much stronger than normal particle board. Being laminated, the structure is very rigid and acquires great strength and stability. It will not bend, expand or split as timber would. Once assembly completed, each artwork is sealed with 4 layers of a marine grate vanish to protect it from the element.
He is the author of the popular “body casting manual”, a guide explaining in easy to follow instructions everything one needs to know to make a plaster sculpture of someone chest.
He has worked on contract for the studio of American sculptor Jeff Koons, NYC

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