Late 80’s, Steph COP was part of the first French graffiti movement. Activist within the group “Control of Paris”. Renowned for covering the palisades of the Louvre Pyramid in graffiti during its construction in 1986, he became one of the artists of this movement. In 1992, he participated in the creation of a new trend later defined as “streetwear”, through his own brands ” Homecore ” and ” Lady Soul “. In 1998, Steph COP then moved to the physical representation of the graphic world by creating one of the first “Art Toys” with his vinyl character, A.R.O, “Analyse Reflexe Obsessionnelle » (Obsessive Reflex Analysis), which sells worldwide. In 2007, he chose to isolate himself in the heart of the forests of Morvan to recreate A.R.O.. His works are now part of the most prestigious public and private collections.
The work ARO “Analysis Reflexe Obsessive”
Ultimate figurine of a series of six, ARO is the most accurate projection of Steph COP.
Beyond the graphic aspect of the clear-cut lines, its anchored posture, it is “Obsessive Reflex Analysis”. The research for the working drawing is the key; ARO is the genesis. ”This work comes from my weaknesses” he admits, a resonance of himself … delivering a symbolical allegory of his emotions. Thus was born ARO. The encounter between machine and nature gave birth to Wooden ARO. An unprecedented reinterpretation of the ARO character sculpted using a chainsaw and different woods, as if the artist released from the tree the already existing piece. This demanding raw material needs to be tamed with strength and delicacy. “An instinctive apprenticeship alone in the middle of the forest. By means of manipulation you discover, you draw, you cut… hard labour in paradise amongst hundred-year-old trees.” Each piece takes time to take shape, maturing slowly. A natural, almost sacred, creation, where the hand of man follows the lines of nature marked by time. A delicate lumberjack despite the hazardous tool creates a result that is heartbreakingly sensitive. Each piece is loaded with the emotions of its creator.
At first sight, his sculptures are formatted, a variation on the same model. But you just need to feel with your hands, touch the wood, to discover the very essence of each piece, the uneven surfaces and the features the machinery has carved take you beyond appearances, they are similar yet different. mToday a ‘giant’ left on the ground for years in the heart of Morvan; a six hundred year old fallen oak tree now stands proudly in the shape of a 5 metre high ARO weighing 7 tons. This piece of art is also a symbol; the result of a work supported by 30 collectors who chose to join the artist’s adventure by participating in the funding of this creation.