Biography


Jean-Baptiste Martin felt drawn towards modelling clay from an early age. This skill may be disappearing elsewhere, but it has guided him in his professional and artistic activities.

Jean-Baptiste Martin’s background is rather unusual, although he is not entirely self-taught. He was born in Mâcon in 1979 and grew up in an artistic family (his mother is a social psychologist with a love of photography, and his father a music publisher and film-maker). He obtained his baccalauréat in 1997, but after three weeks of art history at Michelet Paris IV university realised that he did not want to study art but to create it.

In 1998 Jean-Baptiste Martin started as an apprentice with the sculptor Yann Guillon, who taught him to approach sculpture with an artist’s eye, and to work with life models. He learned how to work clay, and the foundations of working with bronze: casting, chiselling, polishing and patina. He was fascinated by patina and the art of colouring bronze using heat and minerals. This is what led him, in October 2000, to become a sculptor, and he joined the Chapon foundry. He originally planned to work there for two years to develop the techniques of working with bronze, but ended up staying until April 2008. He continued to work with clay during this time, and he used the foundry to develop his work in modelling, chiselling and, of course, casting.

During this time Jean-Baptiste Martin was not involved uniquely with creative work, but he now intends to devote himself entirely to sculpture. This desire is directly linked to what he learned at the foundry - he sculpts clay without losing sight of the stages that will lead from clay to bronze.