NıCOLETTı is delighted to present Shakin’Guanine, a solo exhibition by French artist Pierre Unal-Brunet. Living in Sète, Unal-Brunet develops an idiosyncratic practice inspired by his passion for fishing, whereby he conducts meticulous investigations into the organisms populating the natural environment. In his paintings and sculptures, the artist employs the methodology of speculative biology – a field of science that makes hypotheses on the evolution of life – to conjure up an array of exuberant beings emulating the biomorphic forms and lustrous colours of fishing lures.
At Art-o-rama, Unal-Brunet presents the ‘Belly of the Beast’ paintings, a series of assemblages combining acrylic, oil and spray paint with sketches, texts and photographs pinned across the canvas. Articulating transversal narratives at the crossroad of scientific inquiry and science-fiction, these paintings reveal hybrid creatures to which the artist then gives birth through sculptures made of materials scavenged on beaches and swamps.
Composed of driftwood, pearls, shells, plastic debris or polished glass, Unal-Brunet’s sculptures borrow their aesthetics from sea animals such as flatfish, seahorse and flamboyant cuttlefish. The result of speculative analysis into past and future mutations of living organisms, the sculptures shown at Art-o-rama stem from research into guanine: a molecule at the origin of fish scales’ iridescence. Used to give a shiny rendering to cosmetic products, the guanine lends its name to an exhibition in which Unal-Brunet invests the persona of a ‘grotesque surgeon’, whose activity consists in turning the most mundane materials into an improbable bestiary that draw our attention to the fantastical dimension of ecological processes.