Antignac, Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes, 15240, France
About the Artist/Site
After marrying a Spanish woman soon after the end of the Second World War, mason François Aubert began ornamenting his three-story home in 1949, which was located directly on the road between Ydes and Riom-ès-Montagnes in France’s southwestern Auvergne region. Using many recycled materials, he terraced the property in front of and to the side of the house, creating a series of patios, and connected the different levels with stairways, ornamenting them not only with diverse types of bannisters but also with numerous concrete sculptures. These latter, built over a simple steel infrastructure, were generally left unpainted, but many were additionally adorned with found objects such as small stones, shells, or tiles. Some of the faces of the sculptures were built over repurposed carnival masks.
Thanks to the visibility of the sculptures placed so prominently around his home, Aubert gained local notoriety, and several neighbors commissioned him to create sculptures for their own properties. He also carved small freestanding and bas-relief wooden works such as canes, little animals, figures, and plaques. Another of his hobbies was collecting rocks, so he installed his own private lapidary museum on the first floor of his home, a showcase for his collection of thousands of rare rocks.
Around 2014 the painter André Fialip purchased the home, and, although his own work is primarily in watercolor or oil, he feels aesthetically and spiritually connected to the original owner and builder. Some of the original sculptures, however, have been dispersed over the years and are no longer on site.
~Jo Farb Hernández
Map & Site Information
Antignac, Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes, 15240 fr
Latitude/Longitude: 45.340944 / 2.541849