Lunel: Ben K, this inspired and enlightened concrete artist from “Pescalune”

Lunel: Ben K, this inspired and enlightened concrete artist from “Pescalune”

Lunel: Ben K, this inspired and enlightened concrete artist from “Pescalune”

The artist and his restored work wait patiently for his return to town. A.C.

Lunel: Ben K, this inspired and enlightened concrete artist from “Pescalune”

Du haut de ses 4 mètres, le “Pescalune” vous contemple. A. C.

Created in 2006, the statue which stood at the entrance to Cours Péri has had a makeover. In charge: the municipality. At the helm: its creator himself.

It’s a case, Ben K. A study K’ A K apart. A unique K also because of this artistic coquetry which “prevents” to reveal his surname.

So you have been warned: you will not know his name before you finish reading this article and will have to be satisfied with these four letters. Four little letters which nevertheless made headlines a few days before the inauguration of the Pescalune statue in 2006 and at the very time of its unveiling.

"I used two pens on autographs"

"It’were two opposing atmospheres, remembers the creator of the work. When we installed it, some people were outraged. I even heard: “We're not in Auschwitz here…”, says BenK, with a smile that he allows himself today on the lips. The day of the inauguration, it was something completely different. There were a lot of people there and the welcome at Pescalune was much warmer. I used two pens on autographs!"

It was therefore naturally, without an ounce of hesitation, that the current municipality ordered the repair of the statue.

The work installed before the festival that bears his name

A calendar that bodes well given the work on the Cours Gabriel-Péri, at the entrance to which it stood until four months ago. The famous fisherman of the filiform star, whose silhouette could just as easily recall some inspiration from the world of Giacometti as that of Ben K himself, has thus taken his place, since February 6, in the world of Giacometti. rsquo;enclosure of municipal workshops, chemin de la Terro d’Oc, in Lunel.

A spring break which restored its splendor to the Pescalune, the time to find a new location for its reinstallation – normally before the festival which bears its name – and to offer it a better presentation in the landscape of the new face of the heart of the city.

4 meters and 3.5 tonnes of reinforced concrete

Almost an artistic routine for Ben K who restored, in just one month, the Carrara marble moon which “glow” at the feet of the legendary man and took over all the patina of the large sculpture 4 m high and weighing 3.5 tons of reinforced concrete covered with resin and bronze.

Materials for the benefit of a technique all his own, as solid on the base which supports his works as the financial arguments that Ben K puts forward during his professional negotiations. "Reinforced concrete is up to ten times cheaper than bronze", he informs.

Where the bull at the start becomes a fisherman at the finish

A weighty argument which probably comes from his several years spent in the building and made him – in addition to his personal touch and the design of his sculptures – winning numerous contracts with nearby communities.

Here the apple of Saint-Just, over there the herdsman on horseback and the bull (his first monumental sculpture) in Saintes-Maries-de-la-Mer, closer the three bulls of Grau- du-Roi and the two horses in front of the station in the same town…

"Besides, initially, the Pescalune was supposed to be a bull, remembers Ben K, who smiles as if remembering the dialogue that took place between him and Claude Arnaud, then mayor of Lunel. He said to me: “A bull, I don’want one. We already have one!” (Pascalet who sits in the middle of the roundabout at the start of the canal, Editor's note). It’s at this precise moment that he asks me if I know the legend of the city and tells me the story of Pescalune. And then he blurts out: “Make me an offer”."< /p>

When the sculptor invites the councilor to discover the model, he did not expect it to be unanimously accepted…hellip; Come on, let’s dare it: “unanimity” !

So criticized and ultimately long awaited

So yes, long gone are the days when Ben K sold his Poulbot in Japan on the street to earn a living. Also far away is his crossing of the United States, always sketching the landscapes that he takes in, he so fond of travel when he escapes Paris and its 14th arrondissement which heard him let out his first cry he 67 years ago.

All these journeys accompanied by his pencil case, his pencils and his notebook. At the time, Ben K did not even think about sculpture. And when he just thinks about it, "it’was more of a dream than a project". But all that was before

 Before his vacations spent in Saintes-Maries-de-la-Mer, where his father's teacher comes to recharge his batteries every year with the little family, forever influenced his concrete subjects and models . Which some criticized, others liked.

Like the Pescalune in 2006, this large wader that everyone has adopted, ultimately, for one reason or another. The same people who long for his return to the heart of the city. A bit like that of their Messiah. But if…

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