Romy, Sculptor and Painter.
This Swiss artist brought up in French has led an unusual life. Born in Egypt to a Hispano-Russian family of Jewish decent, he was forced into exile to Franco’s Spain before settling in Geneva still while keeping close ties with the Iberian peninsula that saw his awakening to art..
Romy has been practicing art as an autodidact since a young age, refusing the apprenticeship traditionally offered by art schools to which he would prefer learning the various techniques among craftsmen.
After studying economics and social sciences at the University of Geneva and the Institute of International Studies, he began an initiatory journey that led him all over the world. He retained from this experience an almost-fusional link with the Far East blossoming in his "Imaginary Calligraphies."
As a Peace Sculptor, he erected under the patronage of the United Nations the Peace of Beijing Monument in commemoration of the fiftieth anniversary of the People's Republic of China.
He was also chosen by UNESCO to inaugurate the Year 2000 Year of Culture for Peace, with the monument entitled the Hatching.
He closed the 2000: Year of Culture for Peace by creating the Peace Trophies and handing them in conjunction with the UNESCO to the two World Chess Champions in New Delhi and Teheran in December 2000.
In Paris, he inaugurated the passage into the new Millennium with his Vehicular Metaphors symbolized by contemporary cars erected towards the sky, facing Notre Dame Cathedral, with symbols of the 5 Senses of Life.
Romy has long been present in Chamonix and Cavalaire sur Mer with his monoliths, in Swiss cities such as Geneva with several monuments materializing his vision of the thematic of void.
You can also find work by Romy in Passy (Plateau d'Assy), on the Road of Contemporary Sculptures, along those of Calder and Féraud, leading to the famous Church of Our Lady of All Graces, that houses masterpieces by Léger, Matisse, Braque, Bonnard, Chagall and other great artists.
Romy shows his works regularly in exhibitions in several cities and participates in numerous humanitarian events.
Romy sculptor, painter, calligrapher and ... craftsman of peace
His gaze is quietly inhabited by experience, reflecting his inner strength. His body itself seems carved out by a billhook. This actually makes him laugh as he attributes his posture to his years as a free wrestling champion rather than his work as a sculptor. "The practice of this sport allowed me to live anatomy in a certain way, and especially to always know, in every circumstances, to go ahead "
Only the hands, fine and delicate, testify to the quasi-surgical precision of his gesture, the hands of designer that recall the conciseness and precision of the movement necessary for the practice of sumi and calligraphy ...
Yet his work bears witness to physical and quasi-carnal contact with materiality, be it stone, wood or metal. Conceptual sculptor, the one who has made the void his emblem and peace his only flag remains the adventurer who crossed Africa, Asia, to get lost in the Colombian jungle! ...
For Romy art is neither elitist nor popular, he doesn’t pose the question in these terms. Art is a state of mind and heart, both for the creator and the spectator,
It moment of eternity stolen to the passing time, a slice of surreal life inscribed in the distortion of space and time. Art is for him, like love, an antidote against death.
Get him to talk about his work and he will retort that you’re talking about his very life. His formidably analytical mind is captivated by the essence of things, constantly searching for founding concepts.
From his family and personal wanderings, this artist, born in Egypt, who grew up between Spain and Switzerland keeps a fierce spirit of freedom, an independence that often manifests itself in positions that are not in line with popular clichés - which he calls "the ready to think". Besides, as far as fashion is concerned, he designs his own clothes!
It is thus out of the question to align with pseudo-intellectual fashions that shake the planet in unambiguous outbursts.
We condemn China for its treatment of human rights? He prefers to see the superhuman progress that this great country with the multi-secular culture has been able to accomplish at the service of a galloping demography.
This doesn’t mean that he denies to acknowledge the problems: he even goes so far as to expose them with refinement and elegance to the Chinese authorities who listen to him because he does not condemn everything. "My monument commemorating the fiftieth anniversary of the People's Republic of China? A hand extended to half of humanity, a way of saying I do not forget you, I love you ... and I remain vigilant. It is in this spirit that in Beijing, to inaugurate for UNESCO "Year 2000, Year of the Culture of Peace", he erected the monument "Hatching" at the UN headquarters.
Through his program, "Doors and Pillars for Peace", he offers to all the countries which express such desire the possibility to raise a monument to the Peace, "concepts in space, as one more way of promoting the spirit of peace and universal understanding ".
Modernity for Romy is often to be sought in tradition that he considers as a constant source of renewal. This is particularly obvious in his imaginary calligraphies in which he gives free rein to his imagination by escaping the constraints of this discipline yet taming gestures and symbolic contents.
FIDE was not mistaken and invited him to come and personally present on behalf UNESCO his 2000 Peace Trophies to its World Champion in New Delhi and its World Champion in Tehran. This was the tribute of the oldest cerebral sport to him and his action for peace.
Romy remains scarce with his exhibitions - events that he organizes around a concept he defines on his own; Chamonix and the void, Paris and the senses of life, Cavalaire-sur-Mer or the Temple of Infinity … But like the man himself, his events strike the mind. Thus, invited by the City of Paris to celebrate the new millennium, he set up cars opposite Notre-Dame, converting vehicles for bodies in vehicles for the mind, provoking for a whole summer, traffic jams on the quays, as an invitation to reflect upon the senses of life, the essence of life and the place of man and vehicle in the city.
Romy, a man of few words, has very little to say about his future plans. As a free man who does not like to be dictated a calendar which is meaningless to him and synonymous with constraint: « I accept to make commitments for the very few who are very close to me. For the rest, it is a little as if one were trying to count my days, to imprison my time. My freedom consists in not knowing where I will be in three days …’’
Yet, after refusing to do so with a fierce tenacity, Romy has started to accept since about ten years to meet with the public. "By staying in my workshop or by meeting other savages of my species, I ran the chance of missing the extraordinary diversity of beings, their magnificent truth ... but I have always had difficulty going to others, always been afraid to disturb them’’ . He is shy, that's all, he hasn’t totally managed to handle the gaze of others upon him since his childhood. He has never done anything like everyone else and marvels that we can love him for this very reason.
This is why his exhibitions of monumental sculptures remain and will remain rare and meaningful events...
For us an artist, for him a craftsman; this is all what Romy seeks to be, he who refuses any school of art or thought, any church and any political bias, an artisan ... in the service of a certain idea of Liberty ... and Peace.
Romy’s monumental sculpture can be found:
in Beijing (Chaoyang Park and Unesco headquarters);
in Passy on the Road to Contemporary Sculpture;
in Chamonix ;
in Cavalaire sur Mer,
in Geneva at the Knox Fondation
in Rolle (Lausanne exit).
Revue "The Best"
by D. Masliah