A fundamental principle of Jacques Riousse was to use only materials that already had a “life” or a history.
If the metal used had not yet “lived”, it came from the scrap dealer (ferrailleur). Most of his sculptures are made of metal. Much of the scrap metal he used he collected in the area around St. Martin de Peille and stored in front of his chapel.
It is important to know that during the 2nd World War, the nearby Mont Agel had several forts and positions for soldiers on its summit. The Germans had barricaded themselves there and were fired at from the sea by the Americans.
The remains of shells, grenades, steel helmets, equipment and above all of the war machinery that was also shot up can be found in his sculptures.
He said over and over again: “What should bring death, will become a new life“.
When asked what a sculpture or painting should mean, he always answered:
“C’est le spectateur, qui cré.” – The viewer creates the picture by seeing something in it.
He never wanted to point the viewer in one direction with a title he gave and thus limit his imagination. If you look attentively at his sculptures, you will also recognize parts of engines, transmissions, Velo solex mopeds, but also parts from household, garden tools, barbed wire, etc.
I only use materials that have had "a life" before.
When asked why he would not sell his works, paintings and sculptures, he answered: “Je ne veux pas me mettre dans le commerce” and then thought he had no more time for his art. A little saved from making stained glass windows and painting frescoes, as well as a small pension later, provided a satisfactory basis for him.