“At first sight, Laurent Le Deunff’s inspiration seems biographical, even intimate: it may seem like he has nothing to prove, and his personal memories – a small pile of hunting magazines and a few elements gleaned from nature and ethnology museums – like they may offer him a sufficient repertoire of images. Perhaps he might use a set of timeless motifs as a starting point. As Valérie Da Costa wrote, his iconography could be compared to a field of “popular” references, close to a collective imagination, and far more than anecdote, forced narration, or creative prowess.
One might easily conclude to a sort of naïve instinct, akin to Gauguin or Sérusier, when in fact his works weave a web of complex and sometimes antagonistic practices and interests. They steer us toward an attitude that is all the more intriguing and free as it is carried out within fairly clear frameworks.
Laurent Le Deunff’s work is articulated around two different practices. On the one hand, a body of sculptures, most of which are made with natural materials (leather, wood, bone…) and are based off subjects taken from nature: series of totem-like animal heads – dogs, walrus, etc. – and various kinds of containers or pieces of furniture (safe, tent, aquarium, mattress). This inventory creates a sort of imaginary cabinet of curiosities. […]
On the other hand, where things take a turn for the worse, one finds a growing series of pencil drawings on moleskin paper depicting full or partial landscapes, animals copulating, hunters, and a variety of themes inspired by botany and zoology; that is, a narrower thematic field than in the case of his sculptures, but approached with a unique technique.” […]
Laurent Le Deunff by Damien Airault (excerpt), 2011
Documents d'artistes Nouvelle-Aquitaine commission