Pierre Unal-Brunet

25.08.22 - 28.08.22

NıCOLETTı is delighted to present Shakin’Guanine, a solo exhibition by French artist Pierre Unal-Brunet. Living in Sète, near Marseille, Unal-Brunet develops an idiosyncratic practice

inspired by his passion for fishing, through which he conducts meticulous investigations into the organisms populating the natural environment. In his paintings and sculptures, the artist

employs the methodology of speculative biology – a field of science that makes hypotheses on the evolution of life – to conjure an array of exuberant beings emulating the biomorphic forms and lustrous colours of fishing lures.


At Art-o-rama, Unal-Brunet presents the ‘Belly of the Beast’ paintings, a series of assemblages combining acrylic, oil and spray paint with sketches, texts and photographs pinned across the canvas. Articulating transversal narratives at the crossroad of scientific inquiry and fiction, these paintings depict hybrid creatures resulting from speculations on past and future mutations of living organisms.


Similar ideas are explored in a series of sculptural assemblages made of materials scavenged on beaches and swamps. Composed of driftwood, textile, pearls, shells, jute cloth, plastic debris, or polished glass, Unal-Brunet’s sculptures borrow their forms and aesthetics from sea animals such as flatfish, longsnouted seahorse, flamboyant cuttlefish, or the hybridization of species such as a giant oarfish mixed with a scallop.


In the series of sculptures presented at Art-o-rama, Unal-Brunet is particularly interested in recreating and enhancing the effect of guanine – a molecule at the origin of fish scales’ iridescence. Used to give a shiny rendering to cosmetic products, the guanine gives its name to an exhibition in which the artist invests the persona of a ‘grotesque surgeon’, whose activity consists in turning the most mundane materials into an improbable bestiary that draws our attention to the fantastical dimension of ecological processes.