When we first walked by Porte Champerret in the 17th Arrondisement, we didn’t realize the two art installations at this intersection were separate. Together, they’re much more interesting we think–reminiscent of something akin to the temples of Angkor Wat Cambodia and the Mayans, but in Paris. The artwork below by sculptor Pierre Sebatier reminded us of the overgrown tree roots at Ta Prohm temple at Angkor Wat, while the elaborate geometric pedestrian entrances were a little like the Mask Temple at Lemanai in Belize.
The Central American influence may be related to the park across the street, the “Square de l’Amerique Latine” which is dedicated to nine South American “patriots, heroes and writers.”
The public artwork by Pierre Sebatier is curiously missing from his website, and the brickwork is clearly poorly maintained, as Invisible Paris has also noted, calling it “the ugliest sculpture in Paris.” Sebatier was a prolific sculptor, however, born in Moulins in France in 1925 and died in 2003. He studied at both the École Supérieure des Arts Decoratifs and the École Nationale des Beaux Arts. His biography states:
A great admirer of Egyptian and Assyrian art, as well as of the architecture of the great cathedrals, [Sebatier] is interested in exploring the different approaches and techniques available to painters and sculptors to integrate their work into an architectural environment.
This work at Porte Champerret is similar to other concrete work by Sebatier like Jardin des Métamorphoses in Moulins and Le Futuroscope at a children’s theme park in Poitiers.
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