Folon Foundation in Bruxelles

31 octobre 2000
02m 05s
Ref. 00291


Summary :

Visit of the Folon Foundation in the castle of La Hulpe, south of Brussels, which features 300 major works of Jean-Michel Folon, a Belgian painter, drawer and sculptor. The artist opened this foundation to share his work with the general public; all proceeds collected there will be donated to a cause that he holds dear, autism.

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31 octobre 2000
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From 1975 to 1984, gentlemen in raincoats presided over a backdrop of melancholic music, marking the end of the Antenne 2. Poetic and gentle, the work of Folon (1934-2005) branched out into other areas, from animation to sculpture, passing by stained-glass but it can be characterised especially by his watercolours that bring birdmen to the fore. Enigmatic figures wearing hats, they can't help but evoke the work of Belgian surrealist René Magritte.

Like many others in this era, Jean-Michel Folon abandoned his studies in Brussels in 1955 to be an artist in Paris. But the little interest he received for his drawings made him turn to the United States. His career as an illustrator thus began and he signed among the most beautiful pages of theNew Yorker, following in the footsteps of Saul Steinberg who he drew some influence from.

His characters lost in a dreamlike universe lent themselves perfectly to poetry and Folon illustrated numerous collections such asAlcools et Calligrammesby Guillaume Apollinaire, theMartian Chroniclesby Ray Bradbury and particularly the complete works of Jacques Prévert. A sensitive and engaged man, Jean-Michel Folon had especially supported Human Rights and the handicapped struggle.

Cécile Olive


Presenter news
The artist Folon, who loves birds and probably shares the same dreams as Icare, is the author of little flying men which made him famous. He just opened up a foundation at the entrance to Brussels for a cause that is dear to him. Nathalie Hayter, Laurence Houot.
Nathalie Hayter
It's an enchanting location, outside of the city, outside of time. Here is where Jean-Michel Folon sketched his first birds. And it's in this old farm that he just set up his foundation. An entire life of colours and poetry, thirty years of creation. Man and nature depicted in a thousand and one ways.
Jean-Michel Folon
For the last thirty years, I've kept most of my work, three hundred hours, and the opportunity to store it here, I would almost say forever. It was basically a way to return to my childhood.
Nathalie Hayter
A far away childhood, of course, but that Folon, through his work, has refused to forget. In this way, his images make you dream, and a visit of this museum is as playful as it is poetic. A voyage through time, dreams and space, and where we can learn a bit about the artist, and we especially discover what's deep in his heart. His little boy, not quite like the others.
Jean-Michel Folon
I don't know if my son is autistic, because we always have to give things a name, but I think that he basically always hides in his head all the time. But at the moment, I think that all artists are autistic. Since we spend our lives hiding inside of ourselves.
Nathalie Hayter
All profits from the Folon Foundation will be redistributed to several associations that assist the handicapped. In this way, from stamps to posters, from sculptures to watercolours, the artist remains true to himself. Each one of my images, he says, is a page from the book of my life.