Le Métaphore (Bateau-canard), 2002
12 1/2 × 21 × 6 1/2 in
31.8 × 53.3 × 16.5 cm
Le Metaphore relates to his work "Canard sur l'eau", installed at Les Lalanne at Fairchild in Miami, as well as plans for a full-sized boat in the shape of a duck, titled "Canard-Bateau". The creation of a decorative duck that also functions as a boat that will float when placed on water demonstrates Francois-Xavier Lalanne's interest in surrealistic tropes and exploration of perception.
Acclaimed for his surreal animal sculptures, Francois-Xavier Lalanne worked closely with his wife, Claude Lalanne, producing curious objects that blur the distinction between fine and decorative art. The Lalannes rejected the abstract styles popular during the mid 20th century, choosing instead to represent the flora and fauna of the natural world. While Claude preferred plant life, Francois-Xavier favored animals, creating works that, like Carpe (petite) (1987), add an artful element to daily domestic experience. Lalanne also created large-scale outdoor and public sculptures in which animals such as bulls, sheep, and gorillas are modeled in larger-than-life proportions, cast in bronze, and installed in locations ranging from rural backyards to bustling city streets. Whether indoors or outside, Lalanne’s works echo his belief that “the supreme art is the art of living.”