French-born American artist



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French-born American artist
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A French-American man, he was one of the most important common objects artists of the previous century.  He studied in Paris in the 1950s, where he gallavanted around with his buddy Yves Klein organizing lots of artsy events and weird "happenings."

They took whatever trashstuff they could find and made it into art; stamp prints were made by dipping stuff in paint and pressing to canvases, cut-up stuff, mounting smashed stuff and calling it a masterpiece. He even made useful objects useless; like breaking a cello and then burning it.

Arman once accumulated 2,000 wristwatches in a clear box to prove their uselessness.  Granted, they would have been a lot handier out of the box. He was an avid collector of radios, watches, cars, European pistols, African sculptures and Japanese armour, and used them all in his artwork.

His real name was was Armand Pierre Fernandez but on one of his catalog covers, the last letter of his name D was accidentally deleted in the printing process. It was since then (1958) that he decided to keep this spelling: Arman.

In the 60’s, Arman lived in sunny Los Angeles, taught at UCLA until 1968, and became an American citizen in 1972.  Clearly his time spent in L.A. traffic influenced him greatly because for 7 years in the 1970s he created a huge sculpture made of 60 cars and called it Long Term Parking.

Arman seemed like a roll-with-the-punches kind of a guy, and definitely had a healthy sense of humor.


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Here is what Wikipedia says about Arman

Arman (November 17, 1928 – October 22, 2005) was a French-born American artist. Born Armand Fernandez in Nice, France, Arman was a painter who moved from using objects for the ink or paint traces they leave ("cachet", "allures d'objet") to using them as the painting itself. He is best known for his "accumulations" and destruction/recomposition of objects.


Arman's father, Antonio Fernandez, an antiques dealer from Nice, was also an amateur artist, photographer, and cellist. From his father, Arman learned oil painting and photography. After receiving his bachelor's degree in philosophy and mathematics in 1946, Arman began studying at the École Nationale des Arts Décoratifs in Nice. He also started judo at a police school in Nice where he met Yves Klein and Claude Pascal. The trio bonded closely on a subsequent hitch-hiking tour around Europe.

Completing his studies in 1949, Arman enrolled as a student at the École du Louvre in Paris, where he concentrated on the study of archaeology and oriental art. In 1951, he became a teacher at the Bushido Kai Judo Club in Madrid. During this time he also served in the French military, completing his tour of duty as a medical orderly during the Indo-China War.

Check out the full Wikipedia article about Arman.