Paul Amar

1919 to 2017, Algeria/France

Born in Algeria with French, Catholic and Sephardic Jewish ancestry, Paul Amar experienced poverty, persecution and violence at an early age. His youth was shaped by war, resistance to French colonial rule and a stint in prison.

He worked as a hairdresser before becoming a taxi driver for tourists and prostitutes. In 1969, at the age of 50, Paul Amar discovered small figurines made of shells in a shop by the sea. On the strength of this experience, he began to work incessantly, day and night. He created objects made of shells and shellfish, painting them with nail varnish and acrylics. His sculptures became larger and more colourful over the years. He thus became a master of shell sculptures who successfully occupies the artistic interstice that transcends the boundaries of kitsch with his shimmering, glittering universe. He creates people, animals, gods, masks and aquariums, but also sacred buildings. Paul Amar‘s wife Rosie, who passed away in 2012, loved his flower bouquets and was slightly ashamed of his erotic works of art. The new “Oliva Creative Factory” Art Brut museum in Portugal has dedicated a permanent exhibition space to his work, as part of the Treger-Saint Silvestre collection, Portugal. Paul Amar lived and worked in a Paris suburb.

 

Selected works