BIOGRAPHY OF THE ARTIST
The painter and sculptor - in the beginning
From Barcelona to the center of the world
Jean Uroz was born in Barcelona in 1964, the fourth child of a family of five. His parents, Andalusion workers, left Spain shortly after his birth, to settle on the other side of the border, in the French Pyrenees, more precisely in Perpignan, a city whose station was considered by Salvador Dali as the “center of the world and the universe”.
The child who dreamed of another world
Jean Uroz was born a painter. An irrepressible, vital vocation, which will have to be expressed in spite of all the obstacles that fate will throw in its way. At five years old, in the absence of colored pencils, he wets earth, dips his fingers in it as in gouache and draws in secret. Later, realizing his talent, his parents allowed him to paint on… the doors of the family home.
Coming from a modest family background, the pupil Jean Uroz, lonely and shy, finds comfort in his memories of Spain, where the family sometimes returns (Gaudi's Sagrada Familia will mark him deeply), but also in the contemplation of the religious art of the churches or the dreamlike and multicolored frescoes which adorned the ceiling of the Perpignan station, in homage to Dali - who thus becomes, although indirectly, his first artistic influence.
A refrained vocation
As a teenager, he already knows he is an artist, is passionate about the history of Art, dreams of being able to attend the School of Fine Arts or a school of conservation-restoration of works of art. However, the family reality is very different and Jean, realistic, will abandon his dream and opts to become a baker.
Stronger than anything, the call of art
In 1990, Jean Uroz was just 26 years old and already a whole life and a first marriage behind him. He decides to leave everything, the south of France, his family, his work, to pursue his dream in Paris. For two years, he will do odd jobs and save in order to be able to afford his first art lessons.
Jean Uroz and the United States
From expatriation across the Atlantic ...
At the end of 1992, determined and ambitious, he tried everything for everything and moved to the United States where he studied at the "Corcoran School of the Arts and Design" in Washington DC. Upon his arrival in the USA, he greedily visited museums in Washington and New York first, permeates, digests and develops his preferences. His artistic identity comes to life, his art takes shape. The artists who marked and inspired him are Alberto Giacometti, Gustav Klimt, Hans Erni, Hieronymus Bosch, Hokusai, Lawrence Alma-Tadema, Salvador Dali, among many others.
... to the first exhibitions
Two years later, Jean joined a collective of local artists with whom he organized his first exhibitions. At the same time, the French Embassy in Washington DC, where he works part-time, is sponsoring several events. Discovery, emotion, success, the work of Jean Uroz receives a very favorable reception from the public and critics. The painter and sculptor began to enter Washington DC galleries and make a name for himself.
In 2000, he was awarded the "Berthold Schmutzhart Award" then in 2001 the "Sculpture Department Best Achievement Award - Corcoran School of the Arts and Design".
The craze for art " by Jean Uroz "
Between 1999 and 2003, Jean Uroz is in full artistic explosion. Prolific, fruitful, he began to sell his works and
make a living from his passion, regularly exhibited his paintings and sculptures and created a network.
Its notoriety is growing. At the same time, once his training at the Corcoran School of the Arts & Design was completed, he was retained by the school to teach metal welding in the same establishment.
Return to Europe and a new beginning
The unpredictability of life
In 2002, however, a major event - the diagnosis of his son's autism - put a brutal brake on the takeoff of his North American career. For almost 2 years, with unconditional love, Jean Uroz and his wife devote almost all of their time to the therapies necessary for their son as well as to the education of their daughter, putting a brutal brake on his creativity and artistic production.
From Washington to Switzerland, mourning and rebirth
In 2003, the entire Uroz family left the United States to settle in Switzerland, his wife's country of origin, in order to offer their son the best possible support and be closer to their respective families. Jean Uroz starts from scratch, in an almost unknown country, where he himself is an unknown.
The artist rented his first official space, called Z Galerie, in Marin, near Neuchâtel, in 2005. There he resumed his teaching and exhibition activities, notably for young artists from the region. His first personal exhibitions are intimate and reduced to a few works, paintings and sculptures called “orgas” as he himself designates his metal sculptures of slender and organic characters. Little by little, however, the man regains his self-confidence, the artist regains a new impetus, is reborn as he returns to his creative process.
Experiences sublimated into sources of inspiration
In 2013, the gallery moves to Hauterive and changes to Studio Z. Jean Uroz teaches there with growing success to a varied audience and has now a large seperate studio as his refuge of inspiration and freedom, where the artist can develop his personal work and change his style.
The experiences gained during these complex and complicated years have been sublimated into major sources of inspiration that nourish his work past and present - particularly the sculptures created between 2003 and 2009, which took shape in pure emotion, inspired by the depths of his being, making these artworks the most raw and unvarnished expression of his personality, sensitive and flayed alive.
In Switzerland, the discovery of serenity
With the years comes serenity. Gradually, the artist's work becomes more reflective and less reactive. Well in his fifties, Jean Uroz now approaches his work from a different angle: it evolves into a deep reflection of himself, on life, on humanity and on what we leave behind. A testament to life.
Genesis revisited by Jean Uroz
The book of Genesis, Michelangelo and all the artists who have marked him are now accompanying him in the new major opus that he has chosen to reproduce: the complete reinterpretation of the frescoes and themes of the Sistine Chapel of the Vatican in Rome. Jean Uroz devotes a lot of his time to this massive and ambitious project and estimates that in total, ten years will be necessary to restore his vision in its entirety.
An artist off the beaten track
Jean Uroz has been pursuing a career of his own from an early age, outside the classic artistic paths. He has accepted that life has taken him on a different path and the artist continues - and will always continue - to paint and sculpt, because creation is essential to his balance and he loves above all else to share his artworks with his loyal friends, followers and audience.
"My paintings are a bit my children"
Jean Uroz likes to control the entire creative process, from the arrangement of his works during exhibitions all the way to the delivery of sold pieces. He likes to 'tell a story' to visitors during an exhibit and does so by preparing in great detail the route they will follow, adding accessories that will sublimate the works, for example. During the exhibitions on fairy tales, the series called "Once upon a time ...", the artist wished to highlight his works by adding cornucopias with sweets, candies and other sweets as well as flowers. After the exhibitions, he appreciates being able to go in person to deliver the paintings or sculptures sold. Discuss the ideal location with the purchaser and share a privileged moment with the latter. The artist sees a part of himself in each of his pieces and needs to know each buyer personally.
A free artist, above all
This luxury is that of the independent artist - free - without commercial constraints or obligations that would bind him to galleries. Jean Uroz wishes to maintain this fundamental freedom. He mainly exhibits in places that truly understand and support the artist's creative approach and is currently looking for the ideal place to present his current project, his Genesis revisited by Jean Uroz.
2010 - present
Teacher (painting, drawing and mixed media) at Studio Z and at the "Club of friends of painting" in Neuchâtel
2011 to 2013
Plastic arts teacher at St.George's International School in Neuchâtel
2003 - present
Independent painter and sculptor
2000 to 2003
Welding teacher at the Corcoran School of Art
Certificate from The Corcoran School of Art
Washington DC, USA