For a long time, Damien Colcombet seemed to live two parallel lives: one composed of sound university studies followed by a long career in finance – and the other focussed on his deep passion for the animal world, both familier and exotic. From forests, fields and ponds in Brittany, to zoos and circuses around the world and African game reserves : he grasps every opportunity to expand his fantasy and inspiration. As an adolescent, he was unexpectedly overwhelmed by 19th century animal bronzes, an experience that changed his life. He developed a passion for the works of Barye, Frémiet, Rosa and Isidore Bonheur, Albéric Collin, Jos Pallenberg and many others, to become an authentic expert in this field, receiving hundreds of messages from collectors asking his advice.
Deeply inspired by two rich sources, his observation of nature and traditional figurative sculpture, only a few years ago, he decided to make an attempt at modelling himself, achieving immediate success. Multiple exhibitions, the Sandoz Prize at the Salon National des Artistes Animaliers, medal winner at the Salon des Artistes français, his works also belong to several prestigious collections. Finally, in 2008, he resigned from his position as finance manager of a large French company to focus exclusively on his sculpture, with unquestioned success.
Although he is uncompromising on morphological accuracy, Colcombet models from memory without relying on photos. He follows the casting process very closely, correcting the wax and bronze of every piece. Through the movement and life he seems to breathe into his models, he has succeeded in combining the great tradition of figurative art, relatively rare today, with a very contemporary energy which make his works immediately recogniseable. In 2017, he created a group of life-sized bronze giraffes for the Parc de la Tête d’Or in Lyon .