Robert Greubel and Stephen Forsey with Willard Wigan present at the Shanghai Contemporary Art Fair
Stephen Forsey, Willard Wigan and Robert Greubel working
Greubel Forsey founders Robert Greubel and Stephen Forsey will be at the Shanghai Contemporary Art Fair on September 6th
, 2012 to present Art Piece 1, their first artistic co-creation that they are making with world-renowned micro-sculptor Willard Wigan. This work in progress will also be presented in Greubel Forsey’s Time Art GalleryGF at Bund 18 in Shanghai from September 7th
After learning of Willard Wigan’s incredible nano-sculptures five years ago, Robert Greubel and Stephen Forsey decided to ask the artist if he would be interested in collaborating with them on a long-term project. The fruits of this will take the form of a co-creation combining the respective universes of Robert Greubel, Stephen Forsey and Willard Wigan, each one imbuing the creation with their own miniaturist language. The objective is to produce a unique piece previously unimaginable in the field of art.
Sketch-concept Robert Greubel Art Piece 1 - Design Alain Bardet
For Art Piece 1, Robert Greubel and Stephen Forsey will create a rotating hemispherical structure featuring several micro- sculptures, which will be easily observable through specially created optics. The ensemble will be a veritable tour de force in terms of innovation, architecture and technical complexity.
Art Piece 1 will be unveiled during the 2013 Salon International de la Haute Horlogerie (SIHH) in its advanced state.
Working with a scalpel and a microscope, Willard Wigan works with unusual materials, like spider web, legs of flies, gold and Kevlar. Working at this extreme nano level necessitates extreme concentration and requires a rigorous physical discipline. To create his art Wigan controls and slows his breath to enter into a kind of trance that allows him to sculpt between beats of his heart. Such is the beauty and wonder of Wigan’s work that in 2007, he was honoured by HM. Queen Elizabeth II with an MBE for his services to art.
Robert Greubel grew up in Alsace, France and began his horological career somewhat precociously, observing and working with his watchmaker father in the family shop, Greubel Horlogerie. In 1987 he moved to Switzerland to learn more about complications and he joined IWC to work on their Grand Complication project. He moved to Le Locle in 1990 for a prototypist position at Renaud & Papi, where he eventually rose to co-Chief Operating Officer and partner. In 1999 Robert Greubel left to work independently and in 2001, in partnership with Stephen Forsey, founded CompliTime with the aim of creating and developing complicated mechanisms for high-end brands. They co-founded Greubel Forsey in 2004.
Stephen Forsey was born in St. Albans, England where he inherited his father’s passion for the intricacies of mechanics. From 1987 he specialised in antique watch restoration, which led to a position as head of Asprey’s prestigious watch restoration department and furthered his horological education at WOSTEP. After moving to Switzerland in 1992, Stephen joined Robert Greubel’s team at Renaud & Papi, where he worked on the most complicated mechanical movements. In 1999 he left to work independently and in 2001, in partnership with Robert Greubel, founded CompliTime with the aim of creating and developing complicated mechanisms for high-end brands. Together, they then launched Greubel Forsey in 2004.
Willard Wigan and a pin!
The work of Willard Wigan (born in 1957) is commonly placed in the eye of a needle, or on the head of a pin. Once completed, his work measures only a few micro millimetres, (less than 1/13th
of the size of a grain of rice). The work can only be viewed using a high powered microscope. Often working with custom made tools and natural objects such as using the hairs off dead flies as paintbrushes; Wigan reinterprets iconic images from popular culture, the animal kingdom and picturesque scenes. For example, Michelangelo’s David, The Last Supper by Leonardo da Vinci, Prince Charles, the boxer Mike Tyson, Marylin Monroe, Peter Pan and Alice in Wonderland.