Philippe Malo

"I find objects that have been cast aside and give them new life in the form of functional sculptures. Like the Quebec handymen-inventors of yesterday, I’m really into high-calibre DIY projects. No welding involved: the parts simply fit into each other where they belong, mechanically." – Philippe Malo
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Philippe Malo was born in Boucherville in 1968. He grew up in a family where creativity was valued. His mother is a nurse and an amateur painter, his father a sound engineer and a great handyman. From his childhood, he draws, tinkers and builds. After a difficult school career and a short essay in plastic arts at the Cégep du Vieux Montréal in the 90s, he quickly realizes that his professional life will not go through school.

He devotes most of his active life to building in many forms. He comes first through scenography and cinematographic productions. Self-taught, he became a set carpenter, props man and scenic sculptor. Creating for different productions will take him to Eastern Europe in major artistic events.

Faced with the waste of materials in this ephemeral industry, he began an artistic search that would lead him to upcycling. He now works to recover objects left behind and bring them back to life in the form of functional sculptures.

To constitute his works, he amalgamates steel, brass, chrome and copper weathered by time, superimposes them and offers a new look at these unusable.

After several exhibitions, having acquired a certain maturity and the recognition of his work by his peers, he is now represented by the gallery of old St-Jean where he has been exhibiting since 2018.

Artist’s statement

Finding a broken or abandoned object that speaks for its brilliance, its evocative shape or its original manufacturing quality here is the goose that lays the golden egg. Human beings have been transforming metals for a very long time and sometimes with incredible talent. In these years when everything is an ecological and ethical footprint, creating with what we find and restoring beauty to objects left behind seems obvious to me.

The human being has lost his bearings of beauty. When in contemporary North American society, 90% of what is thrown away is recoverable (Équiterre), aren’t we scandalized to go and buy an object of mediocre quality knowing that we will throw it away and buy another other? My approach is an ode to the past, this not so distant past where we looked at the manufacturing details, the quality of assembly and the richness of the materials. A past where we asked the craftsman to create for us, without delay where we could transform and repair.

Picking is a creative step that is inseparable from blending. Through a network of metal sorting yards, garages, garbage cans and recovery organizations, picking is done methodically every day of the year. Objects from the past created with passion and a profusion of materials often end up intact in garbage dumps, only objects without soul and quality are damaged by time and become unusable or even uninteresting.

No soldering. The assembly of the parts is always done mechanically from a central part. Parts found, disassembled and classified are assembled to create functional sculptures.


Solo exhibitions

2020ORAGE – Théâtre du Marais, Val-Morin

Group exhibitions

2019Guest sculptor BIGBANGFEST Val-David
2017Partner of the zero waste week, guest artist and participant in the short film sponsored by Compo Haut Richelieu
2017Exhibitor at the Maritime Museum of Quebec, exhibition on the history of the lighthouse in Quebec. Proposal of 12 pieces on the theme of the lighthouse

International exhibitions

2020Participant in ARTBOX.PROJECT Barcelona
2015Scenic Sculptor, European Games Opening Ceremony, Baku, Azerbaijan

Galleries and representation

2018 to presentGalerie du Vieux St-Jean, Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu
2018 to 2019Galerie Funky art cartel de Val-David

Awards and Recognition

2016Winner of the jury’s first prize, Festival des artisans recycleurs Kaput



2017Cogeco Laurentides : Émission Rendez-vous, profils d’artistes
2016Artiste d’un jour, Maison Radio-Canada

Visitthe gallery

208, Richelieu St., Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu (Quebec) J3B 6X8
Wednesday, Saturday and Sunday 11:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.
Thursday and Friday 11:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m.
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