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Artist fills Jean Cocteau’s Villa Santo Sospir with sculptures

Villa Santo Sospir is the opulent backdrop for a new exhibition of figurative sculptures by artist Kevin Francis Gray in the South of France.

His eponymous exhibition is installed across the storied Saint-Jean-Cap-Ferrat house, where Jean Cocteau famously recorded his film Testament of Orpheus (1960) and painted mythologically-inspired murals across its walls with friend Pablo Picasso.

Villa Santo Sospir - Kevin Francis Gray exhibition
Photography: Loïc Thébaud

Kevin Francis Gray created his new body of sculptures in his Pietrasanta studio. They’ve been positioned within the hallowed halls and gardens of Villa Santo Sospir to create a dialogue with the landmark building and Cocteau’s work.

Villa Santo Sospir - Kevin Francis Gray exhibition
Photography: Loïc Thébaud

The figurative pieces – created first in clay and then translated into marble – bear the marks of Gray’s hand and tools, giving the illusion of the marble being soft and malleable. Their sinuous, curved forms also echo the shapes seen in Cocteau’s famous line drawings.

Photography: Loïc Thébaud

Saint-Jean-Cap-Ferrat in southern France has long been the stomping ground of the well heeled. Villa Santo Sospir was the home of socialite Francine Weisweiller, a patron of both Yves Saint Laurent and Jean Cocteau. It’s open to the public for guided tours daily.

Kevin Francis Gray, presented by Pace Gallery, runs until 31 October.

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