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Lionel Scoccimaro

Lionel Scoccimaro was born in Marseilles in 1973. Still based in his birth place, the sculptor, surfer and biker explores the ways in which globalisation brings the margins from what was once counterculture, such as surfing, skateboarding, motorcycling, at the centre. He is one of the iconoclasts, who break with cherished values and traditions and became a style icon, that the society aspires to emulate. His work bridges the gap between ‘low culture’ and the high art world.


With visual references and material techniques associated with biker and surf culture, his work alludes to exotic Tiki imagery and Neo-Voodoo culture, which were prominent elements in the American surf scene of the fifties and the sixties. But the laid-back lifestyle intimidated by this imagery reminds viewers of the appropriation and destruction of culture. It is this multi-layering of messages that makes Scoccimaro’s work so appealing, absorbing and divisive. Scoccimaro purposefully adopts a diminutive role in his attack on the norms of high art with a visual language of codified adult game-playing. His works are nostalgic of a past era of counterculture that has been diluted by globalization.


Scoccimaro’s demand to fulfil his role as a sculptor coupled with formal efficacy led him to articulate a discussion between materials and various scales in his work. Scoccimaro’s work plays with these appropriations, using contemporary society’s interest in clever, self-referential irony and post-modernism, to hint at how the darker elements of our past can catch up with us in the present. He offers us provoking insights wrapped in playful packages of pop-age veneers.

Since 2001 his work has manipulated social expectations through the medium of photography and sculpture. Scoccimaro was singled out during FIAC in Paris for his series of giant ‘Toppling Toys’ decorated with symbols of American counterculture. Moreover, his sculptural and photographic works have been exhibited at Ecole Supérieure des Arts et de la Communication in Pau, in the Chapelle Saint Jacques in St-Gaudens, the VF gallery in Marseille, Roger Pailhas Gallery in Marseille, Stedelijk museum Aalst in Belgium and Fabrice Marcolini gallery in Toronto.

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