Jacques Mahé de la Villeglé (Quimper - Finistère, France 1926), Breton origin, currently lives and works in Paris. Jacques Villeglé consecrated by a retrospective at the Centre Pompidou in 2008, the artist has become part of art history, known by most people as belonging to the New Realism movement - founded by Pierre Restany - together with Arman, César, Dufrêne, Hains, Klein, Rotella, Spoerri and Tinguely.
His works are exhibited in the most important collections in the world: it is the only artist to be presented in French living rooms of the MOMA, the famous New York museum, in addition, he is also present at the Tate Gallery in London and the Ludwig Museum in Cologne.
Villeglé, fiercely devoted to respect "the collective and anonymous creator" that leads to the gradual emergence of a torn posters, the result of accumulated gestures, and the passage of time, has always defended and demanded anonymity, refusing to sign the works. The invention of the Torn Anonymous, in February of 1959, responds to this concept. Villeglé, since then, creates a work of urban archeology, the classification of images taken seconds issues that allow him to develop a real creative work, following a selection criterion which he sets depending on who wants to develop the idea. An idea he calls "narrative": a way to tell its age.
It all began in 1947 in Saint-Malo, where his family, originally from the city, regularly spent their holidays. The first artistic gesture of Villeglé is already an act of re-use. On the docks of Saint-Malo, he begins, in fact, to collect the heterogeneous objects of which the ground was strewn with: wire, the remains of the Atlantic Wall, and so make a gesture of appropriation of reality and transforming it into an instrument-subject, merging the image of everyday life in an artistic practice. This reveals that the first elements of a reflection that will lead him, since 1949, only to take possession of torn posters.
Since 1969, however, after seeing a wall of the Paris metro, during a visit of U.S. President Richard Nixon in France, a particular style of writing that traces the name of Nixon - creates an alphabet (defined signs of socio- politicians) with which to create: "... a series of canvases in which the pictorial signs constitute a change in color of lapidary phrases, stories sometimes difficult to decipher encrypted, almost anarchist slogans ...” explains Dominique Stella for years that consistently follows the activities of the Master. The sociological vision of the world is converted into a transcript that he develops through the analytical expression of a language whose basic element is an alphabet which he called "socio-political”. Villeglé says: "On the walls of an underground corridor I saw the three arrows of the former Socialist Party, the cross gaulliana, the Nazi swastika, the Celtic cross inscribed in O movement Jeune Nation, Ordre Nouveau, Occident, etc. ... then new dynamic three arrows, the helmsman and Pavlovian Tchakhotine, which will, without further comment, the name of the American president”.
In 2012 the city of Padua dedicates two exhibitions: the retrospective “Jacque Villeglé – Lettere e frammenti. Un percorso nella scrittura di Jacques Villeglé” at Altinate Cultural Center - San Gaetano, with the entire artistic décollages of 80 works and 20 socio-political works. At the same time at
Galleria C.D. Studio d’Arte is well organized an anthology “Jacques Villeglé 1960 – 1998”. In addition the city of Padua, during inauguration, dedicates at Palazzo del Capitanio, Piazza dei Signori, Videomapping3D, Omaggio a Villeglé, a video projection 3d conceives and designs by Urban Scene in collaboration with Communication Penocchio.