Jean Yves Brélivet, born on 24 July 1946 in Brest, lets animals speak.It was in the early 1980s that Brélivet became involved in the making of a fabulous world stemming from sculpture, in which the animal figure was predominant, with which he managed to associate different attributes, and which he titled The Tango of Species. On a strictly retinal level, what was in any event involved was animals which seemed to be borrowed from La Fontaine, the memory of whom delighted the artist more than any systematic reading of him.
The good-natured look of these figures, the merry colours, based on striking colour contrasts, the jovial nature of the postures, and the precision of their features, so finely observed, all that also conjures up the imagery of children's books. The tranquil menagerie of tender years and the merry-go-round, as enchanting as it is intriguing. The surprising nimbleness with which they are made illustrates an almost anachronistic know-how and, at the same time, it evokes the mimicry of figures in wax museums. These creatures are in fact so alive and realistic that you would think they are the result of an observation of man that is so keen that it ends with a depiction that is more than nature, with the animal here becoming the acute form of a clinical vision of the state of human beings.
Excerpt from the essay by Jean-Marc Huitorel, published for the exhibition Baignade interdite, Galerie du TNB, 1998