Nedjar, Michel

sans titre

Nedjar, Michel
untitled, ca 1981
sculpture of scrap rags and strings coated with mud
height 50 cm
© photo credit
Collection de l’Art Brut, Lausanne


Nedjar, Michel (1947), France


Michel Nedjar was born in Soisy-sous-Montmorency, France, to a Jewish family combining both Ashkenazi and Sephardic traditions. Originally from Algiers, his father was a tailor, while his Polish mother moved to Paris around 1923, fleeing the pogroms. A large proportion of his family disappeared in the concentration camps. At the age of 14 he was placed in a couture house as an apprentice. Later he travelled to several countries in Asia and to Mexico, where he came into contact with magic and the dolls used in witchcraft.

On returning to Paris he made his first doll fetishes. These were made using fabrics, rags and plastic bags which he adorned with feathers, bits of wood, straw, string and shells dipped in baths of dye, earth and blood.

Since 1980 he has also created drawings with wax crayons and paint on salvaged support materials as well as statuettes and bas-reliefs in plaster or papier-mâché.