Vacances Scolaires, 30 x 40 cm, mixed media on paper
Serge Vollin was born in Messaoura as Chérif Benamor, in the Eastern mountains of Algeria. He started drawing on palm bark, rocks, or dried earth in the wadis while tending the goats of his family. Still a child Serge witnessed the horror of the “Algerian War”. At 17 he moved to France, landing in a refugee camp near Marseilles. In order to gain French nationality he had to take on the name of Serge Vollin.
He worked in France and in Germany, got married, and suffered a series of depressive episodes, which led to treatment in psychiatric institutions.
An Outsider artist, all of Serge Vollin’s paintings are the fruit of his personal history. As the art critic and essayist Roger Cardinal wrote,
(…) these are heraldic images. Their relation to a specific time and place gives way before the scrutiny of the viewer, who, unable to share in a specific memory, must attend to the scene as the evocation of something that transcends place and time.
“My works do represent other people, but, in the final analysis, it is I who am the others.”
Serge Vollin’s paintings have been shown throughout major European cities, and have gained recognition especially among German and American collectors.
His work also appeared on the 2017 Haute Couture show of “Comme des Garçons”, printed on dresses.
Serge now lives in Munich, Germany.