Born in Tunis, Tunisia, in 1944. He lives and works in Normandy, France. Jean-Luc Parant studies wood sculpture at l’École Boulle, in Paris (1961-1966). His first individual exhibition takes place in 1963. He is awarded the Fénéon prize in 1972. Since the very beginning of his career he has worked simultaneously in sculpture, writing, text and poem readings, and the edition of the magazine Le Bout des Bordes.
Jean-Luc Parant creates thousands of balls, of all sizes, round, elongated, flattened, cracked, embossed; made out of wax, tow, paper, terracotta; with or without inscriptions. He says “balls are paintings that time has distorted”. He piles them up, sometimes as if they were collapsing, often in monumental creations (La Beauté in Fabula, Palais des Papes, Avignon, 2000). He designs environments with cars invaded by balls (L’Envahissement, Marseille, 1993; Hommage à Calder, 2005), furniture, stuffed animals. He creates the Bibliothèques idéales, bookcases in which balls eat books, the books or texts are inserted in the balls, “embossed words”, in a never-ending process of transformation (Boule bibliophage, 1978; Livres mis en boule, 1983). He works together with the writer Michel Butor. He transforms landscapes placing his balls in parks (natural reserve, in Digne, south of France), lakes, etc. He also creates collections of drawings and collages, working with aquarelles, Indian ink and walnut stain.