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Patrick Roger: Transforming Chocolate into Metal

Published on , by Nicky Griggs

Walking around Paris it is difficult to miss the dramatic chocolate sculptures showcased in the shop windows of Patrick Roger. These monumental works, which transcend edible creations, have earned him the nickname the “Rodin” of chocolate. An accomplished artist, Roger’s practice extends beyond chocolate.

Patrick Roger© Michelle Labelle. Patrick Roger: Transforming Chocolate into Metal

Patrick Roger
© Michelle Labelle.

A master chocolatier and artist, Patrick Roger is perhaps most famous for these remarkable chocolate sculptures exhibited in his gallery-like stores and for his innovative, sophisticated approach to edible chocolates. Highly decorated, Roger has received numerous accolades for this work, including the Meilleur Ouvrier de France (MOF) in 2000, an honor only bestowed upon the country’s best craftsmen, and the illustrious distinction of the chevalier de la Légion d’honneur (Knight of the Legion of Honor) in 2018, among others. It was Harold , a human-sized sculpted manifestation of a crouching cacao farmer in chocolate that garnered him the prestigious MOF. Yet Roger’s artistic practice reaches beyond ephemeral sculptures to include an unexpected and expanding corpus of sculptures in durable materials, like bronze, aluminum and silver. Rooted in the materiality of chocolate these artworks fit naturally in his corpus. After all, it was chocolate’s malleability that captured Roger’s attention when he was a young apprentice with a pastry chef and chocolatier. And chocolate remains the primary material from which the sculptures are conceived and ultimately cast. While certain artworks evoke those of Giacometti , Picasso, Brancusi and of course Rodin , Roger is an autodidact, who developed an intuitive sculptural approach having little exposure to…
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