The work of Marc D’Estout engages subconscious surrealist imagery, social and cultural memes, and obscure formal connections. Formed in succinct visual dialogues, his minimalist sculptures and drawings often subtly reveal a dark humor or uncanny associations, addressing lurking fears, personal (mis)communication, social nuance, or pop humor.
D’Estout has a deep connection with materials and process, predominantly the challenging skills of hand shaping and fabricating sheet metal forms, which are then finished with carefully crafted surfaces. His style of metalsmithing or metal-shaping falls somewhere between the conventions of the fine art metalsmith and those of custom car builders. His life-long love of automobiles is integral to his visual language and his studio practice, although there is a world of difference in objective and approach in his work. The application of D’Estout’s vision through these highly disciplined craft-based processes is unique in the context of contemporary art.
There are rumors that Marc D’Estout was born somewhere in California. He does however, hold an MFA degree from San Jose State University, and is a multi-disciplinary artist, curator, art director and designer.
His work is currently represented by Jack Fischer Gallery in San Francisco, and he has exhibited at numerous venues including: San Francisco Arts Commission Gallery; Aqua Miami, University of Hawai’i Art Gallery; Red Gallery at Savannah College of Art and Design; Houston Center for Contemporary Craft; SFMOMA Artist’s Gallery; Palo Alto Art Center; Tercera Gallery, Palo Alto, California; San Jose Museum of Art; de Saisset Museum, Santa Clara University; Richmond Art Center, California; Bedford Gallery/Dean Lesher Center for the Arts, Walnut Creek; San Jose ICA; NUMU, Los Gatos, and the Museum of Art and History, Santa Cruz—as well as furniture and design galleries such and LIMN and Coup d’Etat in San Francisco and Gallery of Functional Art in Santa Monica.
D’Estout’s pieces have been published in several art and design magazines, newspapers, books and catalogs. His is a featured artist in the Juxtapoz’ Car Culture book, and his work was used for the cover image and featured in the significant Graphis book Products by Design. The Thompson Gallery at San Jose State University produced a 48-page monograph chronicling 2-1/2 decades of Marc D’Estout’s art and design work.
In addition to his 3D studio work, D’Estout has maintained an active design and teaching career. He most recently held the position of curator for the Museum of Craft and Design in San Francisco. For 10 years he served as Director for Art and Design for UCSC Extension. Prior to that he held positions as contemporary art curator and exhibit designer for both the Monterey Museum of Art and the Triton Museum of Art. He has also taught a variety of art and design courses at San Jose State University, Santa Clara University, various community colleges in the Bay Area, and Anderson Ranch in Colorado. D’Estout has also served as a juror and guest curator for numerous galleries and arts organizations throughout California.