Amid this extraordinary and arduous adventure which lasted almost five years, this feature documentary is at once an intimate portrait of the Brazilian artist Saint Clair Cemin as well as the precise reflection on the sculptor’s creation of the marble boat Psyche, from the embryonic stages of development in his studio in Brooklyn, NY, to its installation in a Sculpture Garden in Cleveland, Ohio. This film was shot in Brooklyn, NY, Beijing, Zurich and in the Amazonian region, Brazil (2015-2019).
Saint Clair Cemin (born 1951) is a Brazilian sculptor and painter. He lives and works in New York City. His work encompasses multiple styles, approaches, and materials. Ranging from furniture to toys in popular culture to elements of the history of sculpture, his work, despite its sensual materiality and a keenness to craft, has a serious conceptual grounding which allows the artist an unlimited reach to his imagination. Cemin became interested in philosophy as a teenager through inspirational conversations with intellectuals in his home town. He was also interested in Physics and Mathematics. However, soon he began to focus his attention to art, beginning to draw and work on illustrations for magazines. Cemin studied at École Nationale Supérieure des Beaux-Arts in Paris, France, from 1975-1978 where he learned printmaking for three years. He moved to New York shortly after, where he experimented in several fields as a way of earning an income. One of the artist's first exhibited sculpture was The Granny Ashtray, which has been described as an anti-modernist piece. Throughout the 1980s Cemin became an integral part of NY's East Village art scene which included a circle of important contemporary artists such as Jeff Koons, Peter Halley and Jonathan Lasker. After those formative years in NYC, Cemin travelled to Egypt, China, Bali, and Greece, to pursue sculpture in different environments and with different mediums. After 2010 he returned to NY and continues to create works in his Brooklyn studio. In 2012 he had a major public exhibition of large works along Broadway in Manhattan. One of the several works exhibited on Broadway is “Vortex", at the corner of 57th street and Broadway, which stood some 40 feet tall. His works are on permanent exhibition at important institutions such as the Museum of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles, The Broad, The Whitney Museum and more than 20 other museums and institutions worldwide. He has also published a book of his writings through Edgewise Press titled, Fragments of a Mind: Stories and Comments on Art 1987-2004. Another book with his writings; “De ma Main Gauche”, was published by the “Editions des Beaux Arts” in Paris, 2016. Saint Clair Cemin is married to Svetlana Jovanovic Cemin and is the father of Sara who attends the Lycée Francais in NY.