pictures from the website Empreinte d'Art
(not operational anymore)
Il les avait vus.... He had seen them.........
Charles Clave (1920-1998), nicknamed Charlot, from the french community of Frasne-le-Chateau, claimed he had an astral contact with aliens, whose likeness he captured in homemade sculptures in a naive style.
Life and works
Probably all his life Clave lived in Frasne-le-Chateau, in any case he lived there with his mother in a house on the rue des Grandes Vergers, later living there alone after the his mother died.
He had various jobs. Initially he was a cultivator, then he did a training to become a police officer, a job he waived however to become a postman instead, while he later became a mason.
In the 1950's Clave began making sculptures, focusing in particularly on extraterrestrial personalities.
All together he has made some twenty sculptures of aliens, which he exposed in the sleeping room, around his centrally located bed. This ensemble of sculptures, a mini art environment, locally became known as Musée Charlot, and as far as I understand it could be visited by the public on sunday afternoons.
Following Clave's death, the house has been sold. It was bought by Christine Péquignol, who has (had?) an art gallery on the premises, named Empreinte d'Art (Art's Footprint). By a plaque on the facade the memory of Charles Clave is kept alive.
The city hall of Frasne-le-Chateau takes care of the sculptures and other creations by Clave which they received as a legacy.
* Article in regional journal La Presse de Gray, july 2009 (not available anymore)
* French cultural magazine Création Franche, no 5, 1992 (out of my reach), has an article by Bernard Chevassu about Clave (In 2014 Bruno Montpied referred in his weblog to this article)
* Website Habitants-paysagistes (Lille Art Museum, from march 2018) has an entry about Clave with a variety of photographs by Francis David (1983, 1990)
17 rue des Grands Vergers
70700 Frasne-le-Chateau, Franche-Comté area, France
site no longer extant
first published july 2013, last revised march 2018