Jacques Le Nantec has been drawing since his early childhood. At thirteen, he restored a broken statuette and discovered a passion for sculpture. However, no art school yet exists in Chambéry, where his father, a soldier, has just been posted. With pottery clay, he will therefore learn sculpture on his own, in a small room on loan from the Maison des Jeunes.
In October 1957, the People and Culture gallery in Annecy exhibited his first fifteen works, including two life-size pieces. In the meantime, he takes the first diploma, as a bonus, a presentation at the Concours Général in three subjects. But, the following year, the second diploma was barely obtained: he applied for it as a free candidate and, apart from Sculpture, he no longer wanted to hear about studies.
In 1959, his father was transferred to Paris. Jacques Le Nantec can access the École Nationale Supérieure des Beaux-Arts … but it is in the Architecture section (Atelier Noël Le Maresquier) that he must register, to meet his parents’ requirements. There is only one way out, for an “honorable escape”: he commits by advance call. He returned from Algeria in 1962. To live and finance his sculptures, he was in turn a decorator, cartoonist (Spirou newspaper) and wax figure modeler. Self-taught, he persists and signs, continuing to study Anatomy … That, of course, revealed by women of the present time and far removed from the “academies” of yesteryear.