Growing up he was a connoisseur of all things art – he studied anatomy drawing, painting, architecture, fresco, and copper plate engraving while travelling Europe, often examining subjects on the outskirts of society – bullfighting, alcohol and gambling. However it was glass that finally stuck with him. After a meeting with Philippe Starck in Murano in 2008, Starck invited him to work on a series of commissions that lead to a turning point in Najean’s work. Soon enough, his glass was in demand by the world’s most famous designers, architects and collectors, such as the Dorchester Hotel in London and the Hotel de Paris in Monte Carlo.
In 2015 he took over a run down studio on the Venetian island of Murano, completely redeveloping the interior in his signature style – a space that enables him to push the boundaries of both his creativity and the physical capabilities of glass as a material. As the only French person on the island, Najean is up against a strong Italian tradition – the glass makers of the island inherit a legacy of many hundreds of years, which has strict rules and forms. However Najean is helping push this tradition in to modernity.
Najean’s glass forms are vibrant in their colours – eschewing the traditional muted natural tones for vibrancy. The linear forms become twisted in to organic flowing limbs and the pieces seem to ephemerally melt before the viewer. They often appear ghostly – vapid forms that transcend what seems to be physically possible, an effect often enhanced through the addition of a glowing light source. They stay true to their historical Murano roots and form and function collide in these striking beautiful pieces of glass sculpture.
By Benjamin Andre