The son of an art dealer, Arman's youth was filled with objects. These objects subsequently became crucial to his work, yet he deliberately disturbs and destroys their integrity as objects in order to realise his own particular aesthetic objectives. A founding member of the Nouveaux Réalistes, Arman explained that 'the great shock for me was the discovery of Dada and Surrealism and seeing objects made integral to the work of art' (Arman quoted in J. Putman, Les Moments d'Arman, Paris 1973).
For Arman, the act is an important element of his artistic practice. He accumulates, cuts, burns, destroys, and transforms the object and, in so doing, gives it a new shape, a new life. As van de Marck has observed, 'Arman's working methods are more akin to those of the surgeon or demolition expert than to those of the painter or sculptor. He searches and selects, appraises and decides, isolates or combines, arranges and rearranges, cuts, burns, pours and freezes to ultimately present instead of representing, a new world of his own making' (J. van de Marck, 'Arman: An Archaeologist of the Present', Arman: Selected Activities, New York 1973, p. 20). In Hommage a Yves Klein, the violins possess an elegant, almost feminine form, reminiscent of a Cycladic idol. Even in its deconstructed state the object is still identifiable as a violin, its graceful shape meticulously pinned to the panel as a tribute to the artist's destructive will. One of the key tenets of Arman's artistic endeavors is to convert an act of destruction into an act of creation.