First moment  (2021/2022)

"I noticed that childhood is at first a very special light. It is a world of sensations and it seems allergic to thinking. Memory is a bank of deposits and loans. Childhood library is huge", Danny Lafferrière, Journal d'un écrivain en pyjama, 2013

 

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I have been thinking to explore childhood and memory issue for a long time but recent and successive lockdowns we experienced since March 2020 has increased this first-reflection. As travels become more restricted, I am travelling in my memory. Calling the “first moment”, precisely the very first remembrance of its own childhood, is to visit the “big attic“ and live again a world of sensations, sraw and organic emotions ( remembering of a smell, a voice, an atmosphere or a special light). This autobiographical process is not intellectual, it is very instinctive.

Neurosciences bring up today « childhood amnesia” : early childhood remembrances often come after age of 3 years old for a human being. After that age, « flashes of consciousness » are coming back. Why this specific remembering and not an other one ? This is the big mystery of episodic and selective memory….Creating is remembering and relive first impressions that touched us, places, landscapes and loved ones. This is this primary, primitive and visceral approach that I feel like developing in this painting serie. To find again the freshness, the energy and the flasbbacks of first life moments.
First, I dove in my personal biography. Then, I interviewed family and friends and listened to authors, musicians or people biographies : I discovered these introspections amazing and thought that these multiple and rich experiences should be shared. This memory work is also a plastic challenge : how to translate on an oil and plane surface an emotional experience rather than a thinking ?
My remembrances came quite late at the age of 7-8 years old and are very linked to happy time in Brittany during summer holidays. In “Lilia” oil painting, I wished to represent the infinite and the plenitude. At the beginning came wonderment. Spaces, the beauty of wild nature, tides and transparency of light – so special in North Finistère- are appearing like a dream. Children are lilliputians in this vast area, drunk of outside. Olfactory sense is not cheating : volatile fragances of earth, algas and ferns were the first to seize me and get me back in childhood country instantly. Aromatic fern triggered drunkenness and vitality. It brought irrepressible freedom feelings. This emotion is still intact today.
“ A life without memory would not be a life. Our memory is our coherence, our reason, our feeling and even our action. Without it, we are nothing”. Luis Buñuel (My last breath, 1982).

 

 

Respiro ! (2020/2021)

« I need rivers, rocks, pines, black woods, mountains, up and down rocky paths, dangerous cliffs underneath me. Walking and trek brighten my ideas. My body has to stimulate my mind. ». 
Jean-Jacques Rousseau (1712 – 1778)

 

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The Odyssey (2013-2014)

« Ulysse wandering run is an allegory. Ulysse is a way to express all vertus that Homer has created ; through Ulysse, Homer learns wisdom because he hates vices that devastate humanity. » Héraclite, 6th BC

 

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I read for the first time Homer’s Odyssey at the age of 17. Then, again when I was 30 and 40. In 2013 I decided to create Odysseys’s paintings because this universal master piece is timesless and full of humanity. The philosophical Homer’s Odyssey created our western basic ethical values (charity, kindness, patience, bravery, forgiveness).

This choice is personal too. When I was 8, the japanese cartoon « Ulysse 31 » has stimultaed my imagination and gave me forever the desire for adventure and creation. When I became an adult, I was very impressed and touched by my first boat trips to Greece. And, as Jacqueline Romilly wrote « life beauty is everywhere in Homer’s poetry ».

Each Odyssey painting tells an episod of Ulysse’s story. The oil canvases palette is deliberately restricted to 4 colors : black, white, red ochre, yellow ochre. These genuine colors are natural pigments (described by the roman naturalist author Pline the Ancient in his painting essay – Histoire naturelle, livre XXXV). They have been used in antic greek vases , Fayoum portraits and Pompei frescoes.

 

 

Old jobs, New Jobs (2019-2020)

« One, do not forget to watch the stars and not your foot. Second, never give up work. Working gives us a meaning and a goal ; Life is empty without a job ».  Stephen Hawking (1942-2018)

 

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This drawings & paintings serie is a homage to old but especially new jobs. Unlike Charles Baudelaire’s writing (who depicted only “three respectable human beings” in 1863: “the poet, the soldier and the priest”), there are plenty of jobs where a person can excel by his boldness, his creativity and his generosity. I deliberately choose in these human portraits women and men whose jobs release, relieve, protect, feed and transmit. In our hypertechnological society, it is reassuring to see that both human hand and brain still remain the most professional innovating tools. The heart, as usual, is the vital organ of the matter: without sharing, working is a vain agitation. Most important is social utility: work can today and unfortunately enslave, but we can choose a job as a random act of kindness for humanity. Work can also fortify through the opportunity to get in touch with oneself and to become.
Since the 70’s in western countries, jobmarket is becoming increasingly feminised. These creations are a sociological testimonial : women persistence is exemplary when they are either ironer, pediatric surgeon, hacker, nun or ecological activist. “The two outlines of the male domination are the women social control of their fertility and the division of work between genders”, wrote the French anthropologist Françoise Héritier. Education and female work possibilities reduce theoretically inequities between genders. But women are still today the most discriminated in their activities : 2/3 of 774 Millions adults illiterates still remain women and this proportion has not evolved since 20 years (Unesco, 2019). Untill very recently Art history and artworks (mainly male) did not seem (unfairly) to witness women jobs….A shame, because as the Indian proverb says : “A single woman work is better than a 100 men speech” !
« Poet : Respectable » ?………… The artist is two persons: the craftsman who dreams and the dreamer who crafts. The poet has a child imagination: he is not describing the world but he discovers it. And her/his creation breathes LIFE. She/He is necessarily an idealist who refuses reality as it is. The poet is a hope vector and “the servant of superior ideals “, as Kandinsky wrote in 1910* : doing this, the poet has a full and accomplished job. I believe in Beauty, Goodness and in Wonder virtues. “Creation is intelligence which has fun ! » (Albert Einstein).

*« Du spirituel dans l’Art et dans la peinture en particulier »

 

 

Ex-votos (2015)

« Color is a way to generate a direct influence on the soul. Color is the piano key. Eye is the hammer. Soul is the sensitive strings piano ». Vassily Kandinsky, 1912

 

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This series of Ex-votos paintings (format : 76x58 cm) have been inspired by a trip to Mexico in February 2015.Historically, the term « ex-voto » comes from the Latin « ex voto suscepto » meaning « in pursuance of a vow » : they are generally gifts. These ancient paintings express all the humanity pain or exaltation ; they express the hard condition of men and women who need help and salvation. I have been fascinated in Mexico museums by the intense colors of Codex, masks and ceramics of the Mesoamerican civilizations. This « Ex-voto » serie is an allegory of color. The Frida Kahlo diary and Joris Karl Huysmans writings helped me in this search and creation. In all kind of civilizations and forever, each color is an expression of mood, state of mind, a reaction in front of life. A mood that is supposed to change instantly.
 

Blue is the symbol of purity and innocence, Red the color of passion and pain, Green : constant lifeblood . Yellow express fear and betrayal. Black : nothingness, penitence and death.

These drawings (format : 78x56 cm) used mixed techniques (bic pen, inks, gouaches and pastel) on Arches paper sheets.