The story behind my collections
"I long for eternity because there I shall meet my unwritten poems and my unpainted pictures." (Khalil Gibran)
Isn't it peculiar how the imagery of air and breath accompanies us throughout our lives - just as we are given “the breath of life” when we come into the world, we give out our “final breath” when time has come for us to depart this earth. What if our lives were as ethereal as air, our fragile existence but a light touch on the canvas of the world, condemned ultimately to oblivion ? Air and the lightness and freedom of the wind are the inspiration behind this collection, which celebrates impermanence and the fragile beauty of a but ephemeral life, hence its title “Evanescence”.
Although I have used matter and texture to create volume throughout this collection, I have deliberately done so in soft and light touches, as if I had been using watercolour, to let emotion and light shine through. My brush strokes also recall the curves of an ECG, their constant and rapid movement to and fro, linking the top and bottom of each painting. As it is in life, where we have highs and lows, harmony can and must be born of the union of opposites.
In this collection, everything I paint appears to reach for the sky. In each painting there is a movement upwards, a desire to escape gravity. In my art as in my life, I am permanently torn between my dream of an ethereal life and aspiration to infinity, and my real life, with my feet firmly on the ground, and subject to all the limitations of reality. Painting is my way of bridging these two lives, both equally precious to me, despite their contradictions.
There are also numerous references to reflections on water, and water as a mirror in this collection, inspired by Alphonse de Lamartine's poem “Le Lac” (The Lake) : “Constantly pushed toward new coasts like this, swept away into eternal night without return on the ocean of the ages - can we never cast anchor for a single day ? (…) O time, suspend your flight ! And you, happy hours, suspend your race : let us savor the fleet delights of our fairest days ! Let us love then, let us love ! Let us revel in the flying hour - Hurry ! Man has no harbour, Time has no shore; it flows, and we pass !”
I imagine this lake guiding us between its shores fringed with reeds, thoughtful, fragile and yet so resilient, those of whom Jean de La Fontaine said that whilst they do bend, they never break ! Stylised reeds reminiscent of long bird feathers are present as a signature in almost all of my paintings in this symbolic collection...
“Evanescence” raises existential issues and is therefore quintessentially a romantic collection, in the literary meaning of the word. There is however no place for despair here – the streaks of colour which convey the impression of a vanishing dream are neither tears nor the sign of a bleeding heart… On the contrary, I have used all the colours of the rainbow to sing this high and clear : “Carpe Diem ! Enjoy today for all it has to offer, for time goes by and life soon runs its course”.
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Evanescence 1 • Evanescence 2 • Evanescence 3 • Evanescence 4 • Evanescence 5 • Evanescence 6 • Evanescence 7
"To see a World in a Grain of Sand
And a Heaven in a Wild Flower
Hold Infinity in the palm of your hand
And Eternity in an hour."
William Blake, Auguries of Innocence
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For me, painting is a form of language per se, a unique language which stems from the musicality of the world, a language with its own rhythm and tempo and movement, associating shapes and colours to form a harmonious ensemble. Hence the title of this collection, a reference to J.S Bach's beautiful "Chromatic Fantasiae"… After all, can one really tone down the comparison between painting and music, when both intrinsically consist of a whole range of tones, harmoniously put together? Furthermore, doesn't one speak of lyricism in abstract art ?
However if my paintings could be put to music, what you would hear would be closer to jazz than to classical music – an impulsive music, instinctive yet controlled, and improvised around leading themes ; a music all at once gentle, daring and unpredictable, and full of meaning ; in short, a seemingly simple yet complex music. In the same fashion as jazz music, the true and full messages and symbols of a painting are rarely accessible at first glance….. You can never tell how many layers and themes will appear, unless you are prepared to study the composition to the full.
For colours to work harmoniously, they must vibrate, they must dance on the canvas like so many notes dotted on the score of Life. My paintings burst with life, associating colour and movement in a vibrant, seemingly instinctive manner ? they call on one's senses to vibrate in unison.
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Chromatic Fantasiae 1 • Chromatic Fantasiae 2 • Chromatic Fantasiae 3 • Chromatic Fantasiae 4 • Chromatic Fantasiae 5
This collection of abstract paintings was inspired by the french and english romantic poetry of the mid nineteenth century (Alphonse de Lamartine, Charles Baudelaire, Théodore de Banville, Paul Verlaine, Victor Hugo, William Wordsworth, John Keats, William Blake, Percy Bysshe Shelley,…) which particularly appeals to me because of its vibrant tribute to the beauty of nature and to simple things, because of the passionate feelings it conveys, often half?way between hope and despair, and because of the existential issues it raises through the use of metaphors and surrealist images…
This collection is about the sky as I fancy it (I mean, "Heaven") : a divinely beautiful and endless source of wonder and inspiration to me. I love this sky, for it belongs to everyone, yet no one can claim ownership of it ! It is a place without boundaries, perfect, harmonious, inaccessible ; a place between the past and the future, where imagination can flow freely…
I will therefore dedicate my "Celestial Visions" to all those who are still children at heart and still marvel at the beauty of simple things, even though they have reached the autumn of their life. The most beautiful and priceless work of art there ever was is here, all around us ! Take time to marvel at the wonders of our surroundings, and please… be kind to our world !
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Celestial visions 1 • Celestial Visions 2 • Celestial Visions 3 • Celestial Visions 4
"Lightness of a bird that does not need to sing to own the forest - not even one tree." (Christian Bobin)
If my colors were words... I would write them with a feather! My collection "poetic fictions" is composed of abstract works inspired by the concept that is most dear to me: "freedom"; hence the regular reference to birds and ships, but also brushes movements that seem to dance on the canvas and trying to fly to get rid of weightlessness.
Because my artistic work is based on the thirst for liberty and the pursuit of harmony, colors that I use and associate all have a special meaning and my paintings always have a strong symbolic value, that you will discover, either by looking at the painting or decrypting its title...
Why am I talking about "poetic fictions"? Because in my eyes, true poetry is in the eye and heart of the beholder. It is - like imagination - the ability to feel and see beyond things...