DRAWINGS AND PAINTINGS
1983 to 2001
QUESTIONS: MARTINE LAVANCHY
GALLERY OF THE FRIENDS OF ARTS, NEUCHÂTEL (CH)
ANSWERS: THE PAINTER
EDITIONS GILLES ATTINGER, HAUTERIVE (CH)
It is necessary to be wary of its admirations, they follow you everywhere and are at every moment likely to take your place.
The spark which made start the creative process:
There are genes… my mother was painter and musician. And there is Vivaldi, heard with the radio at the age of 8 or 9 years. This discovery started in me a kind of storm… doors opened and, in one moment, art was engulfed inside. It was expected…
Is there in your creations of the contemporary interrogations ?
In theMASSA, ALEX AND KEN picture, 1999, I locate my “HEAD” frightened between those of the gorilla and the headstock Ken on bottom of animals out of cage or vivisectionnés: the other face of the marvellous world of Ken and Barbie… The animal suffering and the confusion of nature nourish the civilisation of the smile… Ken and Barbie are the models of the perfect happiness whose the children and the adults dream of all the continents.
It is following a series of photographs carried out in my daily environment and my experiment of the “pets” that the idea to me had just joined together these subjects in a series of tables: DOG LOST IN a STILL LIFE, which are a little the continuation of MASSED, ALEX AND KEN, Speeding and the three ORPHÉE of which the TOURIST.
The hatred of the shit and the obsession of “clean in order” are the principal concern of the man civilized as regards ecology. Never! Never! one does not put oneself instead of our friends at four legs, our “pals with hairs”, obliged to live between lines of tulips, deserts in grass and concrete, engines, din, poison gazs, attached, with prohibition to shit when they need some really and where good seems to them! However, are the dogs like you and me, they hate to defecate in public, but where to hide? All is mowed.
The landscapes of the AREUSE are carried out at the same time as subjects more engaged apparently as MASSED… However, it is exactly the same thing. I paint what I see.
Bruno Manser fought to defend the beauty! That of the man in creation, in total fusion with her. The AREUSE is the reflection… These fugitive visions of water, trees, of sun, make me foresee the garden of Eden, but also of the immense pits, to give the goose flesh…
This duel into clearly-obscure, body with body suggested in my landscapes, is particularly obvious in the Fairy tales, territories without limits where the imaginative and expressive aptitudes of the man are mobilized as by enchantment. In the RED HOOD, I wanted to represent the words, to avoid circumventing them, to edulcorate them, while endeavouring not to betray the substance which characterizes these stories: the marvellous one. I thought of Gustave Doré and Arthur Rackham… homages without tender. Imagine a grandmother and a naked little girl being made puff out by a wolf… Is this really to show the children ?
To show humanity, it is positive! As men, we have thus anything else to express only human feelings… positive! An inhuman act, it is a bestial action! … Negative! These grotesque lies do nothing but clarify the truth: cruelty is the characteristic of the man, they are that resident perhaps there its superiority, its heart, its genius. This capacity to adapt the whole of creation, to dismount it, handle it and sell it with its similar by scorning those which are not enough malignant to pay! … With God like icing on the cake, here is civilized humanity! The animal is obviously well too stupid to be also idiot !
How do you consider the future ?
Dokumenta of Kassel (1997) seemed based on this interrogation. The concepts of art, aesthetic pleasure and painting, considered as exceeded were evacuated demonstration. Each guest present in this fair of the inventors put the finger on certain contemporary realities. Installations, videos and photographs largely dominated, and the spectrum of the urinal of Marcel Duchamp capped the whole like a funnel…
According to the police chief, as of the moment when the famous urinal was regarded as a work of art as well as the Mona Lisa, painting became useless and art itself sank in the arbitrary one… touched, run! Thank you Marcel, alias God the Father! But what do they make of you these coldes fish? You must laugh well in your ready-made !
If the future decides by Kassel, it will be icy… an architect declared seriously that the future of the cities is in their peripheries and that to stick to the centers, generally old, is dangerous. This nostalgia of a completed architecture prevented the full blooming of modernity… If this Mister had all powers, there is not any doubt that he would shave the Town square of Brussels, for example, to impose its ice cubes as Le Corbusier in his time dreamed to destroy Parisian districts, now protected, to satisfy his ego… To make clean slate of the past to guarantee a glowing future to us is always a monstrosity. A research of typically fascistic “purity”. I hope that in the future our architects, who often choose to settle in old stones, will wonder humbly about the fascination which the past instead of regarding the world as a white page exerts.
And the human being in all that? It adapts, becomes blind and deaf to wake up only on holiday, in good old men villages filled with nests of swallows… while waiting better.
Are you happy in your time ?
I have the feeling, in spite of my skepticism, that the current time is filled of positive germs for the future. The consumer becomes more responsible, it is informed much better of the state of planet and the negative impact or positive which it can have on his environment and its similar. The company is curiously harder and riper than front. I believe in a planetary democracy in which the economic and political powers would be really the reflection of a popular will, neither wild capitalism nor Marxist dictatorship… a happy medium, probably the least bad system. But there will be always handling on all the levels, competitiveness obliges… However, the age of each one of us differs when one asks the question of being happy or not in his time. I am not any more 20 years old and am currently in good health, of good mood, it is a chance.
When it is asked to me whether I am well I always answer “yes! … for the moment”. Happiness has something of immodest and cynical in a world which is a vale of tears for the majority of the human ones. With that I react by my work, a way of paying the price, of nourishing and of sharing my guide: a feeling of plenitude.
How do you reconcile artistic creation and economic reality ?
To give its works is an error. The person who receives the thing not having sacrificed anything to acquire “the object of the desire”, it will tend to neglect the gift. It is human, therefore stupid.
The painters, one has to admit it, work for the rich person, generally in total contradiction with their ideas and dreamed levelling. My tables ask for sometimes years of work… If my life depended on this activity, I would have died for a long time.
What do you think of marketing in the artistic field ?
Art is a consumable among others. Like a cheese, it can be more or less tasty, honest, aesthetic, good or bad for health. I would be for “organic” art if my green label, including Soutine, Ten and Grosz, were admitted by the anthroposophes.
You think that art for art’s sake is still of news,
or does artistic creation play still a role particular to play in our time ?
Bruno Bettelheim, who lived Auschwitz, based his theories of care to the autists on this experiment. He said that all in the camps was organized to kill people, including the decoration. It was very effective… Thus to maintain the life, the wellness, it is necessary to make the opposite exactly, to support the color, the light, space, imagination, the personal expression… it is very effective! I am soon 60 years old and like you, I expect the death of painting at the same time… a burial programmed as of the Twenties per Hobby-horse as the dynamiting of the museums, these cemeteries of Article Actually, the “performance” consisted to capture the hobby-horse spirit and to lock up it in the museums accompanied by painters and of the “old-fashioned” sculptors of every century. The counter-culture will be always recovered, she amuses the middle-class man and it is him who has the money! As long as we will live between four walls we will want to suspend something there, that it is a rifle, a clock, a “HEAD” of wild boar or a picture…
What do you feel vis-a-vis a painting ?
The pictures, like all the images dead or alive, can aggravate me, attack me, allure me or move me with the tears, which is rare. However, I acknowledge that in spite of my exaggerated interest for art as a whole, the greyness and the indifference are frequently with go. Perhaps I expect too many the others while being conscious that my work can be itself a subject of contempt and raisings of shoulders. When one makes his “striptease”, one is not any more in security. One can receive opera hats, under or nothing… nothing. One is in the arena.