Youth in le Puy


Nous remerçions
Jean Pierre Cheval
pour la traduction

My first vision of art : the painted canvas shutter of the family delicatessen. The shop window with fluted pillars in pale wood used as decor for the lovingly prepared dishes reflecting in the mirrors surrounded with white marble.


The visits to the slaughterhouse, before the pig butchery, the throat cutting, the burning of the fat with blazing straw, the strong smell, the split heads, the surgical cutting; those were my first visions until the secondary studies.

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la specola No wonder that I was fascinated by the waxes of the Specola in Firenze, the mummies of Palermo, Rembrandt's and Soutine's paintings of carcasses or the anatomy books.
rembrandt boeuf louvre
cathédrale du Puy Since my very childhood, I was flooded, in le Puy en Velay, in the geometrical madness of the cathedral, suspended on two huge pillars, as well as in the magnificent baroque church of the jesuits' college.

The reading of D.Fernandez in "the pearl and the crescent" and Ferranti's photographs were, among others, pointing to my baroque work.
The decorations of St James street for the annual fair, the ornemental cakes of the neighboring pastry shop, the grocer roasting coffee on the pavement created amazement 
le puy en fête

velasquez as well as Guy François' - said Guigoaniciento - crucifixion, in the middle of the golden altar and the Venus by Velasquez , my maths teacher offered me, were my first elitist culture.

It was completed by the journeys to Italy and Spain, by Grunewald's altarpiece in Issenheim, Van der Weiden's Last Judgment as well as by the caves in Tarn and Perigord, sheer beauties, out of man's hand. Van_der_weyden_polyjugement

Beeing a sculptor is a perpetual challenge to good sense, a superbly unprofitable luxury. It also means live with eyes wide open, without blinkers, without protection barrier, without taboo, censorship or self-censorship, aware of ones complete and total needlessness in the present world. Then truth springs up from the work of art but, the naked truth is outrageous. Therefore one has to cope with the risks of marginalization and swimming against the current.  Difficulities, disappointments, critics, all through fifty years of  sculpture, never shaked the passion, the faith, the love for work , daily repeated, in the studio, in complete solitude, face to oneself.


 La ferme-musée de Moudeyre  (Haute-Loire)

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