Patrick Boussignac is a French painter born in 1956 in Villejuif. What got my attention concerning him is his Jim Morrison and Janis Joplin painting you can see above, yet his work is based on a wide variety of subjects, aside from rock. In this interview I have tried to prompt him to reveal a bit of his vision in regards to art and to his own world.
Mihai: Since our perception is different depending on the things that our personality is built on: what is your vision towards painting?
Patrick: My vision of painting? It is a reluctantly passive type of art in this world based on efficiency and speed.
Painting is languid, a quiet lapse in time and that is what I like about it, you can escape from the flow of time and even go backwards.
Painting gives you the power to stop and look around without feeling in a hurry. Nowadays, we can look at things, but we do not actually see what we are gazing our sight upon.
And I believe our age is the age of image. Painting creates a concentration of images. In a single painting, many pictures can be observed and that is what the cinema industry fails to produce.
M: Why did you choose this form of art to express yourself?
P: I chose it because it was the gift that God, or nature, or Fate (whichever suits your liking) offered me. From my youngest years I was very talented at drawing (I learned the language of colours much later, with practice) and all that time I had never asked myself “Who will I be?”.
But I knew I would become an artist because I felt that was the only path I could walk on.
M: Have you ever tried poetry or music?
P: Of course I did, there has even been a time where my self as a painter competed with my musician self. Although I loved being on stage and singing with my band, the painter self finally won, because I knew I had more to express through this instrument.
As a poet, I wrote many poems (and none too shabby either!). I love poetry – especially the classics such as Rimbaud, Verlaine, Aragon, etc.
I try to thing of my painting as if it were a poem. I strive to find diverse themes and transpose them in a poetical manner.
Therefore, a painting must express the same feeling a poem instills inside you, but through colors which create a most wonderful vision of things.
M: What do you feel about the indirect expression of the inner self in the visual world?
P: If art is not made to be the means of your expression, you have to admit that what you create is not art, but a fake, an imitation. Each artist has his own individual vision of the world. He deconstructs it only to piece it back together using his own sensibility.
M: In which form does the spark of inspiration appear to you?
P: I never look for inspiration. I don’t believe in it. Ever since I was a young boy, I trained my brain like a muscle of inspiration. It means I just let it go whenever I want to, I let my spirit be opened to outside emotions.
I trained my brain to receive very strange ideas instead of chasing them away. Afterwards, the work of the artist is to classify, to select and to organize those strange ideas that become a piece of art.
M: I see human characters in most of your paintings, what does the human symbolize to you that makes him so special?
P: It is the most interesting. I have so much pleasure painting landscapes, animals, objects, but nothing compares to the human figure. Because painting is nothing unless we find some kind of mirror of humanity into it.
The eyes of the people I paint are windows of inner humanity. I can’t imagine stopping from painting humankind. It is an infinite field of investigation. A lesson for the future… and what could be more beautiful (and harder to paint) than a beautiful body?
M: What is your vision towards the man with no artistic talent?
P: I am the very first one to be happy that the world is not led by artists! It could simply just be HELL! Do you imagine a Nuclear Plant run by poets or painters, or a plane by a narcissistic actor? No way, artists are made to give dreams to the rest of humanity. But the society has to be led by people with their feet in the real world! And anyone who is not an artist could have a talent. Sometimes I gaze at a sushi man to see how he cuts his fish, with such controlled gestures, and what about surgeons? (to open up a body and save the life of that person, that for me is not art, but super art!)
M: You have a painting of Jim Morrison, how does music influence your creation process?
P: I can’t say that music inspired me directly, though I like musical
subjects and especially LP covers of the 70′ that I will use more in
my painting in the future.
M: There is a thing I am curious about every time I meet an artist: you see your creation as a tool used to inspire more profound ideas and feelings in the observer, or as a living independent creature, able to deliver a complex message and never to be completely understood?
P: I would say both (if you allow me to say that) maybe it’s pretentious? I don’t know. I will say that it is firstly used to create an emotion in the observer and secondly to not be fully understood.
When you are not understood, the brain of the observer lies in its own logic or rationality and will fill the hole left by you. Then it’s the work of suggestion within the audience. If they understand it too fast, the purpose is not fulfilled. I adore that people give meanings which I did not intend to infix at the moment of creation. They tell me I have done such and such, which of course, I did not. Thus, my job is done. I give them the tools, the materials to recreate my own creation and I love that.
M: Where can we find your work?
P: I work with a great gallery called Operagallery which has a network of 11 galleries worldwide (Singapore, New York, London, Paris, Dubai, Hong Kong, etc.. I have a gallery in Slovakia and an agent in Germany who is looking out for me in German speaking countries: Herr Reiser.
M: When/ where are you going to held the next art exhibition?
P: The next shows will be in Stuttgart, in February at the Schill Kunsthaus
and in May at the Palm Beach Casino, Cannes .
I have a beautiful project in Russia, but it’s too early to talk about it.
M: What rock music bands do you listen to?
P: Considering my age, I listen to very old fashioned/old school rock(and I honestly consider that nothing better was done ever since.)
I love Led Zeppelin, The Who, Deep purple and especially YES and so
M: Do you think that rock/metal music can fertilize the soil for an artist to bloom?
P: Not for me, but I suppose this music should have its own iconography, like Rapp has tags or street art and that’s good. Each generation has its esthetic. Let young people instill metal within a new way of expression.
Translated from Romanian by Cristina Bancila
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