These texts were written in 2012, as an introduction to a website on his painted works. We reproduce them here in extenso.































I was born November 22nd 1937 in Neuilly-sur-Seine, France


I participated in numerous exhibits in France, beginning in the 60’s: Musée d’Art Moderne, Musée de l’Air et de l’Espace, and also in different fairs: Salon d’Automne, Comparaisons, Jeune Peinture, Figuration Critique. I also exposed my work in galleries: Gallerie Vitesse, among others. Abroad, I traveled to Switzerland, the US, Sweden, Great Britain, Germany. Also, I traveled with high tech companies around the globe: Japan, Latin America.

I became interested in machines as a child: tanks, airplanes, ships, rockets, trains, cars.

Many years later, I came to understand the plastic potential of these machines, in particular the reflection off their metallic surfaces, painted or not.

One must see them as what they are: tools to transform reality. The speed they make us feel changes space and time.

I would add that through their chromed, painted or glass surface, they deform their environment and transform space itself, to the point of anamorphosis.

I consider these machines, in particular cars and even more planes, to be allegories of our times.

They are one of the great mythical figures of the 20th and 21st centuries.

I always try to convey these ideas in my paintings: the choice of subject, its presence and staging are essential to me.

So then, tight compositions, a dynamic diagonal or a frontal face to face: through geometry, I seek to better hide the machine.

I like to introduce, through the magical effect of a real or implanted mirror image, a tableau within a tableau, where a shape is contained within another shape, and where the contained shape is in reality the whole of the object, to the point of metonymy.

The idea is to give movement to the static. Beyond time standing still, time frozen in the painting, the time to observe and to represent, the plane is ready to take off, the car to continue down its road. A moment, a destiny.

Very few colors, the same pairings of red, red-blue, blue-red-yellow, and black, always, in a dozen different tones.

After the initial setting, always difficult and rough, the gestuelle, the same application of the brush, nervous and calculated, with very little room for luck or randomness. The play of transparencies.

There is energy here, it’s waiting, anticipating an elsewhere, a fantasy, a legend.




November 5th 1937, Hitler declares wanting to reunite German minorities within the Reich and to conquer a “vital space”. I was born on November 22nd, 1937. Was it a good start?

“The handsomest of the four when he is alone”, used to say my father. Probably the humor of the times. We were four brothers in 1941.

There was the war. I lived almost all those years in the country, in my grandmother’s house, Villa Luciane. The name was written on a pillar at the entrance to the garden. A wonderful Basque house in the middle of a fairly big garden. The view from the bay window was magnificent, a sweeping view of the forest of the Isle-Adam, of the Oise valley and of the French region of Vexin.

The town was called Villiers-Adam. Our house was occupied by the Germans! Despite that, I played with a young soldier, Oscar: he would throw me as high as possible in the blue sky, towards the sun, and catch me in his arms. The sun like a flash, I’m flying. One day he left for the German front. 1942?

In open mines nearby, airplane engines were being assembled; in 2008, the building structures are still standing! In the forest, materials were stockpiled. Bombings. One afternoon, English planes flew overhead. From the balcony, the explosions created magical sulfur clouds. Later, a severed wing fell to the ground, tumbling like an oak seed. There were such battles between Messerschmitt and Spitfire fighter planes; flames, black smoke, parachutes, tracer bullets on suspended bodies.

I never forgot the machines, or the men. They will fascinate me forever.

I remember a heavy bomber, Liberator, returning to the UK with both engines out, its belly throwing up a heavy black smoke, hit by German artillery spit out from the woods. The plane retaliates, then thrusts up, suspended, crashes and explodes.

Later, when? With kids from the village, we would go to the clearing where the debris of the aircraft rested. 1944?

I brought home an almost intact machine gun. My parents were always very busy with material questions, money, food and the black market.

Villa Luciane and this countryside, during and after the war, were liberating. A special mention to my grandmother Manaine. For her affection, and mine.

The front wheel drive Citroën 11 Légère, her car in the last years before the war. Driving, she was off to Le Touquet, Paris-Plage. She is a widow then. Mr Wallart died in 1937. She even got stuck in the sand. It’s in that car that my mother, my two brothers and I left in the Exode. 1940. I have no memories of it. She lost that car during the war.

My grandfather’s woodshop, close to the Porte Maillot, from which he was expropriated. A garage owned by a Hungarian, Farkaz, served as storage for the car. A German officer requisitioned it. My grandmother, expropriated in 1939, was paid in 1946-47. After the war, she was broke. Sacré French state!

You are familiar with family life, especially when there’s little money. A black ebony piano, but not tuned. Records, but no concerts. The organ in St Pierre de Neuilly, maybe I could have made my own music. Later, in Marrakech, I improvised on a grand piano: “Smoke gets in your eyes”, “Round about midnight”, some of my own tunes. People listened and applauded. I’ve forgotten the name of the hotel.

I’ve never let anyone take control in my life. There were colonial wars, Indochina, Algeria…The army, the power of the state, the fourth, the fifth Republic. Waging war after the 40’s and the Occupation, out of the question. A heart murmur and I was discharged.

I participated in this History, but never fully. I was a little beside it, a little elsewhere. Existentialists, Marxists, perhaps?

Montaigne, for sure.


Paris - 2012 - Translation :Shano Everett - 2013