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A Few Words About My Life and Work

Text written for the 10th International Print Triennial, Jyvaeskylae, Finland, 14 June - 1 September 2002

I woke up this morning and looked out the window: the light was perfect. I fed the dog and once I had finished breakfast, took the children to school as it is my turn this week. The radio told me that another twenty-or-so people had been killed in the Middle East. One of the candidates for the upcoming presidential elections had been invited by the radio station to accompany my breakfast and he talked and talked  about the question of insecurity. (Today we are obsessed with the idea that we must control everything.) As usual he had nothing of interest to say and I still have no idea as to how I am going to vote.  As I was listening, a bird flew across the garden, indifferent to the state of the world. I could see that the trees are beginning to blossom as they do every year. Apart from a bit of drawing outside, I spent most of the day in the studio.

I am a painter and a printmaker. I believe that it is still possible, although increasingly difficult, to create images which give meaning to our lives. Technological progress has given us the means to make images in ways that would have been unimaginable ten-twenty years ago, but this does not render painting nor printmaking "obsolete” for me. They are two of the numerous means of communication which co-exist today. I like the physical contact I have with paint and canvas or ink, copper and paper. However, I am conscious of the fact that painting and printmaking are a means and not an end and that if they remain vital it is because they enable me to express a certain vision of the human body and the contact I have with nature. (My definition of nature being all that is not man-made.) Painting and printmaking enable me to explore, on a modest scale, the mystery of our existence.

Drawing is very important for me. It is at the root of all my work. I am particularly interested in drawing the body, but I have been living in the country for almost three years now and the proximity of trees and flowers, birds and fish - things which were foreign to my previous environment – has encouraged me to explore new themes in both my prints and paintings. After forty years of living in big cities - Montreal, Paris, Madrid – it is incredible to be able to see the sky, the stars at night and to rediscover the meaning of silence. All of this I try to put into my work, sometimes spontaneously, more often after a long period of gestation, and I am grateful to the Jyväskylä Art Museum for offering me the opportunity to present my prints, along with those of other European artists, to the Finnish public.

Montaren, March 2002