Pas d'Ange

November 2008
Oil painting on canvas - 70x165cm
Pas d'Ange ( No Angel )

There you are, in the box I enclosed you in. This is the place you'll live from now on, if any life there could be in your grayish palette.
I can't watch anymore whatever lively you have, precisely: your woven skin covered with paint, your touchable surface, and inside each chip of it the sullen fervor of the hours spent. So I ditched you at the top of a closet, and laid you on your side, in order to block your vertical aspirations. You are just a landscape now, panoramic version, so that your nakedness and your dangling look make me think of a tank fish, that would simply wonder where, where the hell have the shrimp flakes been, it was supposed to be time for food, wasn't it? _ your very tank fish's existential question.

I already forgot what you wanted to say. Though you have used your speaking time, I admit. Your bewitched words, your pretentious propensity for premonition; that dull evening of rain and despondency when you printed this clear image in my brain, making me seize an empty canvas and lock myself in my room, and spend hours of night throwing oils and White Spirit to write down your message and dilute my misunderstood rage.
That very evening, you, you already knew.


Some technical insight

The church is Saint-Louis des Chartrons in Bordeaux, a neo-gothic construction that watch for my small neighborhood. For some reasons I wanted to paint a facial view of it, but this viewpoint is impossible to get since the church is closely surrounded by small buildings that occlude every sight.
The only view you can get is from ground level, but the perspective makes it totally distorted. So I had to rebuild the view from various informations: I counted the number of brick rows for each floor. Made a few sketches, took various pictures. Then I went the other side of the river, right in front of the church, where I could see two towers from very far, thus undistorted by perspective. With the information of the total height ( found on the web ) I managed to solve the jigsaw puzzle by sticking the various pictures in photoshop.
In the end, the view you see in the painting is, I hope, close to reality, but cannot be seen in real life.
Eglise Saint Louis Des Chartrons- Reconstitution - No Angel


Sep. 25, 2010 22:22
I am just discovering that my ancestors may have attended Saint-Louis des Chartrons and lived for sometime in the Marché des Chartrons area. Your expression is tremendous and I truly amazed and so delightful that I have found your site.
Oct. 8, 2010 20:59
How strange! How did you find out ? This is an awesome place, much like a quiet village right in the city center. Do you know here ?
Aug. 7, 2010 11:47
Jun. 9, 2010 4:49
Pour l'instant cette toile est ma préférée...
j'aime son aspect liquide et l'impression de déséquilibre , de défaillance qui s'en dégage...
elle est differente des autres...
Jun. 30, 2010 22:25
Merci! Peu de personnes l'aiment...
Je travaille à lui trouver une réponse, au travers d'un diptyque.
Mar. 30, 2010 23:29
Out of curiosity...do you use live models or reference photos? Or straight from memory/imagination?
Jan. 11, 2010 18:24
i don't know what in the world this means, but it is brilliant! his.. 'deformity' is disturbing. i'm female, but it it makes me hurt.. eek!
Jun. 25, 2009 13:25
This painting indeed does feel a lot different than your other works. In my interpretation it's much more... brutal and extinguishes that spark of hope that other paintings of yours carry.
The raw power, despair pouring from the image seem to be really overwhelming and immediately turn the viewer's attention from the painting onto the painter himself, making one wonder what state was the author possibly in...
I think painting emotions is not hard when you treat them as craft... However paitning something that literally *screams* with desperation and unending sadness almost causing the viewer to feel the same is one of the hardest tasks before any artist. I think you accomplished it greatly... A masterful painting.
Jun. 25, 2009 21:16
It had a motive different than the previous ones, a force of such obviousness that I couldn't really control it. But in the long months of painting I had to sustain a feeling that I didn't really want to live with. That was the most difficult part.
Apart from the immense kindness of your comment, and the value such critique gets coming from someone as skilled as you, I have to say, that when I saw the email behind the first name, I had tears brought to my eyes, because it's been so long my dearest friend, so long. Such feeling passes the silent years without a single scratch. If time is the enemy, then, it's defeated, be sure of it.
May 21, 2009 22:06
J'ai beau en général apprécier ce genre d'atmosphères et me délécter à en regarder et m'en imprégner, c'est bien la première fois que je tombe sur un tableau qui me touche à ce point, qui me transmette tant ce sentiment de tristesse et de solitude... Ce doit sûrement être dû aux couleurs, l'axe de la peinture légèrement en diagonale; mais aussi ses membres qui me paraissent un peu trop maigres par rapport au torse: je le vois un peu comme une sorte de force qui commence à s'en aller et cette fuite contre laquelle il ne peut lutter... Un manque de flocons à la crevette sans doute ^^

en tout cas, toutes mes félicitations pour votre travail, je répète ce que tous les autres vous disent, mais vous faites un travail admirable!
j'attends vos prochaines oeuvres avec impatience ^^

Bonne journée à vous!!
May 25, 2009 19:14
Merci pour ce message touchant!
Les jambes du personnages sont un peu faibles c'est vrai. En fait, cette toile ne peut être regardée que si elle est suspendue en hauteur. Si on la pose au sol, le personnage semble tout petit et maigrelet, il fait un peu pitié!

Mar. 29, 2009 18:54
I‘ve read that your favourite artist is BeksiÅ„ski, and now I see his impact on your works. Pas d‘Ange is a little bit in his style(gloomy and symbolic).
Anyway, I love the colours and the concept, so different from your other works, but I like it a lot.
Greetings from Poland.
Apr. 8, 2009 20:39
Indeed, I adore his work so much. Apart from the gloomy or mystical tendency, I find there is an intense poetry in the atmospheres he paints. Maybe the dark subject matters emphasize the poetic feeling even more.
I fear my painting doesn't have the warmth and the depth of his works, but I appreciate your message a lot.
You have some amazing artists in your country. Coincidentally half my ancestors are polish, though I've never had a chance to visit. I wish I get that opportunity someday soon !
Jay J. Khan
Mar. 25, 2009 22:53
I wish I could be creative like you are..
Apr. 8, 2009 20:32
I wish i could be creative full time... unfortunately it's so not the case.
Jealousy... you bad bad sinner ;)
Mar. 18, 2009 15:13
ha ha! why were you depressed and why would you want to feel more depressed than what you feel?? haha. :)
I hink you're a really talented artist.... and actor ;) lol
Well I keenly observed to be able to know how you felt and the color was one of what I considered..
I'm from the Philippines :)
Mar. 12, 2009 15:51
ha ha! why were you depressed and why would you want to feel more depressed than what you feel?? haha. :)
I hink you're a really talented artist.... and actor ;) lol
Well I keenly observed to be able to know how you felt and the color was one of what I considered..
I'm from the Philippines :)

Mar. 5, 2009 1:44
this particular painting is a lot different from all your other paintings, i must say. And it feels so heavy to me. What was going through your head when you were painting this?

But I saw a hint of pink from the right side of the painting..(which is in contrast to the rest of the painting's colors). So it's not so gloomy after all, I think?!
I really love your works. Say hi to France for me! :)

Mar. 12, 2009 0:18
When painting this one I was only listening to gothic music and encouraged myself to feel more depressed than I actually was!
Sincerely it was hard to sustain the effort for so long, the mood was uneasy to bare; once you've started, you have to keep up... it's very sincere in the meaning, but the making has something of a role play sometimes.
You saw the pinkish glance ( so girly ;) ). Where are you from ?