I wanted to start inviting artists to my blog whose art at first sight could shake my heart and my brain at the same time, artists who were developing an original way to see, different from what we normally see around, but at the same time artists with a strong sense of critic of modern world.
One night when I went to bed decided to start searching on Instagram by hash tags and found this one: #parisart, slowly started to scroll down, in the middle of the complete darkness of my flat, just the light of my iphone was lighting my face, trying to find something who could attract my attention. Suddenly a painting full of amazing colors attracted my eyes as a magnet, I immediately tapped on it and when it opened my dual fibers connected, the painting was from French artist Thierry Bruet.
Next morning, the first thing I did was to send an email to Thierry and Couple hours later that same day I received a phone call from a number I didn’t have registered, picked it up and in the other side I had the friendly, deep and dynamic voice of Thierry Bruet, telling me he wanted to arrange an appointment for the next day….When things are meant to happen, the doors open smoothly, with no effort.
Thierry Bruet paintings knocked my inner dual fiber for 3 reasons: first of all he´s using a classical technique to paint (which is unusual for this modern days), second the colors, contrasts and the way he use light are just amazing and third (and most important) the way he mocks society with his paintings, by combining characters from totally different eras of art, on situations that have an strong sense of critic using a caricaturized way to paint his characters which makes stronger the message he wants to send. When I asked him about this last reason, he said “I just paint people who you could easily find in the streets, people with a non traditional beauty for classic paintings, you can even find people with a more caricaturized appearance in real life, it’s just a different beauty that normally you will not find in classical paintings and that’s why I do it”.
The day of the shooting I arrived to his studio around 11:30 am, the morning was cold and cloudy, I opened door, passed through a curtain made out of a bubble wrap and there he was sitting on his sofa placidly smoking a cigarette while waiting for me. The ambiance in his studio is warm and cozy, with some low lights in the living room where you find a beautiful sofa escorted by a huge library and just besides the space where he paints, full of materials, sketches, frames and of course paintings made in the big format that he likes to use. Thierry offered me an espresso, he forgot to bring the sugar and Cesar (his partner, who’s in charge of all the administrative issues which Thierry hates) remembers him to bring it to the table, we sat down in the living room, started talking, braking the ice and deciding how to start while we were enjoying the flavor of that coffee.
Thierry is a self – taught painter, he’s been painting since he has memory and the first contact he had with the masters of art was when he was 5 years old and his grand father took him to the Louvre. But the only person of the family related to arts was his aunt (the sister of his mother), who was working in the fine arts market with Paul Colin (a famous poster maker from the 30’s) and was the girlfriend of a famous French painter called Georges Mathieu who was into the lyric abstraction in the 50’s.
One day, her aunt ask him to giver her one of his paintings and she took it home, when Georges Mathieu came to visit her, he saw the work of Thierry and ask her: “Have you bought a Modigliani? ” Wow! A Modigliani painted by a child that was just having fun playing with paintings. Then she told Thierry the story, he felt very proud of it but since he was just 7 years old, he couldn’t understand well what that meant but as he says “it was a way to feel good and continue painting all the time”.
Years after, he had to make a decision about his professional career, but he came from an industrial family (his father had an advertisement company), so studying fine arts at that time was not an option. He thought “I’m going to study something between both fields (industrial & arts), so I will do architecture”.
Ones he graduated, he started working as an architect in a design studio, he was in charge of doing the plans, years after he went deep in the business and ended up constructing buildings in Paris. But all the administrative management involved in that work just bored him, meanwhile he continued painting and the day of his first exhibition arrived . Little by little he started to get more involved into his work as a painter until the age of 35 when he finally decided to dedicate full time to be an artist. He has not followed the normal path of a painter and he has always painted with a classic technique and explains: “I think there is still a lot things to say with this style and since I want to send straight messages, the best way to keep it closer to reality is by using the classical style to paint.”
When I asked him about the reaction of the French public to his paintings, he says “There is some people here that like what I do, but in general the French public is a bit dull, they don’t have a vanguard mind set and always want the classic style”. He thinks art is today in the exact same moment of the 19th century, when the big “Salons de Peinture” were selling for a fortune the official painters and in the side there was a group of artists who were developing new concepts but nobody knew them. He says “Today museums don’t want to miss anything in art and even if they don’t understand it, they buy it due to their fear to pass over something that would be important in the future, but most of the time they end up buying crap and my art mocks that system”. At the end, he continuous living his day by day, he doesn’t like to make plans for the future and continue selling his art all around the world, his next exhibition will take place in Palm Beach in the month of April 2016.
That day, the 3 of us (Thierry, Cesar and me) had lunch together at his studio, Cesar brought a delicious pizza from a good Italian restaurant around the corner and the most amazing Eclaire du Cafe that I’ve had since living here in France. We talked about their taste for good restaurants in Paris, their love for the Island of Corsica and other regions around France worth to visit and at end we finish with the cherry on the pie talking a little bit about Napoleon.
Here is the way I saw Thierry Bruet in his studio, hope you enjoy the pictures!