Recently my mother showed me a photo of myself when I was about three years old. I was standing in school, very proud I must say, in front of a painting wearing more colors than the canvas I was working on. I can honestly say that I don’t remember that day and had no idea I would one day be an artist. My blurred memories date back to a little later than this day and have made me aware that as long as I can remember, I have loved to draw. Copying comic books or paintings of great masters, drawing boats, horses or whatever I could, with graphite pencils as my weapons of choice, led me to two very important moments in my life.
The first one was when I was 13 years old. My art teacher at school called me to his desk at the end of the year. I went with apprehension but to my great surprise he asked me if I would like to be one of the judges for a poster art competition. A mixture of pride and fear overwhelmed me: how could I, at 13, be judging artwork done by people older and more mature than me. It just didn’t seem right so fear took over and I politely declined. But he didn’t take my ‘no’ for an answer and after insisting, pride won, I agreed.
The second event, a few years later, occurred when I was preparing ‘Les Concours des Grandes Écoles d’Art’ in Paris. Another one of my teachers at the ‘Atelier du Sculpteur Etienne Martin’ helped me to define and decide what path my life would take later on. I had such admiration for this man as he was not only a wonderful drawer, but was trying to make a living out of his passion. As I was still very uncertain of what to do with my life I asked him for advice, what helped him decide to try and make a living from his art? His quick and precise answer came in the form of another question: “can you live without drawing? Be honest with yourself, answer this question, and then you will know what to do”. I wasn’t too sure then, but looking back I can see he was so right. I owe what I am doing now to these two teachers.
After a baccalaureate in math and a few successful admissions to ‘Les Grandes Écoles d’Art’ I made the wrong choice by choosing to attend a school for interior architecture, École Camondo. I thought then it was the right decision and it would be a good compromise between my attraction for math and my passion for drawing. Studying painting in ‘LES BEAUX ARTS” would have been a smarter choice.
For a few years afterwards, I travelled trying to satisfy my other passions. That combined with my eternal thirst for new horizons and adventure landed me in the Bahamas in 1985. It was going to be the real start of something new in my creative journey. There I found something indescribable that compelled me to paint, something I couldn’t define. I was finding interesting subjects everywhere. Everything was so different: the colors, the history, the architecture, the culture, the people. Although this new environment presented itself as endless potential subjects, it was the light, this inexplicable factor that shaped my work and became my guide.
My insatiable curiosity and my new excitement to paint pushed me to explore The Bahamas. I went on numerous trips to the outer islands in search of subjects reflecting the emotions that urged me to paint. In 1996 I accepted an invitation to Long Island, The Bahamas from a wonderful couple who would become dear friends. This initial trip and the discoveries I made would be the turning point in my work for the next fifteen years and the reason why I continued to visit the island every year thereafter. It was there I met Joyce and Ophelia.
First came Joyce. When looking for a subject I was attracted by this little pink cottage in the settlement of Clarence town. I stepped onto the property and suddenly, what seemed to be out of nowhere, appeared Joyce. It was as though time had stopped and I’m not sure why but I instantly wanted to paint her. At the time I was not really exploring people as a subject but she was like an illumination and something inexpressible happened. Her physical presence struck an emotional cord: she was beautiful, in her mid sixty’s and was still a ‘peach’ as she once told me. She would be my first human subject
Then I met Ophelia and over time, as I got to know her more and more, my interest in her grew. I developed a great admiration for who she was and what she had accomplished with her children (all 10 of them!). I began to paint her in her everyday life. I just wanted to be a humble witness of what her simple life was about and immortalize her through my art. She still has countless stories to tell providing a great source of inspiration. This journey has led me on great field trips with her and has inspired me to tell her story. The result of this is a substantial body of work from the past ten years and although I am exploring other subjects, I think I am secretly not quite finished with her….
1986 Began selling watercolors in the Bahamas
1986 Prix de la Ville de Moutiers, France
1987 Prix de la Ville de Moutiers, France
1987 – 1988 Marché de la creation, Lyon, France
1989 – 2002 (Solo Exhibitions), Nassau, The Bahamas
2003 -2005 (Solo Exhibitions) The Princess Street Gallery, Habour Island, The Bahamas
2003 (Group Exhibition) Inaugural Exhibition, The National Art Gallery of The Bahamas, Nassau, The Bahamas
2008 (Group Exhibition) NE4, The National Art Gallery of The Bahamas, Nassau, The Bahamas
2009 (Solo Exhibition) Ophelia, The First Chapter, Societe Generale Nassau, The Bahamas. Featured a body of work that took five years to complete.