Beautiful in color by Gilles Trichard, 2023
Barely crossing the threshold of the workshop, my brain is euphoric. Unusual objects, bargain hunters' finds, Venetian mask, Buddhas, colorful collection of hats, red boxing gloves, sculptures, tubes of paint in a mess, oil bottles, abundant canvases and this human skull along the bay window. “ For my journey, it is important to know the anatomy of a human being. Do you know that there is a bone in the middle called the sphenoid .”
Curious about everything, insatiable, on the alert for a discovery, the artist surrounds himself with various books. The ground is littered with them. Eugène Delacroix, Nicolas de Staël, collections of poems… He devours, phosphorus, drinks in ideas which will become creations . Feed your inspiration. One of his favorite books: How I See the World by Albert Einstein. “ And how do you see this world? ". “ What fascinates me is the relationship between space and time .” “ But still? » What's the point of asking him questions. Why explain everything? In this unusual setting, I prefer to let myself be overcome by the emotion of a story. He seems to take things in life as they come. Adventure around the corner. A romantic life made up of coincidences that turn things out well. “ What do you want to paint?” » the head of the St. Petersburg Academy of Fine Arts asked him one day. I had to find a place outside as I moved around. “ On a cab, escorted by a beautiful guide, I crossed the Russian countryside and, depending on the inspiration of a place, I made the horses stop and I took out my easel.”
Thierry Lefort does not let himself be intoxicated by success, he never tires of surprising himself. He comes to his workshop to surpass himself . If he does not feel in the best mood and he immediately returns home. “ I have to feel it, it has to come from the inside .” He sometimes accepts invitations but he likes nothing more than this exciting face to face with himself in his lair. “ A daily struggle ”. He even happens to share his opinion. Beneath the apparent lightness there is a certain gravity. The artist removes his elegant anthracite black coat from which hangs a small Kokopelli, synonymous among Native Americans with kindness and sunshine. With his hair unruly, his hands on his hips, he crosses his space with amazed eyes.
He's a smooth dandy. He wears a cross on his left ear, a few rings. Paint-stained clothes, delicately tied scarf, very chic shoes, this look sums it up well. Creativity in mastery. He seems amazed by what is happening to him. His face with childish features is that of a dreamer demanding of himself. Like when he decided to go on a two-year retreat in China, to improve both calligraphy and martial arts. “Qigong is a technique for purifying the spinal cord, it is the same for artistic creation, we must constantly seek the best in a constant simplification of the gesture”. Facing his canvas, he draws on the breathing exercises learned at the Shaolin Temple. His gestures are precise and flexible for maximum line precision.
I touch on the paintings placed, hung, stored. Urban landscapes like I've never seen before. Between figuration and abstraction . The color invades me. She is organized, playful, mysterious, indefinable. Ultramarine blue, light, airy, dark blue that absorbs shadows. Temptation red, orange red, passion red, then soothed. Green paradise, green freedom. Graduated yellow. “ The strength and harmony of colors is very complex. A color by itself is like a single musical note, I look for chords. I use simple colors and mix them together .” The phrasing is precise like his brushstrokes. The voice is soft. A humble way of saying things. “ Black and white are the queen and king, all colors are the pawns .” His palette consists of black and white with around ten very simple colors. “Next come the shapes, empty and full, which will prepare the bed of color .”
I understand why his master classes are successful. It vibrates. Passion on edge. As a child, he already had this desire to share his creative emotions when he offered paintings on wood to his teachers to make up for bad grades. “ I wasn't bad in class, but like in the Guy Degrenne ad, I looked at the trees through the window .” Without the baccalaureate, he would not study Fine Arts, but in the meantime, he had his revelation when his uncle was storing his paintings at home. “ Seeing these landscapes of moors and forests was a trigger, but I knew it would be the urban landscapes .” The body springs into action. Martial arts at the service of art.
Fluid gestures, arm tension, dexterous wrist movements, it seems so simple . “ As Matisse said, behind an apparent simplicity, it is very thoughtful. The subject, the setting are pretexts to produce ever more beauty .” This work in progress pushes him to “take up” a painting that faces us. A perfectionist, this son of a craftsman wants to add color and refine the shapes. “ My work is a constant questioning .” He also forbade himself from having paintings of himself in his home. “ I go to buyers, friends, to see them and that allows me to have a critical distance ”
Beautiful in color by Gilles Trichard, 2023