His paintings and drawings fascinate... Through representations of interwoven bodies, they deliver the anxiety, the dreams and the hopes of their creator, they interrogate, and place man at the center of their preoccupations.
His paintings are wonderfully beautiful... They are about man, his being, his skin, his flesh, his entrails and his sex. They evoke the human body, shrouded, incomplete, torn apart and between suffering and pain.
C MAUDRUX / Le Pays De Franche Comté
Influenced by surrealism, Gérard Zaurin, inspired by Dalinian mythology, evolved to a figuration that he claims is « interior » and took his first steps in an universe bound clearly to human condition and sensuality.
He was born in 1955, in Montbéliard. His father, who was spanish, fled, as a children, the civil war in Spain.
And so, G ZAURIN inherited memories of exile and separation, of war, in both France and Spain, of violence and persecution, but also of a thirst for justice, equality, ideal, freedom and friendship.
In 1970, as a teenager, he discovered the works of Salvador DALI in DRAEGER's « L'ouvrage Dali », and then the surrealist movement and its philosophy. This meeting with Dali's work was a revelation. From there, he will impregnate himself with the master's techniques, but also with his language and created his first oil paintings. Thus, he discovered the surrealists. He benefitted from numerous influences : Jérôme BOSCH, Max ERNST, Hans BELLMER, Grünewald, Leonardo CREMONINI.
Soon, man became the center of his preoccupations. He started looking for a language that was personal to him and that allowed him to stray from Dali's footsteps.
He separated himself from his photographic representations and let his mind wander and free itself of his early works. Different influences start to be felt, baroque exuberance, ancient paiting, and a need of balance between what is barely drawn and a very rigorous sense of detail, in construction and rhythm, between deep shadow and transparent light.
I am a painter and I claim myself as such. I do not like the term « visuel artist » for what it implies of so called modernity and submissiveness to commercial laws and contemporary art trends. I love to paint and draw, and I do not care whether or not it is trendy or fashionable. I have never been willing to break to the whim of trends.
I have remained hooked on the idea that the freedom I value so much is also accessible to me if my work was free of all financial considerations. This freedom that the surrealist movement used to put, the legacy of DADA (who teaches nothing except a higher form of revolt and open-mindedness) have without a doubt produced the opposite of what they intended ; in what may be called artistic hijacking. Let the elite seize something ; anything ; and the most beautiful revolution becomes norm and convention, imagination becomes prison, modernity starts to resent the past. I, myself, have never been able to renounce my creative freedom ; I take responsibility for this choice which does not open many doors and takes me far away from the more conventionalized roads. I love to paint, I love to draw, and I do not wish to submit myself to the « absolute » necessity of modernity. My influences are ancient and numerous, Bosh, Grünewald, Holbein, and sometimes more recent like Crémonini and Max Ernst. My first steps in painting were « surrealist ».
I just want to offer emotions, interrogations, to disturb and induce disorder, pleasure, doubts... Switch from the tremors of desire to the vibrations of orgasm, from terror to illumination.
At the beginning of the drawing, of the canvas, there is only white.
Facing this immensity, everything is possible, rhythms come to me. I let things come and go, sometimes for several days. Then, all of a sudden, I face this infinite white and lays down in a few minutes colors on the canvas, I throw some thinner into it, I create drips. And then I just let magic work its course : from the contemplation of drips are born fragments of pictures, of feelings. I wait for something to happen : I get hooked on a detail, a rhythm is changed, I see that some light is needed in this particular part of the painting... I plunge into the drawing while it is being drawn, I do not master everything : sometimes, without knowing, movements, skin, tears take shape...
I try to work every day ; regularity is essential to me. I end each day with a « meeting » with my work, whether I work on it or not. While I sleep, the gestation of my painting continues in a corner of my mind. Whether or not I work on it between two daily obligations, it remains in me... It would be unthinkable to break that bond. I often compare a painting to a garden (the viewer can stroll around it and finds on the paths laid out by the painter his emotions and feelings), with alleys, paths that connect a yard to the other, groves, caves where one can rest. Imagine a gardener leaving his garden for a while, even though it is in construction ; when he comes back, bad weeds will have invaded everything. He will have to clean up, find step by step all the paths he had laid out, and the groves and caves he had dreamt. Similarly, resume my own work after it has been interrupted forces to start all over again, lay all the canvas' paths again and trace the rythms that were offering themselves to me.
My visual work has always been centered on the condition of man, and on the relations that each individual has with the world. It is not a separate part of life. It is bound to my utopian preoccupations, my feelings of happinness, my moments of pain, and to what the world, around and within me, here of far away, can offer or burden me with reflexions, joys or blows... And I would not know how to differenciate the ones from the others, nor separate pleasure from pain, attraction and repulsion, binding, extraction, death, life. My work touches life itself, the meaning it takes or that we give it.
Though my work has, for a long time, been directed to a rather dreamy figuration, with elements that can be identified - this is probably what the surrealists called dream modelling -, today, my production is set in a domain that is less identifiable. Maybe it is a form of abstraction, no doubt it is the envy to offer the viewer and myself the freedom to stray in a painting while remaining free of over realistic representations...
It seems to me that our world has an annoying tendendy to categorize, classify, list, label, normalize and put away everything in nicely separated impenetrable cases. I do not share that vision of things as it is in my opinion far too cartesian and leaves far too little room to imagination, to the human being and to its individuality. I think that, on the contrary, all things are connected and complete rather than opposing each other : night and day, life and death, pleasure and pain, joy and sadness, love and indifference. A work of art meets the gaze of the one who sees it, and that gaze will follow the meanders laid on the canvas by the painter, thus finding his emotions, his interrogations. In it, he sees his own questions, his doubts, his joys, his hopes, his dreams, preoccupations, ideals, his fears and his anxiety. A work of art can be found also in the connection it has with the world : within, the artist takes a stand, revendicates his work, his own thoughts.
When I paint, my mind is working on several things at once : it guides my hand, my choices of color and color sense, it focuses my eyes on the tip of the brush, glimpses the painting that is being drawn and superimposes the visions that come to me. However, this picture that creates itself at the beginning of the painting is not set in stone, it changes, moves, interacts with what happens on the canvas and the paper. Meanwhile, my mind runs alone from one point to another, from one idea to another, interweaving observation, feeling, knowledge, emotion and experience... Ideas sprout with implacable logic : I remember the starting point, the conclusion imposes itself and the path between the two is accurate... There, I feel as though time is much faster, I paint, while the CD player broadcasts a musical work. When the music stops, I feel as though only a few minutes have gone by. It is an immense pleasure, a feeling of well-being : in peace in front of my paper and my canvas, I take pleasure in what those moments leave me, that feeling of freedom.
© 2014 par Gérard ZAURIN. Created with Wix.com