11/05/2014 JEZEL ∞ PAINTING BY RODRIGO TORRE
R.- In your paintings a part of your family heritage is appreciated. Is it not?
J.- I have a mix cultural heritage; I am of Caribe Indian, French and African descendant; I am a British Artist, born in London and living in Paris and I have travelled a lot. So as you can see, the inspiration comes from several sources. It is Universal. My Mother gave me encouragement and some principle technics when I was a child.
R.-Bright, cheerful colours. It seems that you want to catch a specific ambiance?
J.-My work has evolved in recent years, more complex, more movement, deeper horizons, compared to my earlier works. The light has become more predominant and more present, as I have studied nature in different lighting. I now incorporate the light of the early morning, the light of the afternoon and early sunset; this has resulted in me using warmer tones at times. Nature changes under the different types of light during the day, therefore creating other types of at amospheres.
R.- Why do you opt for acrylic paint?
J.- I enjoy working with acrylic because it is a spontaneous medium, which corresponds to my personality. It helps me to get my primary ideas down without hesitation. It is also quick to dry and has strong rich colours. But at the same time, much of my secondary work involves several layers of brush and knife strokes in order to achieve texture, layers and movement in my work. I mix the acrylic for textured effect with thickeners such as gloss etc. working and reworking the painting until the subject comes to life.
R.-You live in Paris, which is essentially a large urban city. Where did you get the inspiration for your paintings from?
J.- Paris is not a concrete jungle. Paris has a lot of beautiful parks, gardens and has even some cascades in some wild parks. Not all the parks are artificially landscaped. Regardless, if I want to leave Paris, it takes 15 minutes by car to see the countryside. I have travelled all over France and seen many cities. I have travelled many times through Europe and I have been to many Caribbean Islands and parts of North Africa. So my inspiration can come from my own back garden, a Parisian Park, a tropical rain forest, a coastline, the British countryside, anywhere.
R.-Do you remember your first visit to Florence? What did it mean for you?
J.- I went to Florence as part of my Art studies when I was 16. I was overwhelmed by its beauty and its 14th century heritage. As most people know, Florence is the birthplace of the renaissance period. To leave London to visit Florence, was as though I was going back into time. As a young student, I was surrounded by marvellous art and architecture. I discovered a platform for some of the greatest treasures in the world and I was overwhelmed by it’s beauty. Following this trip, I became passionate for the renaissance period.
R.- And your visit to Spain?
J.- In my early 20’s, I travelled from Paris by car with a group of friends through Spain until we arrived in Almeria, where I was surrounded by the most amazing landscapes. Almeria has a unique, beautiful and breathless landscape. It has a surprising landscape, with its rock formations, hidden coves, sometimes dessert like formation. From that moment it time, I decided that I wanted to express my own lyricism, my own emotions and combine that with my life experience through nature; landscapes and seascapes.
R.- Do you think a painter is born or made?
J.- You obviously need basic technics, skills and to understand the products. I have always said, that my Mother taught me my primary skills until I went on to study the Arts. Afterwards, I developed my own message through my experiences and my personal interpretation of how I see nature. The initial technics that were taught to me have been worked and developed every day through trial, error and observation.
R.- What is for you a work of art?
J.- It is not for me to define what is or what is not a work of art! It is subjective. It is the individual interpretation of what he/she sees when he looks upon a piece of work and judges with his social background, his cultural heritage, his religious or political views etc; and as Oscar Wild once said “Beauty is in the eye of the beholder”. All I can say is that I am very open to many forms, periods and styles of Art in sculpture, architecture, photography, painting etc. Something has to move me or touch me, whether it is the texture, the atmosphere, the subject, the technic or the colour.
R.- What would you like to achieve with your paint?
J.- I don’t want to think negative or be self-analytic when I am painting. I don’t want to question what I am doing. I want to be true to my inner vision of how I see nature. I want to be true to my soul and honest with myself, my feelings and my passion. I want to transmit that onto a blank canvas. That’s it!
R.- Who are your favourite artists?
J.- I ike a lot of paintings, sculpture and architecture from the Italian Renaissance and I am particularly passionate about the impressionist period; Many, Degas, Gauguin. My preferred artist of the Impressionist movement is Claude Monet. I particularly like the American artist Joan Mitchell who lived and died in Paris (1925-1992). She was one of the co-founders of Abstract Impressionism of the second generation and developed the technic. Most of her best works were done whilst she was in Paris. I find her work particularly expressive and moving. Joan Mitchel was one of the few female artists that contributed to this movement and her principle theme was landscape painting.
R.- If you could own a piece of art, what would it be?
J.- If I was a multimillionaire I would like to own “The Wild Poppies” 1873 or, “The Artist’s Garden at Giverny” 1900 by Claude Monet.
R.- What are you working on?
J.- You will see one day.
J.- To follow the Master advice; “Paint as you see nature yourself. If you don’t see nature right with an individual feeling, you will never be a painter, and all the teaching cannot make you one. A painter must work out his own problem in his art, as everyone must work out his own problems in life” Quote by Claude Monet.
R.- Whats your dream?
J.- To open a gallery in London, Tokyo and New York and sell my art myself.
R.- Usually end your writings, messages and items with the word Peace. Why? ; Do you think it is possible in a world like today?
J.- Did you know that the word “Peace” has been used since the beginning of time, as a greeting or a farewell in many cultures? Peace means many things such as kindness, tolerance, respect, goodwill, calm, serenity and tranquillity. It should not come of a surprise when I show my respect in my messages. With regards to the second part of your question, I would advise you to read “Candid” by a great Philosopher from the enlightenment period; Voltaire and pay particular attention to Voltaire’s message in his conclusion. Peace x