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My paintings, sculptures and reliefs come, most of the time, from small sketchings drawn quickly, on the spur of the moment and without specific idea. Realized in the studio, the garden, the plane, the train or a hotel room during a journey, following a reading - often itself relative to the story of a journey (I like the XIX° century stories of the explorers and travellers) - , they constitute a sort of journey diaries in imaginary. For several years I make use of a computer to draw and paint projects of future realizations. I gave the name of "ordigraphie" to this type of creation. This instrument is well adapted to my style expression : geometrical forms, uniform colored fields, multiple combinations, integrations of several projects in a unique composition ? If the speed of execution and the possibilities of experience are infinitely more developed the creative process phases are exactly the same.
From a first attempt I decline, so quickly, several variants. These drawings or ordigraphies "mature" for a while. Then, when the time comes, I determine the one I could indeed use for a new canvas, relief or sculpture. I try to determine the "laws", not deliberately premeditated but well existing, which have determined their conception. Then, the first phase of the work begins, the most important : realized the drawing on canvas or other support chosen, the cutting out of the future relief or sculpture components. I interpret the initial project, transfer what I retain, modify, if needed, the first sketch. I let mature again the composition until it imposes itself definitively to me.
Maybe is it possible to explain the reasons of the equilibrium reached by the composition of such or such artwork, but certainly not why a sensation of feeling well or not may seize you in front of it, so well constructed it is, geometrical or not, contemporary or antique. Look at the beauty of Claude Lorrain's compositions, this XVII ° century great master, so well constructed but above all irradiated by a timeless light, a sensation of infinity and nostalgia which touches you somewhere, but certainly not in the raisoning brain. Magnificent alliance between litht and geometry !
The structure of my works acheived, it is necesary to dress them, to give them a "tone". As many Bach's works (I take this example in great modesty, as explanation, and not as comparison?), several instruments can interpret them, each of them bringing its own personality, its light, its expressiveness. According to the mood of the instant,, the season, the need to change of register, I decide to paint in a red or ochre tonality, blue or purple, grey or white. It will be either a gush of brass instruments punctuated by flashes of lighting of cymbals, drums and bass drums, either the plenitude of the song of violins and violas, heat of oboe, light of clarinet, crystal of flute. It will be the depth, the mystery of cellos and contra-basses. I would like to compose a pictural symphony. During the last years I have reduced my "palette" to some elementary colours, black and white, red and purple. But that can be only temporary.
Without structure the world collapses. But the colour, it is the life.
The colored surfaces are delimited by a regular line, mostly black. The initial drawing reappears, stronger, more evident. The various plans produce an "atmospheric" perspective of oriental type which gives illusion of a spacial creation.
As regards my sculptures and reliefs I proceed in a similar way. The construction comes from preliminary drawings, the spur of the moment, available materials, their shape, their dimensions, the balance and connections which, gradually, settle down between the various elementary forms. Then, I assemble them, sandpaper and paint them until the wished result is obtained. Most of the time reliefs and sculptures are in a white or black dominance, with a punctuation - circle or strip - of brilliand red. Light, natural or artificial, give them life thanks to its reflection onto their edges and surfaces.
As I have already said, my geometry is certainly spacial. Several plans are put in relation through a set of surfaces-volumes overlapping, fitting, crossing some through the others, some behind the others. Spaces so deliminated by this « frontal » perspective are stressed by colors and their gradations. Some people distinguish parts of archictecture, partial details of indefinite machine, some others notice an incomprehensible networks of canals, some others kinds of totem ... As for me, I simply tried to realize a painted structure, as equilibrated and plastic as possible, reaching existence, presence only through itself.
My works have title, a name, as each of us. I think their reality is accentuated if it is possible to designate them with a specific name, which only belongs to them. It is not indifferent to speak about Mister X or Madam Y. Where the titles come from ? Often, they are purely invented, generally by series. I choose in the list the one which seems the most suited to the realized work, or which corresponds best to the present state of mind. Sometimes, they correspond to the place where the drawing was made, or they are names of sky constellation. I like reading the XIX° century great explorers writings. A way of penetrating in an other imaginary wold. Actions so close to us and so lost in the memory ! When a name of place, city, region impressed me, I retain it to baptize a future work. Another source of names, and not the least, comes from Mythologie, specially greek. All these gods and goddesses who lived in Olympus, monsters and heros in so complicated and fantastic stories ! I like the myths that antique civilizations knew to create. They give me listes of famous names for my works. In fact I try to create individualities I register in a family-status.
For the last years I realize, with a computer, animations of geometrical compositions accompanied by a musical environment. I baptized them "spaciographies". Virtual and spacial creations you may look at when wanted.
What to say after all these purely formal comments ? They finally give no explanation as for the very essence of Art, the mystery of creation which, them, belong to another part of human being, totaly inexplicable, by whoever and, in particular, by the artists themselves.
Jean Branchet (Nantes - 2001)