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Question 2: Why did you choose this profession?


I think that right from the start, since my birth, I was a painter. In grade 6, my classroom teacher had asked me to draw a portrait of the priest to give him as a present for his birthday. At age 12 I must have been able to draw correctly since she had asked me to do that drawing. But I was not aware of anything… When I was at college, I was always asked to provide illustrations for the school paper. Whenever there was any artistic event being created, people always asked my advice. I believe I was the one who organized the first visual arts exhibition at Collège Saint-Joseph, in 1949, an exhibit of students who painted and drew. It was perfectly normal to me, but I wasn’t aware of it at the time. I came from a community where painters were practically unknown and anyway it wasn’t a profession that you could practice, because it was not profitable. It was only when I got to Montreal – where I spent most of my time in art galleries instead of visiting construction sites –I was there during the period of Refus Global, for the first exhibitions by the Automatistes, I was there, at those exhibitions. I found it all very interesting but I didn’t belong to that activity. I was in architecture, so it was normal.