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Question 5: How has your artistic practice or approach developed over the years?


As it was natural for me to paint, I think that at the beginning it was more through looking at painters in my surroundings and asking myself why they were doing this kind of painting. For instance, when the Automatistes emerged, they were exhibiting abstract art, and that surprised me. Even at Beaux-Arts at that time, the practice was much more in traditional, figurative painting, so I would paint these Utrillo-type landscapes, that kind of thing. But when I saw that other painters actually had a painting practice that was not traditional – a kind of split between the Beaux-Arts perception and what we called contemporary perception – I was interested in that approach and also in the New York school of the 1950s, with Rauschenberg, Twombly and that whole bunch. Marcel Duchamp also had cut quite a swath in New York, with the artists. Also, many of the painters who had escaped Europe during the Second World War were then living in the United States. They had an enormous influence on painting at that time, and I was influenced by this new approach to painting as well. I was mostly very curious as to why these people worked this way and not in the traditional way. I was much closer to this approach than the traditional.