Interview: Francis Moreau
Luca Curci talks with Francis Moreau during CANVAS INTERNATIONAL ART FAIR 2022, at THE ROOM Contemporary Art Space.
This interview was released by Francis Moreau’s widowed wife who kindly answered Luca Curci’s questions by taking her husband’s side. Thank you, Isabelle.
French artist, Francis Moreau was born in 1940 in Garches and worked as a commercial agent from 1960 to 1980 and as an interior architect from 1980 to 2002. Since 2002 he has worked full time as an artist painter. Largely self-taught he has observed courses in design and engraving. Since 2008, Moreau continues to actively exhibit individually and collectively. He has always been attracted to painting but he has worked with drawing for a long time. He has always felt more comfortable in abstraction, which appears to him as the essential meaning of building and translating his vision of the world, by the choice of shapes and colors.
Luca Curci – What is art for you?
Francis Moreau – Art, for me, is a questioning of the world; of course, no artist can remain a stranger to what surrounds him, but much more than simple attention to the world…I see art as a commitment, a desire to constantly awaken to the world. Art reveals what something is and what can be, it is an act of emancipation.
LC – What are your thoughts while you paint? Do you have any habits or rituals while you work?
FM – When I start a painting, I am very concentrated, keeping in my mind only the shapes and colors that I want to transpose on the canvas, almost worried at the idea of not being able to render the images as they have matured in me and, with them, my feelings about the world; as the painting progresses, I feel relaxed. The thoughts that I let come then are sometimes wandering, leading me into a daydream to the rhythm of the brush, but, more often, they are the echo of the moments of the world that I want to transpose on the canvas. I had, for years, an absolute need for silence while I work. Sometimes I listen to some music or poetry readings. I have worked a lot on the relationship between music, poetry, and painting. But I didn’t want to let myself be locked into a unique connection with music or poetry and little by little, I made silence a work habit.
LC – Where do you find your inspiration?
FM – My source of inspiration is in the world around me. Through painting, I express my particular sensitivity to the events and facts of the world to try, through shapes and colors, to bring them to light as they present themselves to me in all their multiple diversity. I need to be, in a way, an observer of time.
LC – Did your style change over the years? In which way?
FM – I think my style has changed a lot over the years. I am told so and I feel so. At first, I approached painting figuratively but very quickly I felt more comfortable in abstraction. Abstraction, in fact, allows me to feel greater freedom through suggestion rather than demonstration. And gradually, I really had the feeling of freeing the colors, letting them explode on the canvas, marking my preference for a palette, favoring flights of reds and ochres of all shades.
LC – How do you feel when you see your work completed?
FM – The most difficult thing for me is to be able to put the end word to a painting, by the signature affixed. There is always, for me, a moment of decantation necessary before returning to the painting and considering it finished. Then I feel liberated, sometimes satisfied but not always.
LC – Can you explain something about the artworks you have in our exhibition?
FM – The six works presented have been grouped together in a series entitled Tumulte, because each one evokes, under a different aspect, a moment of tension. Convinced that a painter cannot abstract himself from the reality that surrounds him, I have always been sensitive to the tears of the world which I have sought to translate into warm colors, even if it is difficult to try to explain how a brushstroke can express the world as the eye catches it. In painting Orage, Mouvement de défense, Poétique de la foule en colère, and Emportement, I knew that I had, in the background, the images that I had captured during the many crowd demonstrations in France and worldwide. In painting Que restera-t-il, I was guided by the desire to leave my roots to go towards the other, to leave the West to go to a place steeped in history: this represents Mount Nebo, which is in Jordan, where Moses saw the promised land. This place is, for me, the symbol of a utopia: the impossible reunion of peoples divided by everything, while they are of the same stock. Finally, with Arrachement, born from the spectacle of the uprooting of a tree, I wanted to evoke the upheaval of a world that forgets what its beauty can cause.
LC – What is your idea about ITSLIQUID GROUP?
FM – Of course, I can only answer in my capacity as the companion of Francis Moreau concerning the concept of the exhibition; First of all, I must say that the organization seemed to me to be perfectly controlled and concerned with the promotion of artists; I can also say that the cooperation with you was very easy. To be honest, I was a little apprehensive about your company, which seemed to me too much of an art dealer but I very quickly considered that it could represent a real help for artists by really highlighting them.