Interview: Michelle Dechamps
Luca Curci talks with Michelle Dechamps during CANVAS INTERNATIONAL ART FAIR, at THE ROOM Contemporary Art Space.
Michelle Dechamps was born in Belgium in 1942. She lived in Africa between 1954 and 1960 and used to send watercolor still lifes to my Belgian grandmother. She came back to Belgium in 1960 and studied law at the University Libre de Bruxelles. She got married and had two children. She worked in many professional fields. For her birthday in 1987, her sister offered her oil paintings and the click came back: she got back to art, as an autodidact. Her first exhibitions happened in 1989. Since then she has devoted herself to art entirely and had many exhibitions in Belgium and abroad. She had buyers in America, Japan, and China. She was also a member of the association of European painters and sculptors of Dance and exhibited with them in France and in Germany.
Luca Curci – What is art for you?
Michelle Dechamps – Art has always been in me but I did not know it was art. It was a way for me to escape the family atmosphere. When I was 8 I listened all day long to La Traviata di Verdi and played myself in front of the mirror the role of Violetta. I danced on stage in costumes my mother made for me, and the village authorities organized shows for the people. No classical ballets of course but dances whose movements I invented, whether waltzes or rumbas. As an autodidact.
LC – What are you currently working on?
MD – For the moment I am working on terracotta and reproducing in clay and small sizes subjects of my drawings. As an autodidact.
LC – Which is the role the artist plays in society? And contemporary art?
MD – I never had the pretension to play a role in society. I just tried to find an immaterial purpose for my life and disregard the everyday banality. What this means for me contemporary art: the art of those who live at the same time.
LC – Where do you find your inspiration?
MD – Little by little I found my inspiration in the evolution of mores. I am not a feminist at all. Life without men and their flaws would seem insipid to me. However, at a certain moment, I felt it was necessary to fight for the freedom of the woman.
LC – How do you feel when you see your work completed?
MD – I don’t think of anything when I see my finished painting. Except «Don’t add the slightest line!»
LC – What do you think about the concept of this exhibition? How did it inspire you?
MD – The concept of an exhibition is the same for me: to love and to be loved and therefore to share with the public.
LC – Can you explain something about the artworks you have in our exhibition?
MD – By the force and the spontaneity of the line I try to render the tenderness and the grace of the moment. Contrasts and lights create the atmosphere.
LC – Did you enjoy cooperating with us?
MD – I find you are deeply concerned by the artists, You do everything to help them and let them know that you are there for them.
LC – Do you think ITSLIQUID GROUP can represent an opportunity for artists?
MD – I have always found it wonderful that artists can benefit from international fairs. When in addition they can exhibit in Italy, the land of arts among all, and in prestigious places like Venice or Rome, they must thank the opportunity. You are concerned with art in all its forms. You deserve all the success.