Thursday, April 19, 2012

Christophe Beraet, artist

Another of my fellow students at the Villa Thiole municipal art school in Nice is Christophe Beraet. 
 It is always fun to see him in class, as like Silva ( previous post)  he has immense enthusiasm for everything and a passion for what he is able to contribute to the world of art and poetry.
Tuesday last I had a chance to see him in another element at the Nice Fair where he shared a stand with Silva Usta.   The fair in Nice has no cows or horses, no stands of bakery goods, no quilts.  It is rather a chance for decorators and construction people to sell and show off their services and wares.  The second floor houses more than 50 stands of fine artists or craftsman hoping to sell and make contacts. 

  This is Christophe at the vernissage ( literally "the varnishing")  on Tuesday night with two of his fans.  

Christophe Beraet was born in Nice in 1968 at the foot of the Maritime Alps and exhibits and paints in a studio at : 

8 rue Parmentier
06100 Nice
Alpes-Maritimes, France
   As well as painting, engraving, interior design, land art and installation and performance, a main interest is poetry.   Here is a sample of two poems that Christophe sent me as a sampling.   My friend Marianne Nicaise has translated them into English.

I stand without you
to open lightning,
and go to sleep free,
for an instant,
in the breeze of not being,
black builds my roof,
fleshes tight,
thing that I was,
lawless dusk,
sculpts the rain,
doing better,
standing without you,
already burning up.

"Debout sans toi
ouvrir la foudre,
et s'endormir libre,
pour un instant,
dans l'alizé du non-étant,
noir fait mon toit,
chairs à l'étroits,
chose que j'étais,
crépuscule sans loi,
taille la pluie,
en faisant mieux,
debout sans toi,
je suis déjà brûlant."

The wind's breath
digs ruthlessly,
the flesh of the vale,                      
from moon to earth,
wise and deeply patient,
bitten by a red flood,
squanders her flight,
going and coming,
heavy and deprived of breath,
snatched from doubt.

"Le souffle du vent
bêche avec rigueur, 
la chair du gallon, 
de la lune à la terre, 
sage et d'ample patience,
mordue d'un flot rouge,
gaspille son essor,
d'un va et vient,
lourd et sans haleine,
arrachée au doute."

 All of the artist's paintings are coupled with poems written into the work or else recorded on the back of the canvas in his own hand.    Whenever possible he installs poems like kites into the landscape .  His next installation will be at the park of the Chateau in Nice.  Check his site for upcoming performances.   He has already covered the olive grove in Cimiez in a similar event.  In fact this artist is very well represented in Nice.    
 Speaking of his different media, Christophe says about the paintinginstallation, performance, engraving and poetry.   
 These different media "allow me to synthesize my artistic thought,  articulated in poems as a category of the mind,  that of moving images as a scenic device,  prints and painting as a medium of physical expression....  the natural or urban environment acting as staging for the beings or objects."
Here is a sampling of his work.
oil on canvas 146x114 cm. 
oil on canvas 146x114cm.

drypoint on paper

 Chris working on an interior design

  I like this last "white on white" engraving, one of my favorites.   It shows his interesting handwriting which I find indecipherable but wonderful for its graphic quality .  
 I am hoping to see more of Christophe's work in the future.  When I see him I  always seem to have a good "nattering" over some new discovery in the local art scene.   It's the way we do it here. 

   Let me know if you want to come along.     


  1. Beraet's verse reminds me of Stephane Mallarme whose poems are both visual and aural. Beneath the words lie music and sculptural structure.

    Bruce B.

  2. Yes, I want to come along.