Philippe Vasseur, the art of contrasts

FR - Painting, a youthful passion that has become a daily passion.

Philippe Vasseur began his career as an illustrator at Gallimard after getting a solid education at the Beaux-Arts of Paris and the Academy of Drawing in London.

This was followed by a fructuous collaboration with the famous French magazine Métal Hurlant, which was then under the leadership of Jean-Pierre Dionnet and Philippe Manœuvre. This partnership was a link with his future career as a painter, and gradually opened the doors of the art galleries in Paris.



The path of youth lasts a lifetime (Picasso)



He set up his easel for about two years outdoors, following the example of the Normandy French Impressionists whom he learned to appreciate in the museums of Trouville where he spent his youth, Honfleur and Le Havre. But there are also copies of the masters, such as Cézanne, Picasso and Van Gogh, whose skilful mix of drawing, painting and contrasts inspires him.



The objective result of the camera annihilates the subjective vision of the artist, which makes him unique.

This is not the case with painting.

The more one advances in one's painting, the more one advances towards one's own vision of creation,

and the more one is tempted to question one's art (Philippe Vasseur)


Light became an inseparable element of his paintings, even when he prefers to choose to go to his studio indoors: sketches and drafts lead to paintings that are exhibited from the Normandy coast to Paris, as is the case in London for 10 years, in the United States for more than 12 years, not forgetting Japan and, of course, Paris, at the art gallery Claudine  Legrand, 49 rue de Seine, in the heart o the 6th arrondissement.

In Uzès, it is the Galerie de l'Uzège which has been presenting the artist since it opened on rue de la Pélisserie.


zoom la greve©philippe vasseur

zoom La grève©philippevasseur


The subjects of his paintings? Marine reminiscent of Boudin and Manet, such as La grève, Rivages, Embarcadère or Mer du Nord, which give pride of place to the chiaroscuro, almost resplendent, which results from the marriage between grey, white and blue.



"... It is nature that imitates art, not the other way round. It is Turner, not God, who invented the fog, it is Cézanne, not Eve, who tempted us with her apples. Let's be aware of this paradox, otherwise what would be the point of art?

It is not there to imitate, reproduce or parody, but to modify our way of seeing"...

(Philippe Vasseur quotes Oscar Wilde - The decline of lies, pamphlet)



zoom au grand cafe©philippe vasseur

zoom au grand cafe©philippe vasseur

Urban architecture, landscapes, characters met during his many travels... The painter's realistic interpretation highlights the colours of time. Values of tints, black, white, yellow, orange, then pink (take a closer look at the door frame of the Medina) which arrives little by little following his stays in Morocco.


Medina, Au grand café, Riad©Philippe Vasseur

Riad, Au grand café, Médina©philippevasseur

The paintings become labyrinthine, the succession of rooms, of streets (The horse of Meknes, Riad...), testify of the secret and hectic life on the shores of the Mediterranean.

What can we say about the paintings on Uzès, like the Cavaliers, Passants...? These are the inspirations of moments spent in the Gard where the light of Occitania shines through the brushstrokes.



Inspiration exists, but it must find you working (Picasso)


If the paintings need time to mature, this time is necessary to finally become aware of their power over people.

The interested eye learns to know the painting better. A friend who could be a sculptor, a writer, can be asked to judge the relevance and quality of it.

The paintings must find their buyers, in the sense that a collector is immediately won over by a painting rather than another. A crush that creates a very true bond.

Thanks to Philippe Vasseur, for his collaboration to this article and the visuals transmitted.

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