"Dyptique" by Eurydice Trichon-Milsani Art critic, writer

Pascal Chauveau told me

'Nobody helped me in my life, except my parents. At the beginning they did not totally agree with my choice for painting but I was able to convince them. Until now, after their deaths, they assist me and I am very grateful to them.

Painting came very early in my life. At school I had relationship troubles and I often felt bored until I discover drawing: that was definitely a remedy.

Then I grew up and I devoted myself to painting with a great energy. My first paintings overflew with an excess number of impressions and exuberance. I had so much to say, so much to evacuate and the painting became the container of my anxieties and hopes. When you are young emptiness is scaring: I filled up. Today I curb on the feelings flood and I work with much lighter matters. Time and experience help to get purity. I started with little culture. I was looking for a classical art inspiration. I felt emotion in front of a Greek temple but I also knew that I had to take modernity into account. I am a chameleon painter but in no way to the detriment of sincerity. I do what I want, how I want and where an when I feel like doing.

I look for unity in diversity, I try to carry out varied things but keeping a consistency in the artistic approach. I believe in real-life impact. Anything can be inside painting. Art is nurtured by life. Walking, talking, digging, cooking, all that is important and feeds sensibility and imaginary, all contributes to work creation. I also have the soul of a collector. In my young age I was a stamp collector. Then when I got tired of stamps I sold my collection to start something else. It happened that what was until then a harmless hobby was met by chance.

One day at Beaubourg square, Paris, a man was predicting future by shaking hands; he took my hand and declared:' Sir, you were an important person in Ancient Rome'. He was not that wrong for a short time ago I had read a book about Egypt and I had become totally enthusiast about Rome. I came to the point of thinking that in fact I had lived at that time. Ten years have passed now and I have had the possibility to go into the subject in depth. Ben Hur's time, the civilization' which changed cob into marble' initiated a real tidal wave of acquisitions.

At the beginning my roman vision was fairly a Hollywood vision. Today we know that lots of interesting things like the gladiatorial combats were not exactly what we watch at the cinema...At that time there were not enough riches to create sumptuous shows as historical epics showed us. But the spirit was the same and that spirit was fascinating.

With time, I became passionate with art and roman History. That was a colourful time. Beauty, luxury and strength were developed with splendour. I decided to do some experimental archeological re-creation. It became a frenzy. The roman costumes I designed with great care are very popular with Le Louvre which pesters me for getting them!

This passion doesn't prevent me to give myself to painting with a deep feeling of modernity. For despite my penchants, I never cut myself off reality and plastic arts related to my own time.

Trying to be up to date I sometimes watch what is in the fairs and I wonder whether the artists make a living with their works. Is the audience good at repartee? Are they really loved or is it a fashion effect and snobbery?

In my opinion, I consider myself as' a man of the street'. My painting is an ordinary people painting. I pay attention to the man of the street; I am also interested in what people who are particularly interested in painting think. I am not like those who call themselves 'contemporary' who don't deign to depart from their elitist and maybe opportunistic obsessions. When you are a professional artist you have to paint what people like to have at home.

The artist must answer an order; he must be ready to execute any subject. He must turn anything to good account. One day someone asked me to make him a painting with cows in a meadow. I am not a wildlife artist but I carried out successfully.

I looked for my masters among artists of the 20th century until the 60s. I like the abstract artists as Klee, Kandinsky. But the sources of my painting are not only pictorial. I get inspiration from things apparently not linked to painting. I am very interested in the Japanese war masters, the samurai spirit for instance. Their behaviour codes are fascinating for me. I did martial arts for a long time. In the combat the body is used as a paintbrush. The warriors were often calligraphers; they used to train to master their body language. According to the great masters, when you make a calligraphy you must do it in one and only one movement: if you have the slightest hesitation that means you have had a moment of weakness.

The war master proceeds in his combat as he does in calligraphy. His mental strength defines his destiny; the least failure can prove to be fatal. In art it is the same: perfection of the form depends on the accuracy of the movement. When the movement is sure, the sign it produces holds both wisdom and freshness. In that meaning "Tapies" is a model: I don't know any otter artist who can take up the space with such perfection in only a few strokes. "To take up" a painting with successful movements comes within a highly logic of space.

Hubert Reeves, the astrophysicist, thinks that there is a great connection between a painting and astrophysics. Like the cosmos a painting is full of interactive elements. You can accumulate them up to a certain point but you must stop before everything collapses. In order to create harmony, everything must breathe at ease.

I am attached to certain principles but I am not dogmatic. In my abstract composition I start by creating a situation that I try to develop. I work with the airbrush, the blower and I use stencils. I stop when I have successfully create a dense and rhythmic space. I like doing big paintings and I enjoy playing with the contrast of matters.

Painting is a deep-rooted need for me. To perform technical feats, to challenge myself, to answer an order, all these are exciting challenges. To obey a set theme and make things you would have never imagined before is both difficult and intoxicating. To reduce yourself to the things you like is not fruitful: to move away from them can be very beneficial for the work. Whatever the result, it improves the form as well as the paste.

I am used to make small series I use a theme as long is needed to say certain things. Once my inspiration is exhausted I never come back to them. It is boring to repeat oneself. You need the feeling of varying and discovering new things.

However my tastes always bring me back to classical art. I love sculpture, Praxiteles, the Ancients, Greek antiquity as seen and interpreted by Romans. Deep down I know for certain that the future in art will be the return to the ancient canon. We have been too far in provocation. We have seen anything and everything; we have exhausted everything, we have moved away too far from the genuine harmony. The need for beauty is imperative and must be addressed.'

Eurydice Trichon-Milsani
Art critic, writer, member of AICA. (Association Internationale des Critiques d'art), 'DUFY'-Au musée National d'Art Moderne'-Fernand HAZAN edition (collection Les chefs d'oeuvre)
PARIS-SORBONNE: PhD in Art history. Speaker at Musée national d'art Moderne Georges Pompidou, Paris