Françoise Gilot: Interview

Françoise Gilot, Runaway Comet, 1998 (Photograph: Ana Lessing)
Françoise Gilot, Runaway Comet, 1998 (Photograph: Ana Lessing)

Emma Brockes interviews painter Françoise Gilot.

Gilot recalls that "while on holiday in the Alps, she pointed out some aspect of the landscape to her father. 'I was struck by the fact that, at a certain altitude, there were a lot of dark grey trees, mostly firs, and also meadows of a lively green. And I thought those two colours together were interesting. So I asked my father, "When you look at that, as I do, do you see the same thing?"' Her father was immensely irritated by this remark. 'He said, "Oh, how ridiculous, the retina, blah blah blah, it looks the same for everybody." I said that is not exactly what I meant, but I did not know how to say it. It was not the instrument of seeing, it was the result in my psyche. The feeling! At five years old, I could not ask the follow-up question.'"