Jean-Baptiste Bernadet: Interview

Installation view Jean-Baptiste Bernadet: FUGUE at Rod Barton, London (photo © D
Installation view Jean-Baptiste Bernadet: FUGUE at Rod Barton, London (photo © Damian Griffiths)

Steven Cox interviews painter Jean-Baptiste Bernadet about his work which was recently on view at Rod Barton, London.

Bernadet comments: "I don't care especially about painting, even if this is what I'm doing and even if I like a lot of painting as a viewer like any other. There's no position in what I'm doing, I'm not defending or advertising anything. I didn't choose painting versus something else, I just probably found myself comfortable doing it in order to say what I have to say. I see narration in my works on two different levels: as you point out, there's a lot to read in each painting. The gestures, the actions, the erasures etc. are all recounting the history of the making, the failures and the successes, the time spent in the studio, the bad days and the good ones. Secondly, what is present within the works I'm making and developing is a common quality that I strive for in every painting. This being distance, a mise en abyme, a loss of integrity balanced with a strong presence and attractive aspect. It is the product of decisions I made through the years, and at the same time, something I observed retrospectively. I think I want my paintings to be solid and hold a wall, act on their surroundings and on the viewer in a very physical way, imposing silence, clear as a sound, but at the same time I want them to appear as if they are on the verge of disappearance, corrupted like memories, unstable like feelings."