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he first time I entered a print shop I felt shy but fascinated
at the roaring noise of the offset machines
that marked the rhythm of the workshop. My dad worked in that
print shop and thanks to his influence some of the designers there
started teaching me drawing. It was in 1982.
For many years I worked as a designer in the graphic industry,
then I studied and finally worked for newspapers as an
illustrator and computer designer. Throughout all these years,
I was lucky enough to come across people who really wanted to see
me learn and grow. They taught me colours and proportions, type
faces and papers as well as a sense of quality and patience,
all that makes one a good professional.
Now that I have a lot of know-how on many subjects in the artistic
field, I want to turn to one art in particular - calligraphy.
Calligraphy requires patience, passion, good taste and enjoyment.
All these I put into my work when I started devoting my time to
producing calligraphy works. I write poems in artistic letters, copy
documents and produce creations in Gothic letters, in Fraktur,
Batarda, Lombarda, Oncial, Insular letters, hebrew...
illustrating my thoughts with ink and a steel point pen.
Calligraphy is an exercise for the soul: interpreting a text
and transcribing it as a unique object in various languages.
This is my work !
And the same fascination I felt as a child in front
of the printing machines everybody can feel now
watching a piece of calligraphy.
Since I started writing I cannot stop and I am never tired
of going over every letter of every alphabet
with which I create my calligraphy pieces.
 

thought I would start writing merely about my work, setting up so to speak, some kind of "directions for use" or "glossary". But it seemed to me more appropriate to write also about myself and some of my views on the world, especially bearing in mind those who would like to understand my work so that they can also fathom some of the concepts inspiring their creation.

All along the centuries and throughout the civilisations, with no distinction of race or belief, scribes and copyists, silent and attentive, with dexterous, faithful and patient hands, transmitted us - with the help of their calligraphic instruments - sacred texts, historical facts, love stories and poetry, unforgettable legends, peace treaties, sciences and laws. They are the pillars of human knowledge, keys to the wisdom necessary to understand our existence, enabling us, with an attentive eye peering into beautiful manuscripts of the past, to prepare the future or travel into a world of dreams... even for just a few moments.

It was with that kind of reflections that, one day, while I was contemplating some ancient manuscripts a few years ago, I decided to initiate this trip back to the past (but without return) which I am accomplishing today, between reality and the imaginary, passing through all the different eras of human knowledge; rewriting what has been written already, designing once more ideas already gone by but impressive to me, thinking through what has already been thought, trying to feel inside me the same sensations my predecessors would have felt, not without a certain nostalgia. I am sailing endlessly through dozens of texts, venturing through phrases, sometimes without immediately feeling them but after a deep reflection I do feel the presence of a superior wisdom which gives me the sensation that I am a thirsty child craving for knowledge.

Also, since I have my doubts on everything in this life, including myself and my limits, I am curious to understand the unknown and discover other versions of our existence, since I would like to know the various aspects of one single question, the secrets of this life, I dive into the past through the manuscripts, through the books, trying to discover inside them all their details; copying out the questions, enigmas and replies; transcribing the thoughts of other people more audacious than myself. And since I do not know how many more years I will live - I believe that when you do not think about death you are being irresponsible with life, you are forgetting to make plans worthy of our sojourn on earth - I keep busy everyday studying books and their sometimes long but entrancing texts. I bury myself inside them, intensely, attentive and dedicated. I scrutinize them with quiet eyes: context after context, line after line, I slowly feed upon the knowledge they are handing over, I absorb them while trying to feel the essence of these eras and their ideas, trying to apply certain teachings of the past to the present reality, to my time, or sometimes I just transport myself in imagination to be able to represent these ideas in my work afterwards.

Ah! All these manuscripts preserved until now; texts that changed into keys; keys which are great mysteries; mysteries that reveal their meaning when we analyse them in depth; authentic letters opened and exhibited today to the sight of all, which preserve great stories.

This is all fascinating to me, it involves my whole body, my whole soul, my whole time. All of these texts, these beautiful texts, I look for them, fascinated by all of these places where they still have their own space; and I admire them, I transcribe them: in French, in Latin, in Portuguese, in English, in Hebrew and so on... comparing one to another, trying in my thoughts to stand besides their authors and understand how they were elaborated. I do this with no consideration for time, as if time were my dwelling, my only place of inspiration. I value them like an immense treasure, my treasure, making them my hidden secret.

And once my study is over, I draw on a piece of paper the space where the chosen text will be received, that valued text of which I will be the interpreter. I imagine the text once finished - comfortable in its place, sometimes illuminated, later admired - that I am about to transcribe. And this is how I start writing in calligraphy with simple and involved movements, on the support with my quill, in the alphabet I have imagined for it. What type of letter do I chose for my calligraphy? I chose the one that answers best my inspiration at the time, the exact letter, the exact size; a letter that talks as my hands copy the words, the whole sentences. I consider this a spiritual approach.

I believe in the mind and the spiritual!

My creation is a state of mind! True, my work is conceptual, spiritual, intellectual, sometimes sensual, poetic and often full of contrasts. It is insignificant for some and interesting to others. To me, in the meantime, it is my "ego", the best way to express myself, my blasting sensitivity, my ideas in movement. It is my naked intimacy, the form I am trying to give to life, to the aesthetic of women, to my poetry. The rest is practical studies on the world, on my errors and successes, it is the knowledge I have acquired thanks to human culture.

I am a compulsive reader, a book aficionado, a lover of history, art, communication, archaeology, spirituality... knowledge of the phenomena of this life interests me. And these books and cultural disciplines I am talking about have been accompanying me since childhood and it helped me to consolidate my own idea of natural and spiritual life.

I feel special reverence towards our occidental writings and the languages they represent, I revere literature and art in all its meanings, I revere the creative power of human beings and science, construed as a complement and not as the centre of all answers - like some people would have us believe nowadays.

To get back to the topic of books, it is not only in their pages that I am learning and have learnt, no, there are people too. I am talking about the people I like or who are interested in me, old people too... well, those that I consider wise. I am learning thanks to their pieces of advice; I think it is good to give and receive advice. I learnt from all the professionals I met and who were able to share and exchange with me knowledge, reflections, experiences, thus helping me to improve my knowledge. They encouraged me to do researches, to build up projects; they helped me to figure out what I really wanted to do in life in a practical way. As a result I now have autonomy, authority and self-determination in my professional choices.

I learnt how to dream and sometimes desire, even if only for a few moments, a world of cultural excellence, more human, fairer and more intelligent, more educated and less formal - formality should not be mistaken for education - even when the ignorance and bad will of some try to convince me - with no success - to abandon my dreams; even if I am sometimes under the impression that I am obsolete and utopian... I dream and dream on until today. I go on dreaming because I believe (quoting Ariano Suassuna) that culture has antibodies.

It was during the time I lived in the suburbs of Paris that I learnt - watching the birds alighting on my window: free and satisfied, my everyday companions (one of my sources of inspiration) to fly in imagination, to dare, to wonder down the most intimate parts of myself, in search of replies; to establish my own world, to structure and reinforce my small studio, accompanied by words echoing in the spring breeze; words full of strength filling my soul with responses, with themes of every kind, with reflections and sometimes absurd theses... And during these moments I was thinking of the happy little souls, gay and witty, preparing their nests. These moments were magic to me, I was gazing at this scene, considering it perfect, extraordinary, a miracle of existence - not knowing if I would ever witness such an event again, such a fantastic, such a... great event! Then I would stop working and go out for a little walk in the streets of La Garenne-Colombes or Paris, through plazas or the Luxembourg garden; taking the RER or SNCF train, the Parisian metro, entering human lines and corridors that materialize everywhere (this eternal human suffering); in St Lazare Station or in Les Halles... my mind wandering, travelling in my own ideas, in my own way of seeing the world, moving unperceived among the crowd, with my own state of mind that belongs only to me.

Writing is leaving a trace of ourselves.

Written texts fix once and for all human reflections which are the result of organisation and association of ideas, ideas which are themselves a purely mental movement dissociated from the concrete. Therefore, while transcribing texts, I materialize human thoughts. I give them a body, physical and visible. I carry them out with the ambition of making them overtake the limits of time since a work of art is made to last.

My works of art are presented by me on a material that lasts and remains and embodies the preservation of knowledge, just like an image or a painting representing discourse.

I hold a special respect for Free Will, especially other people's, and this makes up the first of my commandments in human relations.

We are all entitled to love, sexuality, reserve, freedom, intimacy, respect, to think anything we want about everything we want; we have a right to express ourselves freely, to believe what we want to believe without hindrance, and also not to believe anything of what others put forward; the right to feel we are someone special, to feel wanted, to have our own value, to be seen, known or unknown of everyone; right to shyness; right to express our most intimate desire and to desire the one we love - body and soul - with the very best of ourselves, without being judged by others because of our choices. We are entitled to express everything that's inside of us; in our hearts, in our mind, our understanding. Entitled to believe in God, to be a citizen, to defend, depend and be protected by the State and entitled nonetheless to freedom of thought, to think different from others and from that same State, to express this openly without feeling persecuted; or to go elsewhere towards other lands and other cultures, where those same ideas are defended without encountering obstacles in our trip.

Let me take this opportunity to denounce the abandonment of the weakest among us who get ruined without receiving any support, the dispute of the strongest for a world which should pertain to all; the intolerance and indifference which have become normal attitudes in today's society; injustice under cover of justice which destroys some people's faith; yes I am denouncing the cold war going on between people in one single society, one single people, one single course, one single profession, one single family... in some kind of hurried inhuman competition, relentless, where each of us wants to be better than others to acquire the best position in their environment, at work, in their lot, in their loved ones' hearts... discovering at the end of our lives that we did not get any where, that we have nothing... that we are all equal! I wonder how we came to that state of things?! These things touch me deeply and affect my art.

I am blooming in my work and exteriorizing on my support all the ideas my state of mind provides me with at times of inspiration. My Calligraphy is my favourite work instrument and I dedicate my time as well as my discipline and knowledge to it. Thanks to it I give shape to the concepts of ideal and beautiful; I do this dozens of times if necessary, in a never ending ritual, because it gives me pleasure, it fulfils me, this is my world.

I have learnt to walk alone, making my way with trust. Trust in G.od and in myself, in my work and in the future. Let us be rational: nobody needs to annihilate the art of others to be able to exist or reach their personal success! It is work that gives us the dignity and acknowledgement we deserve during this short life, and beyond it. I work hard! Everyday! With discipline and hope that in time I will see the results of my work. And regarding time, this time that fills up my days, I am using it to write calligraphy, creating my works in my studio, discovering new books in the bookshops I visit: in Paris, in Strasbourg, in Brussels... trying to learn, to understand other people's truths, putting mine forward sometimes, after all who holds the absolute truth?

But to carry on talking about what I think of positions different from my own, I also believe in a world where forces contrast, in the cultural diversity between Orient and Occident - where differences legitimately claim their rights.

I believe in the attraction of light and dark; in the absolute necessity of contrast everywhere, because this life is full of contrasts; full of necessary oppositions. I believe in the diversity of opinions and that differences are important to society's balance and to its own survival. In the same way as night and day are essential to this world where light and dark live together in a perfect balance. And that is why I use red in my work, the red of love, passion and life, the red of loss, bloody battles and tragedies, in opposition and balance with black, the permanent mark of human ideas or, sometimes, of bleak sentiments and dark situations.

The artist is a being of all times, he is located in all eras, he is sensitive to all changes around him and contemplates humanity.

I live with my own time and I try to present my work in a modern manner, yet I am not a prisoner of my era, I don't live in a bubble. On the contrary, I am taming the past that I come across in the corridors of history, decorticating facts which are still alive and present nowadays among us; models and principles of politics, culture or religion which are human and universal, which formed or still form part of the civilisations of all times since they are like mirrors reflecting light on today's world, opening doors, helping us to determine our behaviour, consolidating our values, structuring our society, making eternal along the generations, concepts, ideas and facts. I also have my own concepts and I express them in my work with the materials I have today and in a way as coherent and appropriate to our time as possible.

I do not know everything but I want to know everything!

And since our language needs to be exteriorized and established; since the cries of our souls as well as our ideas and passions need to be seen and gazed at by the outside world, for the human mind's satisfaction; why not work on signs that represent and respond to this normal and fair human desire? This is what my work of research and interpretation of ancient books is all about: I represent the ideas and aspirations of the authors' souls throughout these texts, considering what has been passed onto us as some spiritual thing, which communicates with our minds; identifying in the shape and look of characters the materialized mind which preserves in itself the sound and strength of the message kept; thus my quill will reveal the soul of the text, lively and outspoken, mobile and present, which communicates to our own soul the spiritual feeling of what has been bequeathed to us.

Letters, these little signs that change contexts and ideas whenever it becomes necessary, that move us in the deep of our souls with messages that only the brain or the heart can decipher; regrouping to make up syllables, words, sentences; transforming into various languages, changing meanings, revealing secrets, leading us and allowing us to a profound reflection on our desires and the reason why we are the way we are. Letters give meaning to feelings, to shouting, crying, sobbing, joy, love, relief, to everything that is human, to all that is legitimate in ourselves!

Those little magic letters, full of personality, individuality and strength of expression, which take different shapes, Rustic, Uncial, Caroline, Gothic, Proto-Gothic, Gothic Textura, Rotunda, Fraktur, Batarde, give us the impression that we are living in another time, another era; that we are capturing history, that we can be part of it. Letters that fascinate me with every topic and that I try to isolate so as to give them a value corresponding to their individuality. I could write them and represent them in calligraphy till my last breath. I would enjoy that!

Let us continue to talk about my calligraphy, this vehicle which makes me the accomplice of history, it is a tool I also use to reassert my convictions and beliefs, I use it to express and represent my concepts in a visual and artistic manner; with the help of texts which I consider excellent. It is the recourse I have and use to share with those who like my work all the things I describe. Thanks to my calligraphy I am certain that my word can be divided, contemplated, admired or criticised.

In my calligraphic work, ancient letters are not merely lost alphabets pertaining to the past, museum pieces, palaeography subjects... They have the value they deserve, the importance they must have.

Quill in hand, I cautiously liberate ink on my support, words come forth one by one, side by side, letting imagination be my only limit, the border which tells me where to stop. But as soon as one work is done I move on to another because there is inside me the urgency of the instant, of this instant fully possessed by inspiration which fills my whole self. I need this, it is like breathing to me, it is the vice that feeds my soul. I need the urgency of the "now" and the inspiration which demands full satisfaction, result; I need this inspiration which understands the most intimate whining of my desire to create and dominates me, which, in the most intense silence, when all are sleeping, wakes me up and offers me a new version of one idea, another concept of a shape to be exteriorized or even a simple observation which gives away the errors I make.

And to better watch one of my calligraphy pieces, it is necessary to take some distance from the obvious, from the present time, from the contemporary mechanisation of our alphabet and avoid comparisons. See the whole picture, see it all, like an undividable unit, see its forms, understand its content in a spiritual way, see it with sensitive and quiet eyes. You need to place yourself in between the past and the conservation of ideas, which is not always appreciated by our generation which enjoys change and is obsessed by the discardable! To understand my work it is necessary to adopt the same values as those who do not see time as their enemy...

When I feel inspired, I know my limits no longer and, full of imagination, I start sketching, drawing with my quill, and accomplishing my creation.

However I do not only invoke in my work texts, history and literature, legends and facts, beliefs and manifestos... In my work I also keep a special place to the representation of the human body, especially the female body with its beautiful and perfect curves, it is one of the forms of beauty which pleases the human mind. Besides, why would I not remember woman in my calligraphy? Woman who changes the course of history when she feels like it? Whose tender movements, delicates, full of grace and seduction, makes the world smell nicer, makes beauty essential, makes men ambassadors of peace or pitiless conquistadors. I am representing them in my work with the same emotion that cause in me the other topics of my inspiration. I am transcribing on the paper their enchanting movements, womanly and majestic that only they are allowed to possess, I am representing them with their feminine originality that other beings are deprived of... They are women with no faces, social conditions, studies, professions... none of these have any importance. They are imaginary, sensual, beautiful to my eyes. Fat or thin, tall or short, they stand for beauty in my creations, they are the external shape of the fascinating aspect of the human mind, a source of inspiration for those who desire love, for without this image of woman, there, conscious of the power that emanates off her, there can be no love, no poetry, no desire, no conquest, no enchantment, no romance, no sense or reason to the life of a man. This is also the theme of the poems I write to accompany them.

My love for great ideas, ideals, women, sensuality, contrasts, what is manual, the intellect; the human being; what is legitimate and fair, burning passions, positive opposition, a better world... forms the necessary content that gives shape to what I intend to show in the conceptual representations which is implied in my work.

To my mind this art is a vehicle with which I direct my ideas, and let my imagination flow, as well as my inspiration, my feelings - sometimes worried or melancholy, sometimes hopeful, contradictory, passionate, full of love, firm, rigorous, sinful, curious, admiring - where I express my feelings in relation to the representation of the outside world that surrounds me, which is in front of me. That art where, with a firm and free hand, I give any shape I want to the woman or subject I am watching and admiring, thanks to strokes and colours.

And I could not finish this text without mentioning beforehand the patient quill which serves me, accompanies me, obeys me in silence and never gets tired of starting all over again each time my eyes tell me that they do not like the result; without mentioning with what determination this quill follows me in my most varied movements in search of perfection, balance, harmony, symmetry, of what is correct, aligned, coherent, beautiful, ideal, conceptual, aesthetic, profound, sensitive, legitimate! Giving shape everywhere it goes to everything my imagination conceives; producing letters, the most beautiful letters to me...

I take the pen, I choose an alphabet, I fill the pen with ink, I feel the pen, I move the pen, I draw with the pen, I make circles with the pen on the support, I watch the thickness of the stroke of the pen, I go up and down with the pen, I draw right and left, I stop, I start again, I go back in elegant rhythms, I imagine, I express myself, I dance ballet with the regular strokes, I change ink colours, I change nibs, letters, I change direction in irregular strokes, contradictory strokes, I feel the invisible music that the harmony of the letters create, I stop, relax my arm, I read the text again, I analyse it silently, I comprehend it, contest it or give it my agreement, I compare it to the text in calligraphy, I start again, I take the pen, I invent, create, make mistakes, I stop, I start again, I stop, I put the pen down once more, I watch the infinite space of the support, I raise my eyes, I contemplate the emptiness around me, I think, I imagine, I transport myself into another world, I go back, I calculate, I decide, I dare… I take the pen again, I choose an alphabet, I fill the pen with ink, I feel the pen, I watch the thickness of the stroke of the pen, I move the pen, I draw with the pen…

From Rustic to Batarde letters... I find that feeling the delicate and captivating movement of the quill is a magic moment, both definitive and unique, where I can express and reproduce - with my personal touch, with freedom, passion and affection - everything that makes up my creativity.

These are some of the reasons underlying my work; some of the ideas which inspire its making.

 
 
 
 
 
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