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Biography II and interview

Jacques Cauda is a french painter, writer, photograph and director T.V. He lives and works in Paris.He has created the "surfiguratif movement". Pictures exhibitions in Paris and London.

Who am I? Why do I paint? Why do I write? Beckett replied to this question by saying: "because I am not as good as you at it!" yes, that's why, I don't know of anything else other than painting and writing. Oh! What about Cooking? I was born in Paris after all, I live, paint and write there.

I have not been painting for very long, about 10 years. Before that I used to produce film documentaries for the TV. I created the images. Images that little by little led me to painting, and in my own particular way, to study paintings.

One day I wrote in one of my books: "nowadays that reality is linked equally with the visible, nothing exists outside of the image, and paintings no longer show the past or any other definition other than the Surfigurative.

I created the Surfigurative movement. To surfigure the past means maintaining it above the image itself by the true sign of its own destruction.

Painting the past involves creating the keys that help to unlock the representation. And that is why I paint scenes from the cinema, jazz musicians photographed in concert and women photographed in glossy magazines.

I only use oil pastels. The advantage of these is that it gives the stroke and colour simultaneously, recalling the process in my book, which, borrowed from the cinema, presents without transition, events that coincide with one another.

Just as my paintings coincide with the deja-vu.

To give it another aspect.


  Who is Jacques Cauda? I'm a French painter born in 1955 in Paris, where I live and work. I studied philosophy and then made some documentaries for the television.It was a way for me to continue studying philosophy, to think with imagesas well as with words.I really started painting at the end ofthe 1990's. At the time, painting, in France, was considered to be dead.Performance occupied the entire artistic scene. It was there fore crazy to takeup painting. Yet being mad without a future gave me total freedom! Above all,mainly the freedom to be voluptuously anachronic in using an outdated technique : Pastels. As a writer, using oil pastels has theadvantage of all owing me a similar position above the paper as when Iwrite. In fact, since then, I've been writing paintings, and drawing writing.

Ut pictura poesis...   What does art mean to you?   My answer will be like Beckett's when asked «What does literature mean to you?" I'm no good at anything else" Me neither, I'm no good at anything else. Art is MY signification.  

 Did you visit art school?  No. I've got nothing against Art schools, but in France the Official Art is often what they speak out for. Also, as I explained above, I started painting too late in life to go to artschool. In fact, I've always drawn. As a child, I drew during lessons. Not during drawing lessons, since there is no artistic training here at school, or so little... 

Your favorite subjects to draw are musicians and women in erotic poses, am I correct? Yes, you are. I only paint what I like : Jazz and women.  

Do you work with models or pictures or both or none?  At the beginning of the 2000s, I created the surfigurative movement based on the following affirmation: «Today, when the relation ship between the visible and reality is strictly equivalent, nothing exists independently from its image. Thus painting shouldn't haveany other purpose then the Déjà-vu". This in other words means that my only models are the images of reality and not reality itself which no longer exists without images. Is there a place on earthwhich hasn't been photographed or filmed? No. Everything has already been seen. All that is left is a huge image of the world, but a blind image, a sightless image. Thus Surfiguration's task is: To give the world a physiognomy (face?) back, in other words, a look  to match its lost image. 

What do people say about you and your art?  Great! 

What would you like people to say about you and your art?  Super great!??? 

What would this world be without any form of art?   There can't be any humanity without art.A world without art would be the words "The End" after the opening credits.   

You work often with pastel on paper. Do you also work with paint on canvas or other materials?  I only use oil pastels. They are greasychalks created in 1949 by Sennelier for Picasso. If this is anachronistic (asdry pastel would be) it is an anachronism of modernity, the old and the new intertwined. I only work on slightly glossy thin paper onto which pastels lides easily. I then stick it on thicker paper, cardboard, or on a framed canvas.  You are a poet, an artists and a film maker, is that correct? Oui. Yes. 

Can you tell us some more about that?  As I told you at the beginning of the interview, for me the practice of painting is linked to writing. Ut pictura poesis: Painting is also poetry. The reason is this: Painting is first of all a matter of time, less of space, since despite appearances, painting is not an image, because it's time, infinite time. There are no old paintings but there are old films. The subject of my first novel "Au centre du milieu d'autour" (“In the centre of around the middle”)  was evidently about time. My idea was a gamble via the story of a cycle race: Would remembering beremembering again ahead, and knowing from the start who would save time against the clockPreviously, I had published a book of poems on painting “Vers un effort visible” (“To wards a visible effort”) by Pascal CORSEAUX (a friend bookseller, publisher, art collector and art critic) about painting as an obvious and visible effect of sexuality… I would emphasise that I soon stopped making films when I started painting. None the less, I used my film maker’s experience to understand what exactly images are. 

I certainly believe you are one of the most interesting artists of this moment.You also seem amazingly productive. I suppose you create things every day? Thank you. Yes, I do. Every day. 

How do you draw women en artists, with or without models or both? My only models are pictures of my models.