The other same : portrait of Guillaume Selosse

huile sur toile, 100 x 100 cm

Transmission is one of the most difficult acts in a parent’s life. For if they are possessions, they are above all values, and undoubtedly the value of the freedom to pursue an accomplished work in identity and difference. For the Champagne domain of Jacques Selosse, so prestigious and unique, transmission is successful. Guillaume Selosse has inherited know-how, thought, and ambition that his character, perhaps less anxious than that of his admirable father Anselme, assembles with beautiful serenity. At least that’s how I perceive it in this quiet presence, whose features I hope I have captured.

The artist, portrait of Philippe Pacalet

huile sur toile, 100 x100 cm

I knew Philippe Pacalet by reputation… I remember a lunch with a wealthy winemaker from Languedoc who, when I announced my preference for “natural” wines, brought up from his cellar a magnum without a label from a batch vinified without additives. It was his wine but transformed in its suppleness, its flesh, and the freshness of its fruit. He had made this experiment by hiring Philippe Pacalet. In my series of portraits of winemakers, I needed this “artist” whose wines, from numerous plots owned by the Côtes de Nuits and Beaune that he manages and vinifies for himself, exalt the natural beauty of Burgundy’s terroirs. My friend Roberto Petronio, collaborator of the Revue des Vins de France, had me taste them, and he organized a meeting at Philippe’s in Beaune. In the kitchen of his apartment where his Brazilian wife offered us dinner, I took a few photos and Roberto, better equipped, took some more assured ones. Armed with these shots and the memory of the tasting in the cellar that initiated this delightful evening, I attempted this portrait of a man whom I probably don’t know well enough to capture all facets, but of whom I believe I caught a glimpse of his presence.

The freshness of Cheverny, portrait of Hervé Villemade

huile sur toile, 100×100 cm Prix2000€ + envoi

For me, Hervé Villemade is one of those winemakers who have restored to wine its natural beauty, its terroir complexity, and its fruit freshness. The respectful management of the vineyard, without synthetic products, and his winemaking techniques (including the use of amphoras) make even the humblest of his wines a delight for the palate, a sweetness for digestion, and a celebration for sharing. Cheers!

Anselme Selosse, a Grand of Champagne

huile sur toile, 100×100 cm

The other-same, that is his creed. His shadow is all in the vineyard, summer and winter, and he barely leans against the effervescence (from the corner of the wall on his left). Anselme Selosse is a meditative winemaker. His wines do not age, they meditate like him. Because his viticulture is coupled with a living thought in the vineyard and in the cellar right up to the glass. Firstly, there is non-action. Respect and listening to nature, to the other. The years pass and the other-same imposes itself with age. The other-same? The management is the same but the other acts on me, or agitates me if you will. I cannot stand idly by in the face of the world as it is!… I have learned to love it, to listen to it, it must be guided to the best. Start by caring for this Champagne nature so that it gives usits effervescence. Then elevate it to the taste buds to feed the mind. But the other-same, says the father, is also Guillaume, the son… The other-same, for the painter, is’ nt it the principle of figuration?

The Winemaker, portrait of Chrystelle R.

huile sur toile , 100×100 cm Prix2000€ + envoi

Louis Dumont, in his ‘Essays on Individualism,’ shows how the modern Western individual results from a historical process initiated by the renunciation of the world of the early Christians, the founding ‘freedom’ of the individual asserting itself in the rejection of worldly life. Through the centuries and the creation of the ‘universal’ Church and its rejection by the Reformation, the individual becomes increasingly involved in the world until, with Calvin, having nothing else, in predestination and the uncertainty of grace, but this world to impose the Kingdom of God through his will and action. This process inevitably leads to the artificialization of the world since nature, natural law, and any other instance beyond the human tend to disappear in favor of the information project and subsequently the mechanization of reality (cf the transhumanist project). The paradox is that the individual, in the name of his health and happiness, finds himself subjected to the machine, gradually stripped of his freedom and therefore on the verge of disappearance. These were my readings as I painted the portrait of this young woman, of those who today resist the sirens of nature domination to listen to it.