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ARTISTS / Artist of the day : Yash Godebski

Artothèque Sud presents you the interview of a painter from Nîmes:

Mister Yash Godebski.

Can you give us a brief presentation of yourself and your background?

- I have always been passionate about drawing.

I come from a family of artists, my grandfather was a painter and my father was a sculptor.

I have been drawing for as long as I can remember.

I studied graphic design in Paris.

What working technique do you use in each of your works, do your creations emanate from your imagination or do you paint in front of a model?

- I paint without a model, it is purely imaginary.

There is a lot of preparation on the drawings, for example knowing how I will compose the image.

My thing is to make an image with an interesting composition by working on perspectives and light effects.

It's a research work, a search for the perfect image or an image that, more or less, could come close to perfection.

Can you explain your way of working? Do you create a canvas from memory? Or do you go to particular places? Do you make sketches at that time?

- When I go for a walk, it gives me emotions that I try to transcribe through my paintings.

During my walk I think about trying to work on a particular reflection or light that is reflected, details that people don't usually pay attention to, details that I emphasize.

We often talk about light, is that what marks you most often?

- Light, light effects but it can also be perspectives or alignments.

So it's not necessarily an atmosphere?

- It can be an atmosphere like for example spots of light which will give a fresh and warm side, I try to retranscribe these emotions.

I also have other subjects like urbanism with which I work much more on perspectives.

It's a different atmosphere so different processes.

One day you said an interesting sentence: "I draw what people see but don't look at".

- People probably see the same thing I do but they just don't pay attention.

How do you draw attention to a detail that is not perceptible to people with a particular angle of view?

- I could do it in photography but people pay more attention to the process of painting compared to a photographic snapshot, photos that can be taken by chance, in painting it can't be chance, it is constructed.

Where does this sensitivity to light that most people don't have come from?

- I try to work with all kinds of light, there are paintings in which I work with neon light, for example.

I try to explore all possible plays of light, it can be quite strong sunlight which gives quite powerful contrasts but I can also work with night lights.

It's light that changes environment.

Can you tell us about framing you choose?

- It's a graphic interest in relation to composition, for example when I work on square formats, the picture must correspond to the format, I don't align myself with square and it's often askew (laughs).

What are your different production tools for most of your work?

- Canvas, brush, paint and easel. Very classic, kind of old school. (laughs)

Do you only paint this way or do you sometimes change your method?

- No, that's the way I'm most comfortable.

Do you have any artists right now that influence, motivate or inspire you?

- I'm not inspired by any one artist in particular, usually artists like me don't make masterpieces on the first try, it's a long process of research.

There are many artists I like.

I am often told about Edward Hopper but he has never been a role model for me.

I share the same technique of framing, staging and atmosphere.

He doesn't paint action but "suspended" moments, which is what I find in my paintings.

You used to paint characters before, less so now, why?

- I used to do a lot of characters in the past in a comic book style but as time goes by, I tend to make them disappear and replace them with architecture or urban atmospheres.

What advice would you give to young artists who want to turn their passion into a profession?

- To be inspired, to see and reproduce work of different artists is a very good thing in the learning process. I think you have to find your own style and have your own point of view.

How do you proceed when making your paintings, do you start working on one canvas and then move on to another?

- No, I usually complete a painting in its entirety before moving on to another.

On average, how much time do you spend on the realization of a work?

- It is difficult to estimate because each painting has its own specificities of composition and light. I can spend ten days working on a drawing without ever finalizing it or on the contrary I can finish a painting quite quickly.

When you make a painting, does it correspond exactly to what you had in mind?

- No, it never looks like what I imagined at the beginning and I still try to get as close as possible. To me it's like remembering your dreams, it's not easy.

Do you think that the artists in your family have passed on this passion for drawing to you?

- Yes, for sure.

Since I was a child, I was influenced by my father and my grandfather but also by comic strip artists such as Moebius, Nicolas de Crécy and Franquin to name a few.

Can you explain us the difficulty of being an artist but also a professional?

- It seems to me that professionalism is above all knowing how to produce a coherent work.

There are artists who produce such a variety of work that it can be complicated to differentiate one work from another.

Throughout your career you have had a multitude of exhibitions, last one took place at Espace 14 during the month of November in Nîmes, do you have any upcoming exhibition dates?

- Yes, next exhibition will be at the town hall of Saint-Laurent-d'Aigouze at end of June.

It is a village where I am used to working and exhibiting my work.

Last project is quite interesting, it is a triptych of five meters by three with which I have worked for about ten years. Each year I modify or add details as I go along, it is a kind of evolving canvas.


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