Med Bachir Bouchriha

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Natures mortes

.:: Dive in his universe !

An exclusive interview

Figurative painter

Artabus : Your beginnings, what was the click, what incited you to paint ?
Med-Bachir : Unique son of a modest family of Constantine. Child, I already had this taste of the liberty and the desire to go at the end of my dreams. Mine was to become painter. I drew everything that to pass me under the eyes, I invented all sorts of objects. In my solitude, I felt the need to run away me in an imaginary world.
The years passed and I didn't desist some. Teenager I had luck, thanks to the precious assistance of my drawing professor to the technical college, my entry in the school of fine arts of Constantine, and to meet leading R.M.Debat and professor of the school, who marked my painter's existence. Then of the studies to the institute of the geodesic sciences, what was necessary to cling to leave the, finally, Geometer of the land-registry.
Thanks to my faculty to force luck, that I could drive this double career by dint of work and stubbornness.
One doesn't decide one day, to be a painter. One carries the painting in itself.

Artabus : What are your references, who are your masters ?
Med-Bachir : The Italian rebirth, the Orientalists. Later, I went to Paris. I have been moved very before the pictures of the Impressionists. It was also the discovery of expressionism abstracts that shocked me a lot and depressed in the beginning. But the important for me, was to see the more of possible painting, to digest it. The company of the museums is unavoidable for that likes the painting.
My master: Roger Marius Débat: (Constantine: June 26, 1906 - The Napoule: Alpes-Maritimes 1966). I dedicated ten years of my life by this master. I learned everything while looking at it to paint. He/it taught me the drawing, the perspective, the composition according to nature, all the laws of the color and the effects of matter. It is his that I owe the education of my eye. I accepted his/her/its requirements and his/her/its incorruptibility concerning work. Together we planted our racks before the monument to the deaths, the bridges… The transmission was himself inheritance of light, of sensitivity to the clear colors to capture the instant. The beginnings were difficult I confess it, because I lacked audacity, but, I ended up daring some gestures after having seen it making it. After oneself must find his/her/its own vocabulary. But a lot of will is necessary and of courage for it.
The painting is a pleasure, when all comes very quickly.

Artabus : Do you consider Constantine as the foundation of your painting ?
Med-Bachir : Constantine is my big inspirer. I feel in symbiosis with her and fully impregnate of it to me and completely.
Constantine, my native city, or "Cirta", the ancient city, that marked during millennia the history of the humanity. It contributed to the enrichment of the universal heritage by its historic depth in its dimension. Real crossroads of the mediterraneans civilizations marked by the print of the Numides, Romans, Byzantine, Arab-Islamic, Ottomans and the arrival of the French in 1837, that will print him an European seal.
Located on the top of a rock, "a nest of eagle". It offers itself in natural museum, embellished of master hand on a bottom of historic and architectural vestiges that melts of an "exceptional human work".
My interior peace finds an echo in the depths of its throats, the swash of the Rummel, the gracious passage of a pigeon couple, above the summit of the majestic bridge «Sidi M cid. » It is there that I draw my topics, to show this desire to seize, the impalpable, from life the fleeting light and to impregnate the work painted of the air subtlety while inspiring to him the palpitations of life. Air, water, the sky, the rock and light hold a major place on the set of canvases exposed.

.:: Thiers street

Discover it in
the artist's gallery

Artabus : Technically how are achieved your works : there, according to photo or according to your imagination ?
Med-Bachir : A topic doesn't treat itself according to photo! Because the photo is in a way already a translation of the real, it summarizes the topic by plot in a few thousands of points of color. The painter cannot be content with it, it would be a renounciation to his artist's vocation that consists in interpreting and to filter the real, but the photo will possibly serve to us recalled a few small details and stereotyped them of memo in case of oblivion.
Yes! I work there and of imagination. My gait is enough close to the one of the impressionists and then, work in outside pleases me a lot by what the topic is approached directly in a spontaneous and fleeting manner. My sketches are always executed to the watercolors on the paper "Ark" of A3 format.
The watercolors is a good medium. Yes, associated to water, it becomes capricious, unsteady, some times surprise unforeseeable. With the pigment, water makes what it wants. The subtlety, of the speed in the execution, is necessary.
In fact, the technique of the watercolors is like the sketch it is its complementary especially as the drawing represents the half of work. The rest represents two third of observation and a third of execution. The mastery of the colors to the watercolors permits advantage of liberty in the expression and one can go farther in the audacity and cannot ask outside for any special material for the transportation.
Done arrive once there, do I make a tour of horizon, do I watch, do I center my topic mentally and me only can fixed the choice of the instant... The reason to be the art, isn't it to choose ? Then I get settled in position of meditation and the magic of the instant operates. In full air before the site, I feel a sort of symbiosis to contacts it of this so pure and mysterious nature. The values. Beauty, this vividness that exalts, impresses, and that emotional, as if one listened to the music of J-Sebastian Bach, so mystical and spiritual. I feel then very creative; these are these moments of grace that I look for to transmit.
By a drawing very constructs, I fix the lines the masses and the accidents of the landscape, in the beginning by improvisation, the whole structure is there, once in my shop. Begin the dialogue then with the white surface, it is a period of growth : I listen myself; I become my own spectator, my own judge.
And the eyes filled of the vision of the site they don't forget anything anymore of it, because the picture is fixed on the retina, I recreated what I saw through the emotion that continues in me transposing according to my feeling of the just tones marking the effects of initiator light of the values and that give to the work its skin: The brightness, the mat, the smooth, the rough... Without forgettingits corollary, the bluish shade that indicates the reports of the values.

.:: War memorial

Artabus : By what magic do you manage to give life to your pictures that invite to travel ?
Med-Bachir : I paint according to the inspiration, the reflection, the mood of the moment, that my memory restraint in term of of the nature : The space and light.
There is no recipe to make a beautiful painting : it is necessary to make some veiled the secret. The painting said, Delacroix: "It is the art to produce the illusion" that is well true. To produce the illusion of the real in painting, it requires skill. The technique proves to be necessary. All is required of the painter, nothing must remain foreign: Mastery of the perspectives, of the values, of the colors, knowledge of the composition etc...
When the machine of the profession is broken in, it is necessary to privilege the path of the sensitivity and the mind. Because, the subjective spontaneity is not contradictory with the technical acquirements. It implies a reflection on the color and the gestures that put them, in order to control the part of the luck. The experience increases the moments of meditations and execution. Otherwise - says: The drawing is a first analysis, the setting up of the colors and values, it is another. This last is then determining that it controls the colourful harmony. The goal it is to manage to decompose the sketch (achieved outside) then to clarify its work, otherwise one risk to get lost, because the passage of the watercolors to the oil painting proves to be difficult. When I work, the time doesn't count anymore, it often happened to me to remain three to four months on a same canvas. My painting takes of the time, to finish it is always a struggle against the time, and one trust this struggle.
It is a delicate process that procures the pleasure, of the escape, the imagination and the dream, that will guide me with the wish always renewed to see to clear itself this something that looks like the artist's soul, like a breath of poetry.

Artabus : Are we all able to paint ?
Med-Bachir : No, I don't think so. I even think that the true painters are rare, contrary to what most think; The painting is not an entertainment, it is a choice to accept a long, laborious initiation, often off-putting, but always passionately healthy and fertile, to convert to the religion of the sublime beauty of the shapes and the colors of the world, that gives to the true painters the whole sense of their life. The painting it is first a profession, then, a strong personality, but it is this last that transcends the profession. But, when one doesn't have a profession, one is naive. Is it again necessary to have both ? One can always take some courses... But he won't necessarily become a big artist for as much. It is as to the school, the pupil learns a lot of things. Most will never serve to him, but the acquirement of his notions allows him to be free and give him the means to motivate his options. Not to make some things by choice, and no for lack of profession.
The line and the color always remained rebels to the reflex that will make them put precisely as the mind sees them. It is this reflex that it is necessary to get to be sincere. The sincerity being an essential condition, his reflex will be the talent.

.:: The way

Artabus : According to many opinions you make the unanimity, how do you manage your success ?
Med-Bachir : I confess that it delighted me, reassure myself, encourage myself and permits me also to go again farther. I am of those that get in questions to every canvas, forbidding me the easy success or to all price, believe me, I am very demanding towards myself. I always have the stage fright owing a white canvas; it is hard, because, I don't have the satisfaction of the things, nor the feeling to know. It is true that I express myself through a set of plastic elements and signs emanating a mood at a time sensitive and emotional, but it never stops from questioning this again I have make. My esteem goes toward the painters daring to get back in questions to every canvas. I am an artist, an idealist. I see life with realism and only to dream facing my work.

Artabus : What are the next steps for your artistic career ?
Med-Bachir : « Ars longa vita brevis » (the art is long, life is brief) says : the Roman adage. Since more of thirty years of painting, of sculpture... I had several experiences and tendencies. As much work year, of research. As many tentative. But I never stopped to learn, to acquire the professions, that wants to say: the indispensable experience to really make all things and to accumulate the knowledge and the techniques.
For me, the most important is to create a world in which happen a lot of things. When one has the technique, a style, one is able all to make, the index becomes infinite. And my ambition is to make always, something honest.

Artabus : What can you tell us about your palette and the products used for your paintings ?
Med-Bachir : Permit me first to tell you that a picture is a sculpture in bas-relief. All trace of brush on its surface hangs light like a jewel. But if this trace disappears, there is no more light.
Of course, that I am implied, because I know, as everybody : with time varnishes yellow by oxidization, the bruises turn to the green, the reds turn to the orange and that the whites yellow... the enemies of the painting are known: Smoke, the humidity, mildews, tobacco, all steams and the discerning odors. The quality of matter used, the ignorance of the chemical reactions between the colors, are the most current reasons of self-destruction of the pictures.
Only the mineral colors are strong for most, and not passing to light. And today's chemistry reconstituted some of it produces some replacement because of their rarity and their elevated price (Lapis lazuli: ultramarine. Cinnabar: vermilion)...
My basic palette is composed: Of the money white, Yellow of cadmium, yellow and red Ocher, Earth of his natural and burnt, Green emerald, ultramarine and cobalt, vermillion Red, and finally the lacquer of madder: the only plant color on my palette, fine and very strong; it serves for the glazes.
I prepare myself two types of medium: the first compound of oil of oeillette, of turpentine and a drop of siccative. It is a more dilute medium, is elaborated for the first layers. The second: composed of oil of linen clarified of turpentine and a drop of varnish to the dammar. This medium enriches and deepens the painting, especially in the shaded zones.
Every brush corresponds to a surface, to a key. The flexible of the squares of the circles of the long of the ends exists... red marten and mongoose. I use the colors "Le franc&Bourgeois" or "Windsor&newton" And the Rafael brushes. That, to my point of view, is of good qualities. I always work on the canvas of linen or on the centrefolds of 20/10°, good for work to the knife.

.:: Meharists

See this painting
in the artist's gallery

.:: Choosing colors

Artabus : Last but not least...
Med-Bachir : It is TRUE, that we are in the century of technologies. The techniques and matters used in the industry of the synthetic colors are numerous and multiple.
It is AS TRULY, that one can achieve a picture very well, some that either its theme, with a good or bad matter, according to a good or a bad use. But if this picture is achieved with good products according to an use in conformity with their nature.
It will be EVEN TRUE, that the future generations will have the pleasure and joy again to contemplate it, instead of having the satisfaction only to possess a signature.

© All of the images on this website are copyrighted original artworks by their author and are protected by international copyright law. No materials in this gallery may be reproduced, copied, downloaded, or used in any form without written permission of the contemporary artist Med Bachir Bouchriha.
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