Joel Lorand

Joel Lorand statement (translated from the French):

'I was born in Paris, not far from the Eiffel Tower, I don't know who my father was which perhaps explains why I have always had a certain psychological fragility and instability. My mother was a maid to a Parisian family, having left her native Brittany in search of work.

'I started drawing at the age of about 8 or 9 years of age, I don't remember exactly when, but I liked being on my own with just my pencils and blank sheets of paper for company. Later I wanted to go to Art College, but unfortunately this was not possible, however I overcame this setback by choosing to be a patissier, which in fact is a very exciting and creative profession and one which I followed for 19 years from 1978 to 1997.

'During these years I no longer did any drawing and it was then two months before the birth of my son that without any formal training I once again took up my pencils and resumed the creative process; no doubt because I too needed to give birth to something.

'To start with it was merely a hobby, just for my own pleasure but then things began to change. I would draw after I finished my day's work, completely taken over by the need to create. It was vital that I become 'an artist' so that there would be something of me left behind after my demise.

'So I decided to leave not only my job but also Paris and go to live in the country with my little family. All was well until I met a local artist, a teacher at the Art College in Le Mans, who upon seeing my work criticised it mercilessly which led to a severe depression through the years 2000 and 2001. Medical treatment followed, anti-depressants and anti-psychotics, folowed by the destruction of much of my work. After this episode I started from scratch and began to produce the drawings that you know.

'Who am I? certainly someone fragile, deeply melancholic; cheerful one day dejected the next, sometimes even aggressive towards people. However usually I am a pleasant enough person but somewhat anti-social when faced with too many people, when I feel ill at ease and become awkward and extremely shy.

'In fact even as a teenager I had panic attacks when in a crowd and I was then taking anti-depressants.

'I have always been attracted to anything strange; my mother tells me even as a child I was drawn to those on the fringe of society, tramps misfits etc., and from childhood I have always loved the atmosphere in cemeteries, that gentle silence of death and all those errant phantoms.

'I truly believe that a superior power has given me a real force which all true artists possess, a force which can influence matter making it pass from the invisible world to the visible world. A metaphysical force between the dead and the living. It is like drug and one cannot escape unscathed.

'I once asked a psychoanalyst who had bought one of my paintings if he thought that I was mad. He replied that I was not mad but that I had simply opened a door in my subconscious, perhaps the famous doors of perception? Whatever happens I shall go to the end of my quest.'

The artist's work was also recently showcased in the publication 'Creation Franche'. His work will be displayed in a exhibition of French Art Brut at Gugging in June and July of 2011.

Additional works by this artist may be available upon request. Please CONTACT Henry Boxer to receive an up-to-date list of available works by this artist.