Take a Tour Through François Boucheix’s Surreal Artistic Career
Surrealist painter François Boucheix said the desire for more romantic canvases led him to the “happy” Surrealism revealed by his artwork. In 1965, he abandoned traditional Surrealism and turned his creative energies to a world that was dreamy and colorful. “Success was immediate for me,” he said.
When he was just 14, Boucheix lost his father to a serious illness. At 16, he had to leave his home in a mountain village in the center of France to go work at a restaurant.
“Life was hard,” he said. “In the evenings after work, I would take up my pencils and my first paintbrushes to draw. I desperately wanted to be a painter.” He said he copied the styles of Paul Cézanne and Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec.
During his Naval service in North Africa, Boucheix held his first painting exhibit. Upon his return, for three years he lived at the foot of Mont Blanc and exhibited his work at several galleries.
In 1965, Boucheix’s first exhibit was in Paris alongside Salvador Dali. During their conversations, Dali told him that a painter is never truly recognized unless he opens his own personal museum while he’s alive. “So it was in memory of Salvador Dali that I opened my own museum at the age of 67,” said Boucheix. Musée Boucheix is in Vichy, France.
The painter has painted in the same studio daily for more than 50 years. “Time passes too quickly for me. I’ll never have the time I need to paint all the canvases I have in my memory,” he said. “So I paint the time that passes with clocks all marking a different hour.”
The artist is also taken with scenes ripe with musical imagery. “My son is an opera singer, and I listen to his singing every day while I work in my studio,” he said. “It brings me a great deal of pleasure. “ He said that’s the reason he’s drawn to painting instruments. “Because I can’t paint his voice.”
The artist’s paintings are collected around the world, and in 1990, at the advice of a friend, he began sculpting. He’s since created more than 70 bronze sculptures.
Learn more about François Boucheix in this charming video as he takes his granddaughter Charlotte on a tour through his museum and through his life as an artist:
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