“You use oil paint in a non-traditional way until it becomes a material. The material of a ruined wall, the material of painting…”
“It took me a long time to manage to find my style and my energy with oil painting. My studio is a research laboratory. I’m convinced that there are colors that don’t exist, that the eye can’t see. You may think I’m crazy, but I’m convinced.
And the oil’s brought a new luminosity to my work. Unlike many artists who use oil paint, I don’t try to do the old style like Rubens or Rembrandt. I paint with the same mentality as in the 1980s’, when I threw liters of paint on the trains, as if money wasn’t a problem. I was stealing my paint, especially acrylic since spray paint was very closely monitored. Even today, I throw the paint on the canvas. It’s almost a waste, it’s painting of our time ! The violence of these colors is also joyful, it’s 100 miles an hour, it’s my life.
My paintings have long been very flat and graphic, but recently, I’ve added a lot of textures. I see both the walls of the cities and the strength of painting. I like to touch my paintings with my hands, to caress them. I’ve always dreamed of making paintings for the blind : paintings that can be touched and felt. And, I like the smell of the oil.”
Interview of JonOne with Hugo Vitrani – Extract of the text drafted for the catalog of the exhibition The Empire of the signatures (Clement Foundation, Martinique, 2017)