"Poetry is about calmly releasing your pen deep inside yourself to put words to the images you find there. Painting is the opposite.
Christophe de Fierlant
Short interview with Christophe de Fierlant, artist and poet that you will have the great chance to meet on the stand of This is Not belgium during the Affordable Art Fair that will take place from 23 to 27 March in Tour et Taxis, Brussels.
In a few words Christophe, who are you?
I am a painter and poet. I have been writing and painting since I was a teenager. After living a thousand lives, the sky fell on my head seven years ago. At the bottom of the well, I completely question myself and decide to do nothing but paint and write, transforming the negative into positive. I am now an artistic jack-of-all-trades who wants to colour people's lives.
And now, as the editor of the interview, I can't resist sharing with you a small photo taken by the great and generous photographer, Patrick Bya, who is also present on the site of this is not belgium and which perfectly illustrates how Christophe colours people's lives.... By the way, all the photos that illustrate this article were taken by Patrick Bya.
When and how did you get into your art?
In college, studying the classical Greek poets for writing, and Fauvism for painting. I have never stopped since.
What does this discipline bring you?
Art is a kind of medicine for me. I really need it to continue being myself. My whole life is permeated by art in all its forms. I couldn't do without it.
What makes your art unique?
The uniqueness of my art is that it mixes two: poetry and writing. One cannot go without the other. Every painting, apart from a few special commissions, has its origin in a poem that I have written, and this poem can be found, in whole or in part, in the work.
What qualities do you think are important for an artist?
Not to lie to yourself and to draw your energy from your guts. The rest is bullshit.
What do you think is special about a Belgian artist?
Belgium, at the crossroads of Europe, has always been a fertile ground for artists. The mix of populations from which we result has given us a whole and "offbeat" side. We don't beat about the bush and we have a healthy touch of madness. That's what characterises us and I'm very proud to be Belgian!
If we start with the definition of R. Magritte who says that "to be surrealist is to banish from the mind the already seen and to seek the not yet seen", you are in the middle of surrealism. What is surrealism for you?
For me, surrealism today is being yourself by being different.
Why is surrealism important?
In Belgium, we all have a little bit of Magritte hidden in us nowadays. Some more than others, of course. And this dark side that enlightens us is very important for me: it brings freshness to our work.
What do you like about Belgium that you can't find anywhere else?
In art as in life in general, it is of course the "Belgian attitude", which our foreign friends love so much. The Belgian is "too cool"!