My name is Grègór Belibi Minya, I am French of Cameroonian and Hungarian origin. I was born near the sea in Normandy, France, and I currently live under a mountain in Ain. I'm in relationships but I live alone in an old 19th century apartment, with a piano and a cat called Ludivine.

“Un oiseau solitaire doit remplir cinq conditions: d’abord, voler au plus haut; ensuite, ne point tolérer de compagnie, même celle des siens; puis pointer le bec vers les cieux, et ne pas avoir de couleur définie, enfin, chanter très doucement.” Saint jean de La Croix, Les dits de lumière et d’amour, XVI siècle.  




Tell us your story, how did you come to painting? My personal story is a myth. I'll be short but my parents raised me in a very special and out of the world way. My artistic work began when the choice to extract myself from this environment to become free was obvious. It was at this time that color and the self-taught piano became my modes of thinking, and therefore of expressing myself. But my story began long before me with my Cameroonian and Hungarian roots, in particular my grandfather Ferenc Jànossy, he was a rebel Hungarian painter and friend of Béla Tarr.

How would you define your current painting? My work is my hope for humanity. It is a painting that wants to be free. I work with light through color, whether in painting or in music.

Tell us about your style and technique. Any secret that can be told? My style has always been very dynamic and energetic, now it becomes clean and airy. Before I liked to mix techniques, but it made my testimony anecdotal and superficial. At the moment, I am particularly fond of working with oil paints. The Oil is a wonderful guide to light.   

How do you usually start your paintings? With a sketch, a draft or is it just an improvisation? I almost always start with music. Through the sound vibrations of the piano, I become aware of my interior landscapes, in order to feel the colors and understand the emotional spatial dynamics wishing to express themselves in my heart.

Then I draw a lot, and I continue to question and understand, to do substantive work by intellectualizing the hand on paper. Then finally I build and prepare my frames by hand. I still work in series, exploring this vital momentum until my consciousness becomes a little quieter, having learned and understood a few basic things.

Music, drawing and painting are three complementary ways of working, which interpenetrate and exchange information continuously.

What are your motivation forces? And the artists who have been and are an influence for you? Hope is the first of my motivations. This Hope is transformed into Energy, into matter. Then this matter returns in movement and in Balance in my works. This process influences me in the first place. When I was a kid, I was strongly influenced of my parents musical taste. Sacred music with my mother, and rhythmic music with my father. I find in the work of Beethoven, Stravinsky and Arvo Part much of this parental mixture. As a teenager, I looked a lot at Color, Space and Time, in the paintings of Rembrandt, Kandinsky, Matisse and even Hantaï.

Electronic music also influences me a lot of course, the works of Aphex Twin, Jackson Fourgeaud, as well as Daft Punk are a source of influence and interesting breeding grounds. The poetry of Roberto Juarroz also takes more and more place in my heart.

What can you tell us about your studio, what kind of place is it? The workshop is located on the side of a mountain, on the edge of the forest in an old school classroom. This workshop is a sacred temple where the atmosphere is good for creating, for dancing, sometimes also for crying. I believe that the workplace has a great influence on creation, I like always favor a calm, peaceful and spacious workplace.

What is art for you? To be honest, I don't really know what Art is. I understand the results of Art because they are phenomenological, as Bachelard theorizes, but its genesis is as inextricable as the mystery of life. I do Art because I have to do it, but I don't know why I have to do it. In this I consider it sacred. First of all, I could say that Art is the first manifestation of the human miracle, of being able to transmit to humanity its earthly experience through matter. Art is Energy. An extraordinary means of liberation for the spirit and of setting free anyone who might taste it. Understanding Art is like trying to apprehend the grandeur of the Universe: We can only feel the immensity of what surrounds us, without grasping its meaning, because ultimately, there is nothing to understand, just to feel. Art is the metaphor for the miracle of Earthly Life.

Photos by: Grègpr Belibi | Valérie Eymeric Gallery, Lyon.
Instagram. @gregor.belibi.minya


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