1928 - 1991
Venetian, Tropezian Aixois
I'am Venetian, Tropezian and Aixois. I am a mediterranean with three latin towns as my shared birthplace.
The protection of the lion of St Mark the Evangelist, the seal of King René, protector of the arts, and the faithful dog who accompanied Saint Tropez have all bestowed their blessings upon me. Dreaming in reverie on the barge of our patron saint on his way from Pisa, I have been able to cross the Adriatic at will in order to better capture the skies over my head and replicate their limpidity on cork.
My life, a constant battle against the visible and invisible enemy, has always been full of waves, sometimes stormy, sometimes gentle; my raft has been guided by sirens and sea tritons, and neither the giant octopus of Arrouye, nor the last black crow of the other Vincent crossing my path can blot out the blue and pink hue of hope that hovers over the summits of my beloved Sainte Victoire.
After having studied Titian, Canaletto, Guardi.....Signac, Bonnard, Matisse, Cézanne, I was able to find a language that could translate my feelings under these three skies. Today, Saint-Tropez gives me its sharp palette of colours reminiscent of the English sweets of my childhood. As I crush the pigments with the pestle in my mortar, I sketch out in broad strokes diagonal, vertical and horizontal sweeps as I listen to Mozart.
As Saint Francis of Assissi said "Every day is beautiful but in a different way" and I capture the variants of nature that change all the time.
I came to Saint-Tropez to live, to paint (may God forgive this pleonasm) and to be loved, and if one is never sure whether one has succeeded, it was good to receive one day this little note from the mayor of my town: "My dear Vincent, I wish you a very happy 1985 and thank you so much for being in Saint Tropez and giving it a part of yourself so fitting to the site, its history and its spirit."
I think that his words convey the thoughts of my Saint Tropez friends with whom I rub shoulders every day when I buy my wine, my olives, my goat's cheese and my shimmering fish, and I return the compliment with a kiss and a complicit wink from the corner of my eye.
Vincent ROUX, 1985