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  Jean-Daniel
Boward

Jean-Daniel Bouvard's work is all about composition. He is an artist who creates his imagery with infinite precision, tempered with a gentle soul. To avoid being "a slave to the subject," Bouvard prefers to forget the actual topic at hand to seek inspiration from the laws of composition. When one looks at a Bouvard painting, the artist wants him or her to feel good, to feel the equilibrium and the harmony, and to purify the subject as much as possible. "The subject doesn 't matter," claims Bouvard, "what does is light, shadow, mood, ambiance; and imagining what is beyond the painting."

Jean-Daniel Bouvard was bom in 1957 in Saint-Etienne, France, where he spent most of his childhood. His talent and temperament were evident early on, when as a young boy he loved to draw and paint. He moved to Paris in 1976, where he pursued architectural studies until 1980. "My training in architecture provided me with a very strong understanding of space, the structure of a painting, and what to me is the most important thing-light. I learned about the laws of harmony, color and perspective, and the combination of light and shadow to create moods." It is a mood, then, rather than a particular place, which comprises the settings for Bouvard's works. The ambiance or atmosphere is far more important to Bouvard than the phyical location.

Bouvard's colors are subdued and muted; his sentimental lines flow without being cloy. Be it a pristine vista of the sea or a corporeal construction of an everyday scene, Jean-Daniel's work is healing in its rendition of the subject matter. He often paints squares because he likes to paint ordinary things, yet what's not in the painting is very important in the work as well. Through his canvases, the imagination travels to a private destination - a place that has been experienced differently in the heart of each individual. Bouvard is attracted to the sun and to the south, primarily because of the shadows, the strong lights, the heat, and the humidity of the air. "You can feel the atmosphere," he says. In all of his paintings the water is close. If the sea is not in the background the viewer will feel its presence. His figures are often in the shadows or with their backs turned, creating a hint of mystery. This, says the artist, allows observers to sometimes recognize themselves in the picture - "/ like to reveal certain things and hide others, to preserve intimacy."

As soft-spoken as his paintings, Bouvard tries to promote peace in his works and refrains from any form of aggression. He likes to paint the moment in its fragility - when everything is where it should be - when nothing will change or collapse. Very curious, Bouvard loves to discover things. He is always seeking inspiration and looking for new visions. He cites certain influences, notably Hopper, whom he considers somewhat of a mentor. "/ love the silent painters, " he says. When not painting, he is thinking of his next subject or next painting, or he is discussing art with his many artist friends. As his works clearly reflect, Jean-Daniel Bouvard loves the beauty of life and disdains the vulgar.


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