Between Permanence and Transcience

Luis Porquet, art critic

In the beginning was the line. Once etched into space, it gradually gave Man a base, an anchorage in the complex reality and changing world in which he was evolving. For Laurent Bousquet, it became an ally very early on because, even as a young child, he practiced drawing with visible delight. Years later, having become an architect, he had to sacrifice his passion for a profession that left him with little leisure time. It was in 2006 that a chance encounter triggered his return to his very first love, which had taken a back seat for too long due to the heavy time constraints of his career. The meeting might well seem by-the-by had it not been the moment when things just clicked. An Englishman whom Laurent Bousquet met one fine day inspired him with one simple rule: Oblige yourself to produce a drawing every day. The unexpected acquaintance’s advice bore lasting fruit. Laurent decided to make it his own code of conduct. The years that followed revealed he was capable of upholding his commitment without dreaming of lowering his guard. One after the other, thousands of drawings successively came into being, with unfailing regularity. Never did the man renounce the principle that he had made his creed.

The asceticism that the artist had decided to follow gave him a new sense of balance and rediscovered well-being. One could say that it was providential stress relief. The rigour that Laurent Bousquet had acquired in his job undeniably helped him to keep his promise. Drawing from live models and all that surrounds him and blows in the wind, Laurent Bousquet never goes anywhere without a sketchbook. Yet he also finds his delight in his garden. Whilst the human body and its shapes inspire him, trees are his favourite theme. In them, he sees an echo of human fates. Set between earth and sky, trees appear as emblematic forms that mirror the seasons and stages in life. He considers every one as a reflection of his emotions, questions and innate sensuality, subtly weaving bonds between the elements, whose rhythms and movements he interprets and breaks down, as would a musician. A piece of bark will remind him of skin as it transforms over time, bearing the scars and marks of time. All this is only very natural. For the artist, a palm tree becomes a subject for meditation, and a trunk or rock assumes sentimental value.

Without ever being cold, Laurent Bousquet’s drawings are of a photographic precision that is by no means lacking in lyricism, for he confers them with that vital dose of sensitivity and poeticness that makes all the difference. His portraits and nudes are of remarkable workmanship, as though they reveal a part of their innermost secret to the observer’s eye. It is rare for a mere drawing to attain such expressive power. “We are amazing receptacles,” he says as he contemplates his countless drawings, some of which are treated in the form of sequences, as though to better underline the echo that each subject finds in him.

©2016 - Laurent BOUSQUET - Tous droits réservés