Arnaud Rochard 


Born in 1986 in Saint Nazaire, lives and works in Brussels and Guérande.
Arnaud Rochard’s paintings are an invitation to a journey that does not hesitate to shake up borders. Hybrid images on content and form. Penetrating these artificial and utopian islands requires taking your time, venturing to discover abundant landscapes straight out of your know-how and your imagination.
From the start, we think of « tapestry », printed fabrics, engraving. The landscape represented is saturated with dense, mysterious vegetation, dotted with clues revealing its complexity. An invitation to blend into this enveloping forest to embark on an enigmatic discovery. Here, no central subject, the painting opens onto depth, perspective has shattered to favor a mural representation, a large window open to infinity. The colored, precious flat spots intrigue, echo and contrast with the black and white of the background. The eyes move. The sketches made from nature have escaped the serial and systematic repetition of traditional engraving. The accident due to chance came to disturb the composition, the unexpected contaminated it, an idea calling another one as in automatic writing. We hesitate between the real and the abstract, always with this feeling of freedom.

For Arnaud, engraving is not an end in itself but a pretext to be visited by color as much as by volumes. The circulation between techniques is exhilarating. The hybridization of engraving by color generates an amazing stroll, an intriguing reading for the viewer. We wander from detail to detail. Sketches inspired by nature are also visited by allusions, quotes present and dear to the imagination of Arnaud. A journey into the history of art.

We go from German engraving to Flemish tapestries, from Gustave Doré to Japanese prints, from Hokusaï or Hiroshige to Nabis from Pont Aven. Gauguin and Van Gogh are not far away. Literature too, we are At the heart of darkness with Conrad and the images of Coppola in Apocalypse now come up. All these references are present, without ostentation, as if the confrontation of the universes buried in his memory returned in this abundant palimpsest and encouraged the gaze to become active and thoughtful.

Arnaud’s universe is both quiet and “untroubled”, restful and maddening. His work is anchored in the landscape as if it were the privileged place of projection into the future taking up this sentence of Lawrence Durrell: « Everything that comes out of me is a landscape. « 

Alain Geffray