Light by definition is untamable, elusive and incomprehensible since it changes with each fleeting moment. Like time, it slips through our fingers.
Jean-Claude Quilici’s strength is to have succeeded in giving light a soul, a face. He tamed it in order to reveal its luminous effect, its sensitivity, its secrets and its nuances. Each human’s fate is a strange alchemy where hazards, emotions, doubts, fatalities and reasons are blended. In Jean-Claude’s youth there was, what I would call, an adolescent miracle. His only dream was to become a painter. He was fortunate to grow up in Marseille’s Montmartre, known by the locals as the Lacydon, the city’s heartbeat, where numerous painters had their studios. Among them was the greatest, Pierre Ambrogian,i who, in his warehouse, loft literally “crushed” colours on his huge canvases. 

One day, Jean-Claude had the good fortune to cross the painter’s threshold as he became exalted by the surroudings intoxicating kaleidoscope. It was a shock, a revelation as he left with his pockets filledl with tubes of oil, which were to be used for signing his first paintings. 

While following the master’s footsteps, he shortly began to create his own style, until the day when the caterpillar became the butterfly and flew on his own wings. 

Jean-Claude created for himself a place in the sun by privileging his landscapes with intense luminous partitions. Dissafisfied in restituting what he sees, he searches for the truth hidden behind the mirror. Nevertheless, he notably made incursions, an inroad in the bullfighting characters, which in itself is a hymn to colours.
It is his native town of Marseille, and later in Corsica, island of his family roots, the painter discovered his first true encounter with artistic lights. Soon after, he pursued his yearning in conquering it in Spain, Italy, Greece, Portugal, New Mexico and even in NewYork City.
In certain ways, his travels are reminiscent of Henri Matisse's travels to Ajaccio with his young bride Amelie in February of 1898. Upon arrival, he was fascinated by the imperial city's brilliance. Later he will admit "It is in Ajaccio that I had my first thrill for dazzling colours. What a sudden attraction for the irradiant brightness on colours that guided my artistic endeavors, which made me paint with gusto !". During the next several al months of his stay, fifty-five canvases were stored away. Fauvism was born. It nearly was even labeled "luminism".
Painting for Jean-Claude is a feast, if not a "crie de joie". With his own colours of blues, grays and ochre, he creates an enchantment. It is as if he directly dips his brushes into light. Even his whites take on a radiating hue and a beaming tonality.
Jean-Claude reveals to us that his landscapes are not simply representations of nature. They are in fact deeply reflective of a human context with a deep influence of cultural and nostalgic memory. In their own words, they always narrate a story. Trees as well as boulders, villages as well as meadows, all have a soul, which observation gradually discovers. It is only a matter of knowing how to listen.

With such an accomplishment, Jean-Claude reached th highest status among the institutions of his contemporaries of Provencal painters. If this school, whichwitnessed his evolution, remains the foundation of his works, his painting takes a breath of a universal language. Today, his presence is international, be it in renowned galleries or with private collectors.

Jean-Claude is recognized as a painter of light and that is a dedication.

Jean-René Laplayne

Translation by A.Quilici

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