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Valota’s use of colour is unique in that it is fused with wax, the predominant medium. He paints with the flame of a blowtorch, mastering the fusion of melted matter and pigments to obtain a glowing surface. Wax sets off a very special light to give a sensual, delicate, yet strong depth of colour, as if at the core of matter itself. “It absorbs colours, transcends them and guides me in my search for other hues. Wax is alive, sensual and at the heart of my story”, comments the artist.
For Patrice Valota, painting is what allows him to return to a state of abandon and to reinterpret what he used to see when accompanying his father down the quarries of the family mushroom farm.
Valota was born in Compiègne (Northern France) in 1950. His artistic calling began at the age of 15, after seeing reproductions of works by Georges Rouault and Bernard Buffet. Valota took some gouache, tore a bed sheet apart, grabbed a kitchen knife, his father’s pipe and painted his first picture. His father, of Italian descent, was a mushroom farmer. Valota would accompany him as a young boy and was amazed by the white mushrooms that appeared like magic in the dark ancient quarry. The stone walls, lit only by the flame of a torch, revealed naturally sculpted figures and shapes, setting his imagination alight. These same strong images surged back into his memory, some 30 years later during a visit to Jean Cortot’s atelier. Thus, at the age of 38 he finally decided to become a painter and three years later had his first one-man show at the Lavignes Gallery in Paris.