"For a few years, Jean-Claude Gérodez worked either on canvasses prepared using 17th century methods or on unusual kinds of paper. His work saw him explore two themes. One was introspective and primeval, revealing humanity from a range of points of view: physical, psychological, poetic and spiritual, whilst the other aimed to capture everyday life: portraits, landscapes, nudes, etc...
The dynamic creativity of these preliminary drawings and sketches, produced on transparent Oriental paper, initially seemed quite unrelated. However, Gérodez succeeded in combining both these approaches and tempos (urgency and slowness), by pasting certain sketches onto his canvasses or drawings, successfully underlining both their similarities and the importance of his combining them. By adding scale and intensity to the former and signs and symbols to the latter, he was able to refine the underlying meaning and thinking behind his paintings. As they emerged from his works, these languages were combined: the inexpressible was subtly brought to life through the flesh of the colours and the skeleton and nerves formed by the lines. It's all part of his desire to develop a "sort of great, definitive idea".
Jean-Claude Gérodez spent his childhood in the Paris region. Very early on he developed a keen interest in the classical paintings at the Louvre Museum and learned his "trade" by examining the works of the great masters whose technical, philosophical and poetic aspects he carefully explored. Those he met, and part of his studies (particularly with Paul Colin) enabled him to shape and build his artistic identity brick-by-brick before discovering etching at the School of Fine Arts. Poetry, which he sees as the mother of all art forms, has become a key factor in his life.
After setting up home near Avignon in the late 1970s, his writing became as abundant as his painting. Jean-Claude Gérodez masters all artistic techniques including oils, gouache, charcoal, watercolours or pastels, whether on canvas, wood, cardboard or paper. He skilfully adapts his materials to capture a given moment in time.
Despite this, he has a marked preference for oils. He works on old prepared canvases. Indeed, his "raw materials" are an essential part of Jean-Claude Gérodez's work including wood ash, whiting, hide glue, sawdust and marble powder. The artist has a soft spot for these subtly calculated grainy textures.
Fascinated by drawing and etching, Jean-Claude Gérodez incorporates these within his work. His day-to-day, spontaneous and instantaneous sketches take their place within the extended timeframe of his pictures. This superimposition of time makes discovering this artist's work a surprise, offering a genuine artistic "maze" to be explored. Just like a cherished poem, for which we discover a new meaning each time we reread it, Jean-Claude Gérodez's painting does not reveal all its secrets right away but instead should be discovered slowly in order to fully appreciate and understand its many time variations and mysteries.
Jean-Claude Gérodez is the author of numerous collections of poetry, plays, and children's tales, (including in 2006 Le Livre et le baiser published by Editions du Rocher).
He teaches drawing and painting in his workshop in Paris.
In 2007 he wrote "La leçon de peinture" published by Éditions Eyrolles and in November 2009: Le modèle vivant, Nu.
2010: 1/ Le portrait, and: 2/ Cahiers d'exercices (4 books per year) published by Editions Eyrolles.