The Spirit of Matadors

Christian GAILLARD
19 May - 04 Jun 2005
Hong Kong


Connoisseur Art Gallery is proud to present "The Spirit of Matadors", a solo exhibition of French master artist Christian GAILLARD and his inaugural show in Asia.

Renowned for his ambitious works on bullfighting and its association with bravery, GAILLARD has made a name for himself and gained public acclaim with portraits of some of the greatest living Matadors, many of whom are his personal friends. GAILLARD displays a figurative realist style that is vigorous and dexterously conveys the spirit of these Matadors to the audience. The Matadors depicted in his paintings are composed and dignified, usually wearing richly and brilliantly coloured outfits, also known as "Traje de Luz" or "The Suit of Light", set against a shadowy beam and faded background. GAILLARD frequently paints his Matadors from behind in their suits of light, not revealing their facial expressions, yet one senses the apprehension and the immense courage of the Matadors as they prepare for the battles. The classical serenity of these portraits and how gracefully their postures are, juxtaposed with the understanding of ferocity and valour of a bullfight.

GAILLARD? breathtaking painting technique brings 16th century master painter Diego Velazquez to mind. He has been deeply influenced by Velazquez since he was a child, and he was inspired to paint portraits as a visual phenomenon just as Velazquez did. He has great skill in merging colour, light, space and rhythm of line. He also has a deep sense of appreciation and connection with each of the characters he painted. His works are powerful yet delicate, and he gives life into every piece of work that he creates.

Christian GAILLARD was born in Avignon, France in 1951. He earned several diplomas from Ecole Nationale des Arts Decoratifs. GAILLARD began his career as an illustrator in 1973, working for some of France's most prestigious advertising agencies, his works have also graced the covers of many prominent magazines such as Le Monde de la Musique, L'xpress and Le Point. In 1982, GAILLARD was awarded ?llustrator of the Year? by Mecanorma (The Academy of Graphic Design). He has also received numerous honours including Award Winner at the invitation-only Salon de la Marine Exhibition, and 1st Prize Winner at Real Maestranza de Caballeria de Sevilla, Grand Prix de Peinture, presented by S.A.R. Don Juan de Bourbon. In 2002, he painted the portrait titled "Profile of Courage" which was in memory of fire fighters who perished at the terrorist attacks on September 11th. The painting was presented to the Fire Department of New York City, under the authority of the President of France, the Brigade de Sapeurs-Pompiers de Paris. GAILLARD currently spends his time between Paris and southern France.