VISIONARY REVUE


VR - When you say 'from the imagination', that happened while you were drawing, or it came to you before..?
FUCHS - Oh - ask somebody hypnotized: when did the experience start and what happened during it... (laughter)
VR - OK...
FUCHS - That's something that remains quite obscure, because... it's like dreaming: the dreamer cannot change his dreams. Maybe he can remember what he dreamt. But he doesn't really know what it means. It's another language - a language that comes to him. He doesn't make it up. Instead, it is made up. Well, that's what I think the source of visionary art is, or imaginary art.

"... art is the discovery of all the artists who have come before you... and that, they are in you... so you have to revive them. This resurrection of the arts goes on, I think, from generation to generation...."


VR - You said 'imaginary or visionary art'... Do you make a distinction between what's called Fantastic art and what's now called Visionary art?
FUCHS - Not really. This is due to different countries and what, in their language, the word 'fantastic' means. 'Fantastic' in English does not necessarily mean something visionary or 'fantasiste' as we would say in French. It's hard because so many different artists could be recognized as belonging to this kind of art, and they live in different centuries.
VR - You've had the project of a museum of fantastic art for quite some time. What do you imagine that museum would be? What would it bring together?
EF - Well, I participated in an exhibition in Venice, showing over a thousand paintings by artists from all over the world. And it showed us how many different aspects there are to it. So, you couldn't possibly say already what such a museum would be like. It's a process that will have to pass through many stages, and will no doubt change constantly. The generations that I have seen, and to which I belong, have already made great changes in our understanding of the Pre-Raphaelites, and the Surrealists... All of these movements have a different value from the time when I started out as a painter, say 1945...



 
 
 


PARIS - SPRING 2004


VR - You keep moving forward artistically. What is it that fascinates you now about painting?
FUCHS - Well - to be honest, I don't know how to do anything else... (laughter). So, I try doing this - which is something I thought I could do - but is really something I can't... (more laughter)
VR - Don't you find yourself being drawn more towards certain subjects now? Or going back to your past?
FUCHS - It's more like what I already said - like going to bed and saying 'I want to dream about being in Calcutta'. But then, you wake up and realize, 'I didn't dream anything.' At least, nothing about Calcutta! Then suddenly, you have this urge to do some work, and it becomes a kind of mania, or obsession. You get obsessed with a painting that you saw once, from another painter... so you start.
      You know, the way I understand it, art is also the discovery of all the artists who have come before you... and that, they are in you... so you have to revive them. This resurrection of the arts goes on, I think, from generation to generation. If you think of Michealangelo, when he saw the Laocoon, he didn't see an old piece of greek sculpture. He saw his own art, on an eternal level. And immediately, he could give expression to it in such a way that even the Greeks, as the originator of that style, would have respected it.

"...The artist responds to something that he is. It awakens, and comes to life - by looking at art..."


VR - The work had evoked something in him.
FUCHS - Yes. The artist responds to something that he is. It awakens, and comes to life - by looking at art. And that's what I think has been very important in all the periods that I've passed through. I know what inspired me. I even know what I wanted to repeat - just to see if I was good enough. It becomes a kind of 'conjuring', if you will. You see somebody doing a trick, and you have no idea how he did it. You stand in front of a painting and wonder: how did he do that? And then you go home and you try and you try. And suddenly - you got it! That's really something - to discover an artist who was living maybe centuries before you, by doing what he was able to do.

 
 
 


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