Encephalogramme De La Mer | Miquel Barcelo

Encephalogramme De La Mer 2005 | Mixed technique 118 x 78,7 Inch

Discover the biography and all work of the artist
In a few days we will give you an explanation of the work. In the meantime, you may immerse yourselves in it.

INTERVIEW | Ariane Tardieu Head of country France

Carmignac Gestion, Paris

What effect does it have on you to see so many contemporary works of art hanging on the wall in your work place ?

AT : When I arrived at Carmignac Gestion in 2003, I was very impressed to discover this collection. I was happy because it meant that I was going to work for a broad-minded and passionate person.  I must say that I wasn’t familiar with contemporary art. I knew about the 17th century Dutch school as my father was an enthusiast. He used to take me to the Louvre every week and instilled in me a rather classical appreciation.

You know how to look at a painting then ?

AT : Yes, I know how to look at and read a painting but it must say something to me straight away, in order to keep my attention. Now, contemporary art meant nothing to me in 2003. Since then, walking past the art that is hung here every day, I began to look at it more closely and became more interested. I was keen to get rid of my preconceptions and I have finally changed a little, over the years...

Speaking generally, how would you compare contemporary art with classical art ? In your view, what has been the fundamental change ?

AT : In The Night Watch by Rembrandt, you see what it’s about immediately, you know the story and it provides an escape...It is very different with contemporary art: it takes time to understand it. Among the work you can see here, certain pieces gave rise to feelings that weren’t apparent when I first looked at them. Depending on the day or my frame of mind, I can see different things.

Some of the art works hanging here are already deemed to be masterpieces. Does that make an impression on you ?

AT : What matters is whether I like the work or not. Moreover, I don’t like it if I am told why something is good. But in practice, with the masterpieces, it is clear: they radiate a power and energy.

Why do you particularly like the painting « Encéphalogramme de la mer » by Miquel Barceló, which was painted in 2006 ? What is it about this piece that first attracted you : the scale, the materials, the arrangement of colour ?

AT : I got lost in it and that’s what I love about it. When I look at a work of art, I like to forget about everything that is going on around me. And when I saw this painting, I was completely carried away.

Anything else ?

AT : I found this painting very beautiful straight away. It deals with a theme that I love, given that I go diving : the sea and the depths of the ocean. To begin with, I saw transformation, life and movement in it. However, when I found out more about it, I discovered that it was about elimination and the passing of time. Ultimately, this is not so contradictory. For me, the sea is a symbol of the battle of life and death. It’s true that the colours should have helped me understand that the painting is more to do with the passing of life. We always assume that things stay the same.

Do you think that there is a connection between your profession, the world you work in, and contemporary art ?

AT : Like artists, our managers are passionate and have the courage to stick to their convictions, even when there is not unanimous support !

It’s therefore important to understand that living with contemporary art can be inspiring ?

AT : Yes, this coexistence allows us to stand back and learn to put things into perspective. Sometimes, it brings serenity to a world that is constantly on the go, and can be rather aggressive. It helps, from time to time, to stop and contemplate a work of art. 

Does the presence of art in the offices at Carmignac Gestion spark exchanges between colleagues ?

AT : The arrival of a new piece always attracts a lot of comments... « I’d like that near me », « No, I don’t want it, it’s too sad » etc.

Finally, what do you expect from a work of art ?

AT : I would like it to be beautiful, in my eyes. Then, when I look at a beautiful work of art, a painting or scultpture, it makes me feel stronger. I think that everything that is beautiful can strengthen and help you deal with the sad things that happen in everyday life.

Interview by Elisabeth COUTURIER