Hubert Konrad

  • Mr Kon­rad Co-​Founder of Art­price, Hubert Kon­rad Gallery, Paris, France

A Star Is Born

It was a shared love of night life that intro­duced me to Alain Godon at the begin­ning of the nineties. His capac­ity to stay sharp-​eyed and keep up a coher­ent con­ver­sa­tion through­out the whole night enabled us to have long dis­cus­sions from the very start.

MMy friends call me Alain” he par­ried. As soon as said, it was done and we were on Chris­t­ian name terms. The famil­iar “tu” form fell into place from the start and a friend­ship was born. From my first visit to his studio-​cum-​flat, I felt the same won­der as that of a child in front of a shop win­dow at Christ­mas. I wanted each and every one of them. The more he brought down from the mez­za­nine, the more I wanted them. Like a fash­ion parade, throngs of peo­ple descended the spi­ral stair­case. Each can­vas bestowed with its allo­ca­tion of anec­do­tal details. Each telling a story. This was his first period –por­trai­ture; it was a time full of laughs as well as a time of con­scious aware­ness.
An aware­ness that this medium was work­ing: a sort of telepa­thy through the visual arts. Let’s call it, quite sim­ply, a gift. But this help­ing hand from nature has to be max­imised by exploit­ing other qual­i­ties, intel­lec­tual as well as prac­ti­cal. Since I am not required to write an epi­taph here, we will leave these qual­i­ties to the imag­i­na­tion.
An artist matures likes a wine in an oak bar­rel, by sit­ting for hours on a stool in the cor­ner with a paint­brush in his hands, tubes of paint in his drawer. The art of oil paint­ing is not mas­tered at a first attempt. Pen­i­tence is harsh and pun­ish­ment imposes a long wait before cross­ing over to the other side.
Whilst stop­ping off once to visit this “perched mas­ter” (always sit­ting on his stool), Alain was look­ing ten­derly at his drawer stuffed full of multi-​coloured tubes of oil paints and uttered this mag­i­cal sen­tence, “Look Hubert, all these tubes are now my friends; I know each and every one of them. I love them.” What a res­olute acknowl­edge­ment that art is in the ser­vice of the artist, rather than the artist in the ser­vice of art.
Now armed with a tech­ni­cal free­dom, he has been able to go deeper into the core of his cre­ative uni­verse. Under the benev­o­lent watch­ful eye of his fans, the artist has launched him­self, like Spi­der­man, at the build­ings of Paris and the beau­ti­ful coun­try houses of the Opale coast. By using an effect of con­vo­lu­tion, a secret that belongs to him alone, build­ing facades begin to dance and solid blocks talk to foun­tains. Some­times imi­tated, but never equalled, Godon just keeps on going. One by one, the cities suc­cumb to the attacks from his palette: Paris, Ams­ter­dam, New York and soon Miami.
His draw­ing is appo­site and just, but is not the only rea­son for his suc­cess. He plays with colours pro­duc­ing bold ven­tures that prove delight­ful, even ther­a­peu­tic, to look at. Is look­ing at a Godon good for your health? Is it a placebo? No, no way! This is art to heal the heart and the soul. When will we be able claim one of Godon’s works on social secu­rity?
But so much for the acco­lades; Alain is not only a worka­holic, but also a per­fec­tion­ist who demands effi­ciency and dis­ci­pline from those around him. This dri­ving energy he also places at the ser­vice of oth­ers; he is the orig­i­na­tor of the first show for aspir­ing artists that is totally free of charge. Alain knows that life is not a long, peace­fully flow­ing river; he is there to build bridges across the river Styx and leave Cer­berus at the gate­way of art’s hell. The road to heaven is open.
Long may Alain con­tinue!
Par­adise is other peo­ple.
Hubert Kon­rad