Jean-Charles Decoudun was born in Paris in 1962. His grandfather was a painter, but he didn’t find his true vocation as a painter until he was 25, setting out to develop his artistic talent on his own with neither school nor mentor to guide him. Following his own instinct and always highly critical of himself, he gradually forged his own pictorial identity. He began selling his works from table to table in restaurants, and later shared a studio with a painter friend in the Batignolles area of Paris. His style gained in assurance, with his watercolours demonstrating a keen sense of observation and great sensitivity. He exhibited his work all over France and, in 1997, held his first show at Galerie Roussard, at the top of the Butte Montmartre – the start of a long, ongoing partnership
Jean-Charles Decoudun is in love with his city. Paris is a well-spring of inspiration for the artist, who still looks on it as a village. For he doesn’t create portraits of the city as a whole; instead he breaks it down into landscapes as many and varied as its different neighbourhoods. And you really have to know Paris from the inside to be privy to its community – and village – life!
The artist’s paintings depict an exuberant, colourful city, without ever sidestepping the realities of everyday Parisian life – the metro entrances, crowded streets and traffic, among them. The people who fill Decoudun’s watercolours are brightly dressed, like a signature. Jean-Charles is fond of saying that the people and places are one, and that it is this whole that creates the landscape.
His style is unique and his precise, delicate pencil drawings and shading show great technical accomplishment. His compositions strike a perfect balance between the characteristic softness of the watercolour and his wide colour palette.
This anthology of watercolours which have built Jean-Charles Decoudun’s is an invitation to stroll down the capital city’s wide avenues, walk across its bridges, sit at café terraces, visit typical, old areas and relax on a bench in its public gardens.
The book will appeal to anyone who loves Paris.