Jean-Pierre Charbonnel: I am a lucky man because I had an artistic life.

Jean Pierre Charbonnel, a photographer published by Bruxelles Art Vue, opens a new exhibition “Voyages en littérature”, at the Médiathèque d’Uzerche (Limousin, France) from Saturday 23 of October till Saturday 27 of November.

The original language of this article is English. If you read it in another language, it means it is an automatic translation.

I am a lucky man because I had an artistic life.

I’m sixty seven years old, so it was fifty exciting years, first as a musician (I was a classical guitarist) and teacher and now as a photographer.

I’m a lucky man because I live in a beautiful country with great landscapes, it’s quite easy to have a great quality of live here, this country is the “Corrèze” in Limousin (France).

Jean-Pierre Charbonnel

I am lucky live with a beautiful family, my lovely wife and two marvelous kids. My daughter is a dressmaker and we presented exhibitions together. My son is a classical guitarist, of course I’m happy about that. He plays better than me which is a great joy because I was his first teacher !

Jean-Pierre’s daughter

I have three grandchildren, two boys, and adorable little girl, the last one, one year half old. The best side of life!

Few more words about the “Voyages en littérature” exhibition

It is the third time that I present it, the first time in 2016 in Tulle, the second in 2019 in Abbeville, and now in the “Mediathèque of Uzerche” Limousin, France, (23th of October to 27th of November). It includes from Utah, New York, Oman, Iceland, Sicilia, and more.

Every photo is completed by a text extract of a famous book. The authors are E. Abbey, J. Dos Passos, M. Proust, G de Maupassant, H. de Balzac, G. Sand, etc.

I tried to find correspondence between texts and pictures. Sometimes I began with the picture, and was looking for the good text. Another time, I loved the text and was looking for the good picture. It was very funny, I did so much research that I discover a lot of things. It was an infinite field of knowledge : exciting and so rich !

I took the pictures, of course, but, I decided to control all the manufacturing and I made the prints by my own : A big challenge with A2 and A3+ format, black and white or color !

As you can see I like to mix the genres, it’s the best way for always marvel about this incredible world.

JP Charbonnel pages in the BAV Limitless Nature 2021 edition

The best moments of your early artistic life?

Photography was always important in my life since I was ten years old. I received little Agfa camera as a gift. My eyes shone so bright that this moment is forever etched in me.

Music gave me so many great moments for myself, with my pupils and with the public.

I experienced the excitement of photo labs, the same thing today when I print an A2 photo. Slowly, it appears,  my heart beat fast, and I always hope the best result (very difficult to success !)

Tempete de sable 2 by JP Charbonnel

Deep questions with sharp answers:

When do you feel most connected with Universe ?

At the top of a big mountain.  This is the best place to feel the power of nature and how small we are, it’ s so beautiful, I’m just feel happy after a long way to reach the top.

What is a piece of art that changed your life?

The first time I heard the “Chaconne” composed by J.S. Bach for the violin but also played with a lute or a guitar, this time, it was a guitar. And I decided to become a guitarist for playing this masterpiece by myself. Oddly, I never played this piece in concert. It was something like a holy Grail!  But I’m very proud of my son who plays it very well. What a huge happiness!

What is something that no one or very few people know about you?

I think becoming a musician may have been a mistake, but don’t say that to anybody!! The fantasy is to believe that I could have been a better photographer than a musician

Who would play you in your bio movie, and what be its title?

François Civil, “The dreamer”. François Civil is very friendly, charmer, with a luminous character, sometimes awkward and deliciously naïve, everybody loves him.

The dreamer as a title, because it’s an open door on poetry, a universe where everything is possible without limits. Even extreme extravagances could be true, I like this idea.

What was the happiest and most inspiring day of your life

The birth of my two kids : I realized that the love of two people creates new beings who will be different.  I hope my wife and I have been able to make them autonomous and independent.

What is something that everybody loves but you can’t stand ?

The selfies : an horror, so many people don’t see around them, but they have to show that they were in  a place, absolutely,  I hate that !

What is your life’s big question ?

I’m not really interested to leave a trace but why this daily battle with so much agitation for nothing at the end ? ……… I’m an atheist, it’s not easy to be confident because it leads me toward nihilism. So art saved me. It’s the reason why I think that the artists are so important, very necessary in this world. It began whit the first women and men and it will never stop !

Describe your soul in 10 words 

Solitary, lack confidence but very determined, excessive, greedy for culture, still in doubt.

You can write 5 words note to a 10-years old you – what would it be?

Be yourself, don’t be afraid by the others, be passionate, go ahead and hang on!

Which living or dead artist would like to have dinner with and why?

Daniel Barenboim: He founded the West-Eastern Divan orchestra with young Arab and Israeli musicians, a true political act in an artistic way: Incredible and fantastic. I think he could have the Nobel Peace Prize! It’s very courageous and the results are exceptional. A huge humanist, with such people, humanity is great!

If you could travel in time, would you go to the past or future, and why?

I would go to the future, I would like to know if humanity will have been able to save the planet.

Les voiliers bis

If animals could talk for a day, to what animal would like to talk to?

Make the dialogue of the “Little Prince” of Saint Exupery with a fox.

What would your heaven or hell look like?

Heaven is like “Arches National Park” because I love so much this place. Hell: I don’ think of that, it doesn’t exist, end of the story!

Thank you Jean-Pierre for sharing your story!

BAV Team


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Remember to visit Bruxelles Art Vue Expo 18 – 31 October 2021!

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