par Thibaud Josset
superfluous out of the equation, in order to choose just the essential… so many qualities claimed by artists I had met during my various projects which had rarely appeared so obvious at first sight.
Now it is time to watch the artist work. This friendly house master seems to be able to put up with a lot of visits and interruptions without showing any sign of impatience. However, this does not apply to his urge to work, which I feel is boiling inside him. I know he will not say anything about it, but his time is precious because it belongs to creation.
We take our places in his studio. This room, which overlooks the garden, suggests the aspect of a cube and reminds me of a jewel box, the cover of which is much bigger than the base. On the ground, the regular white tiles increase the feeling of finding oneself on a thread, the measure of which would have been materialised in a physical way, just as the millimetric tracing paper on our education. We briefly talked with his wife and one of his daughters while drinking a cup of coffee. When they left, I watched them through the glass wall that separates us from the living room. I now understand the profound nature of this place: it is a family house, not in the sense of a house aiming at accommodating a family, but in the sense of a space which only exists through the presence of its members. Without them, this place would not only lose its soul, but also any function. The layout of the rooms summarises the familial links preceding it. The studio looks like its direct follow-up and not the impregnable bunker claimed by so many artists. Open still seems to be the adjective that defines Mitro’s main nature, as a painter and as a man.
Mitro was born in Romania in 1957. He studied at Bucharest National University of Arts. He finished head of the class. It might be a detail, an old memory of student success as we all like to keep with the nostalgia of youth but I was soon to realise that the Mitro I met this day, established with his international fame, would be the same thorough and meticulous man he was during his formative years. He had a complete artistic education, like Eastern Europe’s prestigious universities could give at the time: graphic arts in the largest sense, painting, sculpting, demanding techniques of heritage refurbishment. Mitro quickly became famous in his country, which he left in 1990 to establish himself in France, the starting point of his true international career. Within a few years, he would become one of the leading lights of Modern Figuration.
In the surreal white quietness of his studio, a first question came to my mind, as irrepressible as the curiosity that seized me in front of his works: what is the base of this endless task of making beautiful things, of realising an idea, a vision in the material way? This before questioning oneself on the choice of painting per se, from a fundamental perspective, freed from any contingence regarding existence.