On painters' emblem the following phrase is to be read : "donner à voir", which means "a gift to the eye". Patrice Haudegond has been "donné à voir" for a long time now. Never could he take satisfaction from carbon copying, he actually uncovers and casts a brand new look on things, giving birth to yet another reality. Through the fascinating and creative process of alchemy the materia prima (prime matter) is blackened and becomes a matter of light. The roots of ligneous trees, which stretch out as large, jutting veins, illustrate a fantasy tale by Ernst Theodor Amadeus Hoffmann. One of these hides a secret life behind intertwining leaves; a night bird appears from the foliage, its round and piercing eyes making it more disturbing. When dense trees no longer play a decorative role they reveal some other confusing realities, the products of Freud's "it", psychoanalysts would state and track greedily. But Patrice's good mental health keeps him far away from psychoanalysts' couches. At other times one can make out a donkey of the Arabian Nights, pleased to disrupt old sages during their meditation time. Your mind may well be prolific enough to distinguish two beings intertwined, their nakedness and wholeness embody the primal androgyne. Thus myths transcend appearances, they are the sanctuary of a unity once lost. Let us remember that in the common imagery the Minotaur is spawned from the unnatural mating of a bull, a gift from the gods to King Minos, and his spouse Pasiphaë. The maze built by Daedalus conceals the fruit of their frenzied love-making from the people. One who succeeds in reaching the center of the maze goes into the depths of the psyche and recovers unity. One who paints mythological patterns paints the everlasting man.
Claude Soules
Knight of the Order of arts and letters