Emmanuel de Chaunac
- Senior Vice-President Christie’s, USA
Who is the Man behind the Artist?
From my first meeting with Alain Godon what I liked about him straight away was his openness, spontaneity and natural manner. Alain is simplicity itself, in spite of his fame as an artist, and his fame is growing both in this country and now abroad. Over the course of our meetings and exchanges, I believe I have little by little discovered what motivates him over and above anything else: love, friendship and a joy of sharing.
The Man will often hide behind the Artist and I think I may have found the key that opens up just one facet of his work. By observing his paintings, we are aware of a constant presence — a woman; that woman is his, she plays a crucial role in his life as an artist and as a man, she is his sanctuary, his anchor, his haven of peace, she is forever at his side. She is often accompanied by a mischievous dog recognisable by the black patch over one eye. That dog is his and symbolises fidelity and, I think, for Alain it is also the symbol of friendship. Giving a total freedom when there is no threat of danger but holding tight in difficult times.
Alain is in fact a strong presence in the lives of his friends; wherever he is in world, he calls them to see how they are. When he plans a trip to New York, he always rings me and, diaries permitting, we try to arrange to meet up. If we do manage this, it is always a pleasure, even if we steal but a few brief moments in our hectic lives. What is more, he is generosity itself and by that I don’t mean in monetary terms (and they are many who benefit from his material support), but in terms of the heart.
Godon’s exhibitions, both in France and abroad, especially in the USA, have met with formidable success, and one might expect him to have been, quite legitimately, swept away by it all, thinking only of furthering his career and of future exhibitions. Alain has stayed the same; always there still for his nearest, attentive to what’s happening around him and on hand for his friends.
Success has brought him to reflect on his life, on his career, and has directed him in developing his qualities as an Artist and in revealing those of the Man.