By Florent Cerruti and Sierra Bretz
Written by: Florent Cerruti and Sierra Bretz
Do you remember painting as a child? No rules? No judgment. Complete freedom.
In the quest for light, transparency, fluidity, and rhythm…pursuing bliss through his creations…at the dawn of his artistic journey…
Meet Laurent Cabras.
Laurent Cabras is a self-taught, meticulous and perfectionist artist. Cabras’ beginnings were in the world of landscapes. His paintings were never strict representations of places but mental projections resulting in landscapes rich in color and emotion.
However, in recent years, Cabras has moved from figurative art to abstract. In the past, people viewed Cabras’ landscapes with understanding, but as mere spectators. With abstraction, he invites them to face their childhood emotions: “It is then that they really get to embrace the work because they let go and go back.”
When Cabras paints, it is a reawakening of the emotions he held as a child. This he shares with the viewer, in an effort to reawaken the bliss…
“Painting is not just the act of putting the paint on a canvas, it’s everything that happens before, in particular the work of preparing the materials, the choice of pigments.”
Cabras is constantly pushing the limits, exploring new materials and techniques. He uses varied supports: canvas, wood, paper and cardboard. He mounts materials on panels and builds his frames. Each gesture becomes a ritual that allows him to prepare and visualize what he will create later.
How does Cabras define abstraction?
After gradually abandoning expressionism, he began to paint fictitious landscapes in response to his emotions, his sensations, “I wanted to create from scratch.” The landscapes became more and more diffuse and this led him to abstraction.
“For me, abstraction is to remove oneself from the concrete world, to connect with one’s childlike soul. It is an enchantment!” The artist explains that the child will listen to his desires as they arise. When the child starts to draw for their pleasure, here red, there green, a square, a round, a curve, a line…they don’t ask themselves questions about the result they will obtain… their gesture explodes infinitely, directly dictated by their inner selves.
What is the secret of this magical moment?
The artist sees existence as a repetition, a perpetual cycle. When we leave childhood, we do not necessarily seek to return to it, and yet certain smells, certain sensations make us dive back into it, it is stronger than us. When Cabras creates, “I feel the energy passing through me, piercing me from one side to the other, flooding me with happiness!”
For him, it is a real drug, a genuine paradise. Once each painting is finished, he can remember the state of ecstasy he was in when he was creating it, which drives him to want to recreate again and again, to immerse himself again in that fullness, that serenity, that other self.
Can everyone find this state of plenitude?
“Abstract painting reconnects me to my childhood,” explains Cabras. This joy, this simple and raw happiness, the artist plunges back into it each time he finds himself in the process of creation.
To the question “what advice would you give to people who would like to reconnect to their inner child,” Cabras answered: “you should not cheat with yourself, let go of what you feel.” When asked what practical tips he would give for people to reconnect, he provided the exercise below…