|Alain is a veteran of over 20 exhibitions in France, including 5 in Paris, a major one-man show in London and group shows in New York, Los Angeles, Miami and Stockholm.
Alain’s considerable skills are entirely self-taught – he sought but did not find a ‘master’ to train him, and has resisted the influence of earlier painters. The originality of his style lies partly in his choice of subject – he does not illustrate individual botanical specimens, nor fruits artificially assembled in a formal “still life”, but huge congregations of one kind of plant in its natural state – sunflower crops standing in a field, apples and cherries piled together after picking, windfallen apples lying together in clumps on the grass.
Bellanger’s paintings, teeming with subtle gradations of colour – he works entirely in pastels on paper – also tend to be big and bold – the largest up to 30 by 40 inches in size – and overflowing with the energy of their subjects. Scores of apples, regiments of sunflowers, legions of leeks, each subject fills the frame, almost bursting out of it, vigorous and vibrant.
“I love my work, but I am a prisoner of it. All my other interests – potholing, even gardening, (which I adore), have been left behind for my art.
My pastels capture specific moments in time, expressing something of the passing of time, the brevity of freshness, vigour and by implication, life – before the onset of decay. The first browning signs of rot on the skin of the apples, the short-lived juiciness of sliced watermelons, even the sunlight filtering through the leaves, suggest the impending approach of evening. Decay – “la pourriture” is one of my persistent subjects – I think it’s beautiful – I’ve been painting it for ten years, but it’s never the same picture twice
My pastels need to be full to overflowing. They are like an orchestra of colours and objects, and I feel like Richard Wagner.”