Norbert Engel in C de L’art magazine

Norbert Engel was the subject of an article in the magazine “C de L’art” published by the Parisian art gallery Sonia Monti. You will find a short biography of the artist, an interview and an explanation of the work “Joie”.

To read this article, click here.


existe-t-il une couleur préférée

It is very difficult for a painter to answer the question: “What is your favourite colour and what is your least favourite colour? “Just as the writer needs all the letters, the painter needs all the colours and should not let go of any of them.

The choice of a colour is not only a matter of personal taste, but is often based on necessity.

How often is it a beige or goose poo that becomes the unlikely final touch to create harmony on the canvas?

Rarely is it with this type of color that the painter will start a painting!

I will rather start with a beautiful vermilion red, a cobalt blue or a golden yellow, which are the choice of the heart.

That’s it: I have just given up, abandoned, betrayed certain colors, the poor parents of painting but which the painter needs by necessity and you force me to confess that my favorite color is red!

I could also have chosen blue or yellow, but red is still the star.

And then there are the ones I am not very proud of but I am very happy that they exist, the ones that pretend to be colours but are in fact mixtures, fillings, anything: the beigasses, the salmonées.

All those colours that, by force of wanting to take themselves for real colours, end up farting higher than their asses and I come to goose poo!
Forgive my triviality, but I like to speak raw; maybe that’s why I’m a painter: painting allows this direct and massive frank expression, without convolutions.

So to bend to the exercise, I definitely choose red as my favourite colour and the opposite, beige.

Beige is the worst of compromises!
I could also have chosen another hybrid colour like the salmon that I get by mixing red and yellow with white: that’s already a lot of mixtures!

But to make beige, I have to make a first mix that doesn’t smell like holiness, let me use the expression, I’m talking about brown (which I make by combining the three primary colours red, blue and yellow), to this brown I add yellow as if I wanted to make up for something and get out of the mud.

One could point out the paradox that the partisans of the Nazi regime, who were in principle hostile to any form of mixing and thus crossbreeding, nevertheless disguised themselves in brown and beige.

Let’s go back to my favourite colour, red.
I really like the way Jean Robertet talks about red.
“Red should not be any less than any other colour:
He certainly meant that red owes nothing to other colours or to anyone: the same could be said of the two other primary colours, blue and yellow.

“Be rebuffed, for it shows victory,
Pump, pride, arrogance, vain glory,
He who does not peult up and down does not want to come down:
It’s very true! Red is the colour of the victory of life over death.

I put red on a white canvas and light the fire;

These are the glory days of an Attila who invades the steppes…

Red is creative destruction.
It’s a volcanic eruption, a rupture, all you add afterwards is to mitigate its effect.
Red is grandiose, unique and self-sufficient.
The revolutionaries took red as their emblem, the anarchists took black, I don’t know why, I would have recommended red, but a darker red.

Contrary to humility, red is arrogance and pride, red does not want to go down, cannot go down, it always aspires to go up.
The color of expansion.

Yes, I love red: the colour of all excess, the colour of desire, of growth, of excess.

Colour of blood.

The blood that “waters our furrows”.
That waters the Tanned One as Robertet would have said.

It gives life to all that is resigned, submissive, to all that doubts,
to brown and beige “that dubious can estre”.