In 1979: at the tender age of twelve, Jean-Yves Aurégan has already visited the greatest museums of Europe, on expansive summer tours with his family.  His father Alain Aurégan is a painter.  At home, over joyous and animated dinner parties, his parents and their friends passionately argue and discuss this or that painter or sculptor.  Art and art history seep into the child.  He listens enthusiastically to the polemics and chicanery that resonate inevitably within him.


His vocation as a painter is driven, accelerated by other irritating factors: not the least of which is the interminable, sterile, fruitless time spent in secondary school, then high school.


The die is cast: he enters l’Ecole Régionale des  Beaux Arts in Rennes in 1986, earning his diploma in 1991.


But Jean-Yves Aurégan is constrained in this professorial and didactic student fortress and its partisan ideology. In 1989 he decides to spend day and night occupying the ground level and first floor of a large, old building in Rennes.  The cocoon is shabby and Spartan, but he’s at home! Along the sidewalks of his neighbourhood he often meets curious passers-by, residents of the neighbouring psychiatric hospital facing his studio.  Some even dare to slip through the half-opened door, drawn by Aurégan, painting and gesticulating, screaming along with Peter (Gabriel).


At art school in Rennes, he is rushed, suffocated; the climate is unconducive to painting. In 1990, Jean-Yves Aurégan spends half of his time in Paris, seeking a serious outlet for his impatient energy.


His canvasses are covered by monumental "Torrents" in which he attempts to drown his inability to convey the human body, a world that obsesses him. Yet the “Torrents” series haunts him. The canvasses offer us spaces apparently without bodies; the subject withdraws, making room for spaces almost white, though tactile and spellbinding.


Nevertheless, each series flows into the next and offers up a latent and “fused” production. Little by little the human body returns, in the image of Rembrandt’s “Flayed Ox”. The human body re-emerges, manifest. Relentlessly suggested, an obsessional apologia.


With his friend and fellow photographer Hugo Gayrard, he visits the slaughterhouses of Paris’ la Vilette; together, they closely observe the deliverymen and station themselves in front of the wheeled refrigerators to capture the realness of these whole carcasses, raw, dismembered, hanging, lifeless.

Jean-Yves finally returns to the form. In 1994 he paints his Flayed oxen and other creatures preliminary to the human body.




In other respects, the beast also appears beside a speechless woman.  From neither may a definite symbolism be discerned; it’s of no importance, its subject is there!  Oxen, human figures.  This issuance unleashes a series of couples, of portraits, of lascivious, immobile bodies.  In this fray, Jean-Yves projects “profusion”.


He catches his breath in a series of landscapes.  He is in the Corbières region, where he has made several trips. Wholly seduced and beatific guest of the wine country, the Château haut-Gléon, he sweats and breathes during these treks under the blazing sun.  His skull turns to mush!  In the summer, he passes the time by religiously following the Tour de France on the radio.  In the shade of the cypress trees he works on one vigorous, enveloping landscape after another, thumbing his nose at the cattle.  Jean-Yves relaxes the flesh of the “Oxen”, his own flesh.  He breathes, he cooks, and lets himself be absorbed by the wine.


When he returns to Paris, he confronts his Medeas, his own Medea, she of the Golden Fleece, a long series, monumental and meaningful, that Jean-Yves began to show soon after 2000; a series interspersed with images of couples, of sprawling women.  His couple, his woman.  During this interval, the “Women’s Oxen”, grandiose spasms, re-emerging.


During this period he settled with his wife and unborn child in the Sancerrois region, in the heart of wine country, two hours from Paris.


More recently, the figure of Rembrandt’s Bathsheba, wife of King David and future mother of Solomon, becomes imperative for Jean-Yves Aurégan.  At the same time, seduced by the lilacs thriving in his garden, he manages to capture the vegetal on canvas after having failed with landscapes, which tormented him ever since his arrival in Crézancy-en-Sancerre.  As a child, he had been profoundly disturbed by the works of Vincent Van Gogh. Thinking him banished, his shadow loomed again, strong and vivid.  Liberated, Jean-Yves undertakes inhibited landscapes in the “The Ochre-Rouge Path” series.


Jean-Yves Aurégan’s paintings are exhibited in Paris, Rouen, Lille, Lyon and Dortmund. His series “The Ochre-Rouge Path” will be exhibited at the Galerie d'Art Contemporain, Auvers-sur-Oise, France, from 24 April to 9 October 2009.


Some paiting of the ochre-rouge path are now exibhiting in the Rouen regional house for the "contemporary impressions" in regards of the "Normandie impressionist" festival until june 21 to september 4th.