In his autobiography entitled A Restless Man, Portrait of the Artist as a Son, a Madman Gérard Garouste testifies to the way he tracked down the faults of fathers, his own, but also those of the Church and of painting. Not a dupe, he made it his mission to repair the fault of the “bastard” of the war, a domestic and anti-Semitic tyrant who plundered the Jews of their property. Refusing to be an accomplice and an instrument, he seeks to overcome this feeling of dupery to denounce it and invent a new filiation: “My name is jurisprudence. It needs to be fixed.”
It is by making himself the dupe of a particular discourse, that of the world of Art, that he will invent himself in the face of this lack of nomination, without the support of any heritage: “Me, I came out of nothing […] School had not opened any path for me. Nothing had been transmitted to me.” His hands will reverse the family curse.
A daydreamer, dyslexic, searching to extract himself from the violent rage of the father, he finds refuge in painting. “The only thing that made me exist in relation to the teacher and my friends, was painting. […] for me it was a matter of survival. Painting enabled me to have an identity.”
For this restless man, the fathers of the family, of religion and of the school taught him nothing; even the Beaux-arts, deserted by boredom. It was as a free listener at the School of the Louvre that he focused for the first time: “I felt that there was a way out, that my power was at my fingertips”. Painting will therefore participate with literature, Hebrew, and psychoanalysis in this reversal in the face of the real and jouissance.
After colliding with the figure of the pater familias, it is that of painting and the avant-garde with Picasso that he questions: “What is to do after him? […] Duchamp […] had renounced painting, declared the object as work and the artist as the one who gazes”. It is reading this sentence of Roland Barthes that brings him out of the impasse: “It is because language is closed in on itself that the writer can write”. Finally, he decides to create while sticking to the rule. Against the tide of those of his age who do photography, installations and performances, he “turns to the origin rather than to the original”.
Two triggers correspond one to the first pregnancy of his wife and the other to the birth of his first grandson. In these manic episodes, suddenly, everything becomes a sign: “It was nice this feeling of not existing […] I felt free. I was disappearing.” The delirium – elucubration of meaning – will fail there, where painting and writing will constitute a knot.
It is a dream under transference that will be at the origin of his return to painting after ten years of deep depression. He hears a voice: “You know in life, there are two types of individuals, the classics and the Indians! This phrase burst into my night like a truth. The voice-over was like a third character who showed me my path.”
By playing with the colors of irony and disturbance while following the rules of Art, the Classic-Indian finds his own fashion of painting, his own language, like the artificer of a know-how that makes an exception today.
References from the author:
 Garouste G., Perrignon J., L’Intranquille. Autoportrait d’un fils, d’un peintre, d’un fou, Paris, L’Iconoclaste, 2009. [TN: The book was also published in English but the quotes in this text are translated freely from the French source]
 Ibid., p. 23.
 Ibid., p. 78.
 Garouste G., Grenier C. (avec), Vraiment peindre, Paris, Points, 2021, p. 7.
 Garouste G., Perrignon J., L’Intranquille. op. cit. , p. 78.
 Ibid., p. 79.
 Ibid., p. 90.
 Ibid., p. 95.
 Ibid., p. 109.
 Ibid., p. 127.
Translation: Dana Tor
Proofreading: Manuela Rabesahala
Picture : © Fred Swoboda