Jean-Pierre Nadau was born on May 9, 1963, in the Paris suburb of Melun. He grew up and graduated from high school in Vert-Saint-Denis, north-central France, where his father was the manager of a precision-tool manufacturing company.
As a teenager, Nadau’s passion for music led to a deep, rich and eclectic interest in contemporary creative trends. His curiosity extended to film and theatre culture, and he wanted to become an actor. He went on to study at director-actor Charles Dullin’s Ecole de Théâtre in Paris for three years in 1982, intending to go into theatre and writing; at this time, there was no indication of his future as a painter.
In 1984, Nadau had a revelatory encounter with Roger “Chomo” Chomeaux (1907–1999), the hermit-artist of the forest of Fontainbleau near Paris. Suddenly, in 1986, Nadau stopped acting so that he could work with Chomo in the forest. Later, in 1988, Nadau began to draw – partly inspired by the works of Augustin Lesage (1876–1954). Nadau drew many small-format, black-and-white works before starting to paint on a huge scale (up to 36 feet / 11 metres) on paper or canvas.
Having lived off-and-on with his parents during his youth while holding various odd jobs, Nadau moved to Reims, the capital of Champagne, north-east France, for several years before settling in a chalet in Morillon, Haute Savoie, in the French Alps. He continues to live and create there – heights inspire him, as does being close to the sky.
Nadau’s works have been shown in over 150 solo and collective exhibitions across France and Europe, as well as in the United States, Canada, Japan and Australia. His works are also held in the Collection de l’Art Brut, Lausanne.
This is an article extract; read the full article in Raw Vision #87