Spéciale Michel Thévoz
Jean Tournolias, « Spéciale Michel Thévoz », 1994, Oil on canvas, 66 x 100 cm, Photo : Atelier de numérisation ¬- Ville de Lausanne Collection de l’Art Brut, Lausanne
Tourlonias, Jean ,
Jean Tourlonias (1937–2000) was born into a peasant family in Cébazat, a little village near Clermont-Ferrand, in France. After a brief spell at school he helped his parents on the farm. When he was twenty-three he was mobilised for nine months during the Algerian war, then returned to his parents’ farm in Auvergne. He began to paint in his spare time, but nobody was interested in his paintings, and he temporarily gave up this pastime. Tourlonias was a motor sports fan. He rode a motorcycle and regularly bought specialist magazines.
Naturally he began to paint high-power machines that sprang out of his imagination. In 1986 his works were noticed by art enthusiasts who began to commission work from him. Working on the fringe of the art world, thinking of himself as a craftsman, he painted on demand at a set hourly rate.
After 1986 he painted nothing but racing cars. He combined drawing and writing by dedicating his canvases to television stars or patrons, and fl anking his machines with enthusiastic advertisement-like slogans.