Jean-Michel WUILBEAUX 

1969  Valenciennes (FR)

Photo © Jacques Robert

I always see Jean-Michel as a butterfly gathering nectar that gets nourishment from every flower it comes across. With his own life past and present serving as source of inspiration, he goes from one subject to another to express his feelings. He often feels hurt, and this transpires from his painting. Keen for us to understand what the work is saying, he reflects long and hard before starting to paint. A while ago, in addition to his name, surname and the dates the works were begun and finished, he began including at the edge of the canvas all the colour references and some key words so as to be sure that we get the meaning of the work. To put it another way, Jean-Michel draws what he knows, not what he sees, and he will take any risk pictorially to get his own truths across.

(Bruno Gérard, Débridé(e)s, Ed. Centre La Pommeraie, Ellignies-Sainte-Anne, 2008 – Prix Fondation Désidé Jaumain)

Lorsque Jean-Michel est maussade, il peint sa ville (Denain) en soulignant de traits blancs ses éclats qui semblent alors des tissus africains, et puis, des visages de femmes que la jungle entoure. Ce n’est pas la peur du vide qui l’inquiète et le contraint à remplir tout l’espace mais le souci de bien faire, de finir, et il le reconnaît, de se forger un style, à quoi entre les autres on le reconnaîtrait.
Xavier Canonne, ex-chef du Secteur des Arts plastiques de la Province de Hainaut et actuel directeur du Musée de la Photographie à Charleroi
(Xavier Canonne, « Les très riches heures de Jean-Michel Wuilbeaux », in : Appel Group, Edition Centre La Pommeraie, Ellignies-Sainte-Anne)