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The Artist

Michel Degav, French artist, has pursued a unique path which throws light on his equally unique paintings.

Born in 1973. Even when young, he felt very close to nature and loved to draw. Later on, he developed his innate mathematical capacities and a keen sense of structure and form to design clothing and create three-dimensional models of buildings.

His sensitivity to his surroundings, a passion for colour, light and especially the sun brought Michel and his wife, Anna, to the South of France in 1996. His creativity then took the form of water-colours and portrait-painting, disciplines which brought him considerable success in Nice. However, just one year later, he was obliged to undergo surgery to remove most of his left lung due to a dysfunction. The operation left him paralysed on his left side, a drama for this left-handed artist. His need for self-expression miraculously speeded up his recovery, releasing an immense out-pouring of optimism, determination and the desire to live each moment to the full. Michel wanted to embrace the beauty that surrounds us, the joy offered by life itself, and the second chance he had been given to share love, hope and dreams with other people. Rejoicing that he could live perfectly normally with one lung, Michel Degav then devoted himself to create simple messages conveyed by pure, vivid colours, harmonious and well-balanced constructions, and a masterful use of light. The spontaneity of his work is never shackled, but rather liberated, by a technique that has evolved quite naturally. The depth of his painting, the richness and purity of the colours, and especially the use of the palette knife, restitute the emotion one feels in the presence of bountiful Nature.

In 2002, Michel Degav opened a studio-gallery in Eze, then moved at the end of 2003 to a larger gallery at the heart of Saint-Paul-de-Vence. Covering a wide spectrum of subjects, his paintings strike an instant chord with art-lovers who appreciate traditional values with a more modern interpretation. A tireless painter who thinks of his work as a kind of adrenaline, Michel nevertheless breaks from routine to travel to places with different qualities of light and new sources of inspiration.

Half Libra, half Scorpion, Michel Degav expresses himself through harmony and beauty on the one hand, forcefulness, perseverance and perfectionism on the other. And with his muse Anna by his side, he has been able to rely on the strength and stimulation of a Leo, to confront life with confidence and a constant desire to progress. 

To express my feeling and dreams with strength and spontaneity, I generally use pure tints laid on the canvas with a palette knife often in thin layers. It seems essential to me to always seek richly balanced compositions. My strong imagination drives me to combine several natural elements, which have impressed me to create very varied works. Each of my paintings has a life of its own, in tune with a particular feeling – The romance of gardens, flowers delicate foliage, the sharp colours of Provençal land or escapes, picturesque stone walls with ochre tones, impulsive sailing boats caught in a storm. My paintings are the true reflection of my feelings. I offer you to share it with me.

* artworks by Michel Degav form part of private collections in France, England, Italy, Germany, Poland, Russia, Israel, the UAE, Qatar, the USA, Canada, Mexico, Guatemala, China, Japan and Australia. He has exhibited in private art-galleries in the South of France (Saint-Jean-Cap-Ferrat, Antibes, Villefranche-sur-Mer…), Florida (Philips Gallery, Palm Beach), California (Danskin Gallery, Palm Desert). He has also participated in several art exhibitions in France, Monaco, Spain, Mauritius and California.
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