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Claude Viallat, was born in Nîmes in 1936 and grew up in Aubais, the fief of bull-fighting. He trained in fine arts in Montpellier and in 1969 he was one of the instigators of the Supports/Surfaces movement. His work is based on using unique shapes, such as his artist’s palette, little men and kidney beans. A retrospective of his work was organised at the Pompidou Centre in 1982. In 2007, he received the Simone and Cino Del Duca Foundation Prize.
“I only have one memory of the Tour de France: my father took me to Mont Ventoux to see a stage of the race. I remember the caravan and the tie-in products more than the cyclists! Somebody told me that Robic was going by but it was too late. By the time I looked around he was gone. However, I do remember the noise and the colours of the caravan… Today, I hardly have anything to do with this sport, apart from through my assistant who is very enthusiastic about cycling and disguises himself as Capitain Future to climb on his bicycle!
My passion is bull-fi ghting of course. And even if like cycling, it is an activity which is sometimes criticized, I do not see the connection between the two. In bull-fighting, it is really the man who is in a dangerous position facing the animal, and the beauty of his movements is closely linked to the bull.
By coming back to Nîmes I found my roots again. It is an appealing city from all angles and it is not vast compared to other big cities where I have lived, like Marseille… Throughout the course of my life I have forged links with many people and have lost touch with many others. At the end, for me Nîmes represents the network which has resulted from all of these contacts. And I think that I came back here to be nearer to the bulls!”