Philo Go Artiste plasticien

Self taught artist, born in Moutier (Swiss Jura) on March 2 1950. Precocious artist ( 1966-72) he organized his first public exhibit at age 19. Trained in architecture and interior design in Basel and in Jura, he pursued training as engraver and lithographer (1973-79) and took part in numerous group shows within the framework of Juratian painters and sculptors’ Association.


Individual Exhibitions :

in Switzerland : Moutier, Lucelle, Saint Ursanne, Perrefitte, Bellay and Bern 

in France : Locmariaquer and Pau


Publications :   

« Le Jura, terre romande » 1971, Alliance Culturelle Romande.

Gravure 75 – Migros – Société de Banque Suisse

Abbatiale de Bellelay 1979 – 25 years of the Society of Painters and Sculptors of Jura


In the early 80’s, he settled in France, first in Brittany and then in the Basque and Bearn regions of the Pyrenees.

A dozen individual exhibitions have marked his artistic activities from adolescence to today’s maturity.

Philo go has expressed himself by means of various techniques ranging from engraving, mixed techniques to watercolor.

His training as tour guide has allowed him to enlarge the scope of his skills to historical and artistic heritage.


His pathways to Art reflect …

Messages pertaining to the paintings

Are there trees ?

I can’t see the fountain.

This is not a dove.

I always check the perspective. Sometimes painters make fundamental mistakes. 

This landscape is much too green to be abstract.


These comments heard in front of contemporary artists’ paintings reflect nothing else than a persistence to not see painting as it is. This refusal is not surprising. Training as a humanist teaches one to see oneself. The painting becomes a mixed screen on which both the painter and the viewer project their inner quest. The first expresses himself with colour and lines, the second with concept.


It is said that the painter has a message but its meaning is uncertain, so ambiguous ! The most devoted to a cause have often raised Inquisitor’s suspicions. In fact, when the artist wishes to communicate, does he not choose writing ? If he persists to deploy colour on a screen of paper or canvas, is it not that he knows that in painting he tells more about himself and the world than in writing a creed or manifest.


So lets ask : does this ambiguity in painting not come from the incapacity of words to transcribe the interplay of lines and colour ? Is it not just a transfer from one domain to the other ? Does painting escape language ?

Look at modern catalogues of Museums : little or no emphasis is put on description, only reproductions are printed.

If the paintings are not totally expressed in the descriptions, the words used seem to be less obscure and certainly more faithful. Here, it appears that something has changed in painting since the last 70 years.


Philo go, born in 1950, was immersed at an early age in the new trends of pictorial art of the 1950-70. Early on, the works of this artist belong to those that challenge the notions of realism and  abstraction, to those that have suffered the most from the splitting of Art in two zones without communication. Realism, in fact, is permissible only as a specific period in the History of Art.

Abstract Art, a more recent phenomenon, appears as the flowering of various seemingly antagonistic groups, well set in time. Outside these meanings, the two words cease to be valid in the vocabulary of artists’ analysis such as Philo go.


The development of Abstract Art, as it is called, has shown in fact that there exists no painting without representation. There will always be a new eye to discover here seed germination, there a crystal structure, elsewhere moss spreading. Nothing in painting can escape identification.


As for the notion of figurative or realistic painting, it means nothing since the foundations of realism have been shaken, since photography has revealed moments previously invisible in life or has extracted chosen subjects from the camera lens such unrecognizable details that become abstract to those who cannot see.


If something escapes our eye in a painting (it can even escapes the painter himself, aware of  the unconscious aspects of his works), this ‘something’ provides another image. But does it not belong to other views, looks, glances, to men and women of another era ? Lets leave it .


Painting is therefore not totally foreign to language. We should only be mindful that the text’s coherence lie not on a misinterpretation of the painting. First caution to exercise : the measure in the approach to Philo go should be on a scale of degrees (more or less) from realism to abstraction. We should approach it following the interior evolution of the painter, the different self expressions used. At this level we should find continuity rather than break in style.


JP Léchot, Philo go, 1970.