This painting is entitled Mahon, which in Spanish is the shade of blue of the matador’s suit. The painting represents the moment just before the paseo, or parade, which takes place before the fight begins. The matador emerges out of the darkness, which emphasises his jewel-like costume and heightens the drama and spectacle which is about to unfold. He holds his montera (hat). The matador’s distinctive costume, or traje de luces (suit of lights) as it is known, can cost several thousand pounds; a top matador must have at least six of them a season. Christian Gaillard’s first exhibition on bullfighting took place in Nimes in 1989 and it is the ambitious paintings of bullfights which have now made the name of the artist all over the world. Gaillard has painted portraits of the greatest living matadors, many of whom are personal friends, including Ortega Cano, Nino de la Capea, Chamaco and Luis Francisco Espla.
Each print is hand numbered and accompanied by a certificate signed by the artist. The certificate is numbered to match the print.
Christian Gaillard was born in Avignon, France, in 1951 and now lives and works between Paris and his base in the South of France.
He earned a Diploma from the Ecole Nationale des Arts Décoratifs in Paris and then began a career as an illustrator in 1973 while working for some of France’s most prestigious advertising agencies, including RSCG, Publicis and McCann Erickson. He also designed and drew the covers for many eminent magazines, including Le Point, L’Express, Telerame and Le Monde de la Musique. In 1982 he was voted Illustrator of the Year by the Academy of Graphic Design.
Christian Gaillard has also drawn the posters for many French and international films, including La Revolution Française and Bernardo Bertolucci’s The Last Emperor. In 1989 he was nominated to the position of Official Painter to the Air Force, following the reproduction of his work on the French aircraft carrier Clémenceau. Christian Gaillard’s first exhibition on bullfighting took place in Nimes in 1989 and it is the ambitious paintings of bullfights which have made the name of the artist all over the world, especially in Spain, Mexico and the United States. Christian Gaillard has painted portraits of the greatest living matadors, many of whom are personal friends, including Ortega Cano, Nino de la Capea, Chamaco and Luis Francisco Espla.
In 1991 Christian Gaillard won the First Prize at the Real Maestranza de Cabelleria de Sevilla in Spain, and was presented with the award by S A R Don Juan De Bourbon, the father of the King of Spain.
His work is now exhibited at prestigious galleries in Paris and around the world.