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(ART. L.335-2 and L.335-3 of CPI)
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Nicolas Odinet's work can be described as capturing instantaneous happiness

The work's subtlety lies in his capacity to discern, in everyday life, a moment of joy, beauty, happiness, or even humour, hidden in the ordinariness of a scene, as fleeting as perfume, and portray it on canvas and share it with us. He seeks to guide the spectator towards these moments, which he captures by chance on his walks, to show him that life is good.

His work transports us to places that are commonplace and plain, both near and far, yet always bathed in a particular, intense and melancholy light.

There where his feet take him, he is free, attentive and ready to feel an emotion he will keep. Every one of his paintings is an emotion, and his aim is for the spectator to experience it, or at times recollect it, because each of us has already crossed one of his paintings without perhaps having felt its emotion.

The selfish, personal happiness felt before these scenes gives way in his canvases to a broad generosity through the sharing implied. The result is immediate and effective. The quality of his drawing and the power of his technique in terms of light bring life to the various characters captured in two dimensions on the canvas. The style is uncluttered, detail is used precisely if relevant, and the originality of the framing and the postures of his paintings' actors are meticulously ascertained to better illustrate and quickly draw the spectator into the scene.


Born in Le Havre in 1953, Nicolas Odinet showed a passion for drawing and painting at a very early age, and although he considers himself a self-taught artist, his love for the visual arts has led him to become a renowned artist of our time. Ready to exhibit his work in 1992, he took the requisite tour of the Salons, including the 'Indépendants Normands', the CHU in Rouen, the 'Caducées', and the Carmelite Convent in Bois-Guillaume before becoming an appreciated painter by numerous art galleries.

Nicolas Odinet is not a figurative artist like so many others: his way of integrating the value of skies, spaces, shores, and most importantly, characters, reflects a unique way of painting and apprehending the subject. Without recreating a reality that conforms to the customs of this new century, he has been able to find a convincing way of applying colour in broad strokes, full of light and expressive contrasts, to powerfully evoke the relief of locations and the harmony of beings. He thus portrays a life which is unknown and which he perceives through subjects that are enviably simple and authentically picturesque, conveying to the observer a serenity that is never static, but instead powerfully charged with his sensitivity and incontestable talent as a result of the life that never ceases to enhance these sparkling and attractive paintings.

André RUELLAN, art critic

These are glimpses into hushed moments of life, minutes stolen from passing time and revealed in the languid rhymes of poetic writing. Of course, something is always happening and the people lifted from their daily lives are far from immobile.

Yet the composition breathes calm, as if Nicolas Odinet had decided to relate the unnarratable. He succeeds, marvelously, and with simplicity, through urban or marine scenes. A scooter, children at play, often women wearing loose dresses and revealing a few curves, the odd man wearing a wide-brimmed hat. There is moderation, discretion, and charm

The palette of reduced colours explores shades of white while the background reveals a gentle monochrome, enhancing the silhouettes. In town or at the seaside, the latter move with disconcerting ease, as though stumbled upon in their daily happiness.

By avoiding chromatic excesses and the pluralisation of tones, the artist creates an atmosphere in which shadows play a very important role, as does the diffuse light that invades the space. Everything is soft, so soft that reality is suspended mid-flight to leave way for an indefinable quietness that ultimately becomes communicative.

Odinet chooses an unusual genre by transposing the frenzy of our world into a romantic universe that is capable of unveiling the inner lives of its actors. It evokes the nineteen-fifties yet has a contemporary and original modernity. Of course, his work remains eminently figurative but the atmosphere, through the abstraction of the backgrounds, becomes timeless. The scene therefore is ultimately forgotten, leaving behind the fleeting character of a shared feeling. That of the simple joys of existence.