Guy Buffet is a celebrated artist with an international following. But he began
his artistic career as a child sketching on the tablecloths
of the Buffet family restaurant in postwar Paris! Forty-odd years later, the
carefree spirit of the mischievous boy still shines brilliantly from every
canvas... perhaps because his journey from then to now has been filled with a
childlike and unquenchable thirst for experience and an unabashed love of life.
Seemingly simple. Buffet's playful compositions and colorful techniques are deceptively complex, the result of years of formal training in the best art schools of France. At 14, Buffet enrolled in the prestigious Beaux Arts de Toulon and took advanced studies at the Academic de Peinture de la Ville de Paris.
A stint in the French Navy rounded out his education. Young Buffet's tour of duty took him to the exotic ports of the world: Tahiti, Hong Kong, Japan, Lebanon, Vietnam and Martinique. His unique style began to develop as he painted what he saw on his travels. Along the way, he exhibited too. And after successful one-man shows in Papeete, New Caledonia and at the Museum of the French Navy in Toulon, Buffet was named the official artist of the French Navy. In that capacity, he
presented a series of cultural exchange showings around the world. It was during his second circumnavigation, that a kama'aina family invited him to paint and exhibit in Honolulu and Buffet's lasting love affair with Hawaii began. After a successful North American tour in 1963, Buffet returned to the islands to make his home in Maui. Accolades and important commission soon followed.
Buffet's work now hangs in many fine public, private and corporate collections. He has been twice commissioned by the Hawaii State Foundation on Culture and the Arts and has created several of the state's most beloved public murals. As a guest of the Peking Arts and Crafts Council, he was invited to depict his view of China for special exhibition. He is the official artist for Champagne-Perrier-Jouet and has completed numerous commissions that enjoy worldwide distribution.
In 1987, he created his first sculpture, "Le Sommelier," for the Monnaie de Paris, the government-owned mint. It is to the world of wine what the Oscar statuette is to the film industry and is given annually to honor the world's best sommelier.
In 1989, Buffet was further honored when the Monnaie de Paris commissioned him to create a series of paintings in celebration of the bicentennial of the French Revolution. This show toured major U.S. and Canadian cities and ended in Tokyo. That same year. Buffet was Seagram's Chateaux and Estates Wine official artist for the centennial of the Eiffel Tower and the Moulin Rouge, and for Vin-Expo '89 in Bordeaux.
About his art, Guy Buffet has said, "I am an optimist, a positive person. When I paint, I invite the viewer to share my experience. I take you into my world like a guest into my home. I want you to be comfortable, relaxed, happy; to forget about problems and sorrows. That's why I do not paint if I am sad or depressed. I want you to like what you see in my world... then if you want to come back, my world is yours."
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