Alain was born in Paris just after the liberation by the Allies and was send to a remote boarding school, tellingly close to an American airbase. Bertrand was enthralled by the sight of the larger-than-life servicemen and jeeps. His passon for the vintage car stems from the understanding that they, along with the jukeboxes and Coca-Cola machines, embrace the essence of the era. Alain spent eleven years designing cars for Renault and has produced many record covers, film posters and collaborated with Francis Coppola.
Self-taught artist Alain Bertrand gives us a glimpse of the path that led up to the talent we admire in him today.
In 1978, after ten years of industrial design with Renault, Alain Bertrand started to do illustrations for the press, record covers, etc.
Next came advertising campaigns for Pirelli, Renault, Peugeot, Nestlé and other advertisers.
In 1982, he started to work for international agencies, such as New York Telephone, and Jeep.
His talent as an illustrator won him commissions for film posters, especially from Francis Ford Coppola and numerous French filmmakers.
Alongside his commercial activities, he devoted an increasing amount of his time to his own painting.
And his art still works its magic ... "more dreamlike than purposefully nostalgic of the american culture." Michel Guégan
New York, Cuba, the great American West, the atmosphere of a coffee shop, a jazz dive…
For twenty years, Alain Bertrand has been taking us on a trip through the bygone sixties observed through his personal vision, more dreamlike than purposefully nostalgic of the american culture.
We’re seated beside him in that Cuban Chevy, that New York Checker, that Greyhound bus parked next to a gas pump during a stormy night. Like him, we’re strolling Times Square looking for that melodic wiff of Music Hall, like him we’re cruising lost somewhere out in Arizona where nothing ever happens.
It’s hard to understand Alain Bertrand’s vision and passion without considering the American myth. Such as he experienced daily, waving to passing Gis in their Jeeps from Evreux as a teenager, listening to their rock records and smoking their king-size cigarettes.
At the same time the Hollywood studios vaunted a triumphant America, gay, glamorous, crawling with huge shining cars and a glamour which contrasted so directly with a destroyed Europe, prisoner of it’s own devastated dreams. Alain Bertrand knows perfectly how to recapture that comfortable America full of strength and confidence that fills our childhood dreams.
The power of his canvases is his ability to entice us, hearts racing, into a paradise that, just for several moments, has not yet totally vanished.