A Quest for Eternal Existence
Who is CharlElie?
Where even to begin…?
Many know him as Charlélie Couture, others as Bertrand Charles Elie Couture, but for us, it will be CharlElie (Charlaylee). In this page, you will learn to know him and understand the complexity of his existence. A complex existence, indeed, as fragile as any other, that I am willing to dedicate the entirety of my efforts to make it eternal. An eternal existence. That is the least he ought to have.
CharlElie was born in a city in the east of France, Nancy, in 1956. Fathered and raised by Jean-Pierre Couture, an important character of the French resistance during World War II, CharlElie grew to become one the most influential figures of rock and roll in France. Certainly, their most influential rocker of the 80’s. His third album, Poèmes Rock (Rock Poems, 1981), features in Rolling Stone’s top 100 best music albums of all times. Today, he has recorded more than 23 albums and 17 original movie soundtracks.
Impressed? You haven’t seen anything yet.
Actually, CharlElie is a graduate of the Ecole des Beaux-Arts (Fine Arts school) of Nancy, and music was just something he would do for some pocket money as a student. He is, and always wanted to be, a painter/graphic artist.
For his final thesis as a student, he worked around the theme of the polymorphism of the spirit. Considered one the pioneers of the “multist” movement of multidisciplinary artists, CharlElie has dedicated his entire life to the pursue of a creative process defined as Total Art – a general attitude consisting in finding interconnections between the various forms of human expression (written word, graphic art, and music). While in school, he developed techniques that are still taught in Fine Arts institutions today.
New York City
In 2004, CharlElie left Paris – where he had been living since the mid 80’s – and moved to New York City.
Some say the reason was the outcome of the contest for the Regional Direction of Cultural Affairs of the city of Amiens, where, after reaching the final top 3 as an anonymous candidate, CharlElie was disqualified by the jury who reproached him for his musician status once they realized who he was.
One thing was certain: in a society (France) where one is expected to be only one thing at a time, his notoriety as a musician had grown too much for him to be fully able to express, evenly, the multiple facets of his work.
For that reason, he left. After 23 years of success, he left. Far away. To a place where nobody would recognize him. To a place where he would be able to start over. Rebuild. Reinvent himself.
New York City. Where else? Where else than in New York City would he be able to feel as unknown as the early French acquaintance with his graphic work? Where else than in New York City would he have a legitimate chance to start over and still find success? New York City. The place where all your dreams can come true…
After six years of hard work, switching from one atelier to another, CharlElie was finally able to accomplish a childhood dream: own his own art gallery. A chance to make his breathtaking interpretation of New York accessible to all.
The RE-Gallery opened in the summer of 2010, on the corner of 36th street and 9th avenue, Manhattan. The theme of his contemporary art gallery? Something he is very familiar with: RE-Construction.
A beautiful place with large windows and an open door that says come in. By going through this door, you will be entering the astonishing world of the magnificent CharlElie. Delirious sculptures made out of pieces of darkened street wood hang on the ceiling, unique photos of the city printed on plastic canvas sheets and painted over with explosive bright colors cover the walls, exquisite drawings mixing all kinds of media hypnotize your eyes, fine looking books that summarize his work are offered on display, and most importantly: him. The pleasant and unforgettable experience of watching him work and listening to what he has to say. His vision. His life.