M le mag How I argued
A quarrel over love or friendship, a family or professional argument marked their lives… This week, Emilie, 46, painter in Vannes.
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My parents have always denigrated me, despised me. In my family, everyone is a teacher. My father taught philosophy, which gave him a double authority: that of the father and that of the "Knower", with a capital "s". My mother taught French and Latin. As far back as I can remember, I've always wanted to paint. It is an aspiration as old as me. From childhood, this taste bothered my parents. They quickly labeled me as the "weird" girl. They spoke to me condescendingly. They looked at me like a stranger.
However, they are the ones who opened me up to this world: they took me to the museum, made me travel… I was immersed in an artistic culture. But, growing up, I realized that they didn't think it could be a lifestyle choice. Worse, it contaminated the whole vision they had of me. To our friends, to our loved ones, they always said, in a humorous tone: “Oh, you know, Emilie, she's weird! My clothing choices, my teenage crisis, my way of thinking, my vocation, everything was encompassed in this word which expressed their incomprehension.
“Over time, this denigration damaged me, left traces. I haven't changed lanes yet."
Once, at Christmas – I must have been 9 years old – I had made an abstract painting for my father, with recycled objects, which I had wrapped in gift paper and placed under the tree. When he opened it, in front of my whole family, he didn't at first understand what it was. I had to explain to him that it was a painting. There, everyone laughed at me. My cousins were laughing, I was the object of the laugh of the moment. There was nothing nasty in their intention, it was: “Here you go, Emilie doing her thing again”, but that hurt me.
Over time, this denigration damaged me, left traces. I haven't changed lanes yet. I did do some studies to please them, but that didn't work out, and I continued to paint. They thought I was putting myself in financial and social danger. When I was 20, I told them that I was going to move to the other end of France, to Vannes. I needed to get away from them. My father replied: “If you leave, you are no longer my daughter. He tried to push me to train to become a heritage curator. I refused, and left. He didn't speak to me again for several months, before writing to apologize to me – an incredible event for this proud man.
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