André Breton and Slavko Kopac, Au Regard des Divinités, Paris 1949

André Breton, Au Regard des Divinités, Paris 1949

André Breton and Slavko Kopac

8 days following my arrival, I entered Art Brut and started there managing that, at that time, small collection, I started that job. Dubuffet then went to El Golea, to paint and look at that Arab world. During that period, André Breton, who was in the first Art Brut committee, board, who collaborated with Paulhan and others, replaced Dubuffet and came every day in the afternoon to those premises and so we together looked at what needed to be done, what we needed to reply to and, within about one month, it all started. Breton didn’t know me then at all, to what extent I was a painter, I don’t know, I was always saved again in life by maybe so-called charm; everybody always said it and maybe my whole behaviour, because I’m a man without, they would say in Vinkovci, fussiness, which means direct, so it somehow started and I had my first exhibition in 1949 and that was a big event. 

André Breton; Au Regard des Divinités, paris 1949
André Breton; Au Regard des Divinités, paris 1949

I then made André Breton that plaque which was one of his most favourite among all the others ever published. And he wrote there, I made a of sketch how he should organise it and we made it together and together signed it and, for me, it is a bright spot. I’m talking about a man who was exceptionally dear to me, one of the rare gentlemen I’ve ever met in my life.

Exposition Slavko Kopac, Etoile scellé gallery, Invitation, Paris 1953
Exposition Slavko Kopac, Etoile scellé gallery, Invitation, Paris 1953

Then, around him, there were Jean Paulhan and Benjamin Péret, who wrote the foreword for my first exhibition. I met Michaux every week at least once in the evening and with Dubuffet. I entered that world which was really closed to everyone. How come? I always say how that small boy from the Vinkovci dust could just happen in Paris and enter what was closed to all. At André Breton’s door, there was a paper, no journalists, no reporters, nobody could ring the bell because he had banned it. I socialised with him and what’s nice is that they never intended or wanted to find in me a surrealist painter; they accepted what I brought.

Letter from André Breton, Paris May 1961
Letter from André Breton, Paris May 1961