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Brichard was born in Antwerp on 22 January 1955. He studied car mechanics, much against his own liking. His dearest desire was to study at the academy. But his father – having a very down-to-earth attitude to life – did not let him. His mother was a soprano and had had several opportunities to join a company, but her pessimistic outlook on life made that impossible.

Already at a very young age, Brichard gets fascinated by colours and shapes, and by the contrast between fantasy and reality.
His mother’s father is a rather unknown painter who lives in the outskirts of Antwerp. He does not recognise Brichard as his grand-son and always throws him out of his studio whenever the latter comes over. This motivates Brichard to start experimenting at a very early age. His father’s father also paints, even though he is really a musician. He dies quite young, at the age of 56. At that moment, Brichard is only eight. But nevertheless he is influenced by his grandfather when it comes to books, music and drawing.

As an adult, Brichard takes evening classes at the Municipal Studio of Graphic Arts in Wilrijk (south of Antwerp) for three years and later, after his divorce, at the Academy of Fine Arts in Antwerp for another two years.
In the meantime he works as a labourer. When the plant where he is employed adopts shift work, he has to end his studies. A short time later a period of unemployment sets in, followed by drinking, gambling and women. He does not touch a brush for months.

After two years of idle wandering, he hits rock-bottom. This forces him to pick up drawing again, selling his work for food and beer. Today, he cannot remember how many of his works were sold like this.
From 1989 to 1993 he roams around Europe. Now he lives in Paris, then in Canterbury, then it’s back to Belgium, Tenerife, Barcelona, Rimini, … In hindsight, all these experiences have very much contributed to his style and outlook on life.
In 1994 he meets Kathy Vandamme, his current partner. Kathy, who also takes a great interest in art and creativity, urges Brichard to finish a painting he was about to destroy (viz. ‘Hangover’). The spark is there and they set about working together. She understands his work and the need to complete it.
You do not have to be an expert to recognise bits of René Magritte in Brichard’s early work. Later on, he will be influenced by Salvador Dali, Max Ernst and Esher. All these influences have now been melted together; to this he adds his own vision and hence acquires a definite uniqueness.

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