The Bernard Buffet Years

At the age of 20, Pierre Bergé met the painter Bernard Buffet. They became companions, and Bergé would go on to guide Buffet’s career over the next eight years.

Like all instances of love at first sight, we were lovestruck immediately. We met in a café on the Rue de la Seine … He was drinking cognac and taught me to play 421. … He took me to a boxing match at the Central on the Rue du Faubourg-Saint-Denis. …
Bernard was quick to speed things up, saying that we had to leave Paris for Provence—where his art dealer had found him a house—and that we had to live together.  ...
During those eight years, we were never apart for a single day. Our lives revolved around Bernard’s work. That was my apprenticeship. No matter what happened to me after, I never forgot the youth that was ours, the ambition that consumed us, the lack of self-consciousness that allowed us to confront any danger, and the passion that animated us.

Pierre Bergé, Les jours s’en vont je demeure.


Interview de Pierre Bergé et Bernard Buffet © INA