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  11:52:00 am, by   , 204 words  
Categories: Art, Collage

A 15 minutes collage

This collage doesn’t look very complicated, doesn’t it? Yet there’s not much left of the original idea.
10:29 It starts with a cut out lying randomly on a reproduction (Uccello). And I decide to fix that idea, thinking about Arcimboldo, saying to myself, well that’s not a great idea, but let’s try to do something with it.

10:30 Having shaped the chin, I look for another suit.

10:36 This changes the whole picture a lot, as it covers partially the turban.

10:39 But I have to go on: the face seems too distant to me. It’s a feeling that I know from other collages. I need the collage picture jump into my face. (I wrote on this in my former post). So, let’s do it with this fragment from a huge face. Yes! It looks really weird. I might stop here, but the turban is… disturbing me.

10:44 Another big fragment from that same face will give the right expression to the face and somehow, I’m back to Arcimboldo who demonstrates so well the passage of time in his paintings. But the underlying Uccello is hidden, no more princess, no more dragon, but in fact the dragon has won since he is the profile now. Or is it death?


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  07:10:00 pm, by   , 252 words  
Categories: Art, Collage


This collage was so messy that I decided to fix 2 moments before the final picture.
When I was much younger, this kind of process, not knowing what’s coming out if ever, feeling that things are going wrong, out of control, just made going nuts, confronting me with my incapacity of resolving the puzzle.
This time, I let it go. I still feel a little uneasy about this collage, but I decided to baptize it “Confusion” because I think that this reflects my own state during its creation and what is displayed.
Making a collage is always at the risk of confusion. All these alien fragments fight one against the other and deserve some artistic tricks to hold them together, to tie them up in the picture field.
Here the collage seems to “work”, but the meaning is so … confusing! It started with a ganja smoker and a baroque nude with a Disney head. And it finished with the big girl behind them. I won’t dare to speak about trinity (a religious term totally inadequate here), I prefer to say: trio or threesome because of the ambiguity of the relationship between the figures. My wife thinks I might be the naked man but then who’s the other guy? I am confused does she really think that I am that helpless comic-figure? After all, why not, it’s only a messy collage anyway. The next one is already begun and, for sure, nobody will ever think that I projected myself in it – even though…

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  11:23:00 pm, by   , 355 words  
Categories: Art, Collage


I am currently reading David W. Galeson's : Old masters and young geniuses ,The two life cycles of artistic creativity. He distinguishes between conceptual artists (young geniuses)who"find" new ways of making art and experimental artists (old masters) who search for perfection their whole life long and make their best works rather late.
I must range myself under the second definition.
But here is a citation from Paul Valéry :
For any given artist, what does his work signify? A passion? A pleasure? A means, or an end? For some, it dominates life; for others, it is part of it. According to their natures, some will pass easily from one work to another, tear up or sell, and go on to something quite different; others, on the contrary, become obsessed, involved in endless revision, cannot give up the game, turn their backs on their gains and losses; like gamblers, they keep doubling the stakes of patience and determination.

Well, I feel concerned by the comparison with the gambler. I just cannot give up, completely hooked on my collage,
it’s an obsession and the more I am gluing, the more I feel compelled to do so, sacrificing social events, exhibitions, vernissages etc. Luckily, I feel compelled to play golf too, pulling me from my desk. But I don’t dream of travels, the dream is on my desk. Where does this lead me? I have not the slightest idea, living from one collage to another, obsessed with the idea of making more and more of them. Like a collage machine. (Till death or illness will do us part.

add.: I'm really not desperate about this. On the contrary: this categorization helps me to understand why I couldn't find my "way" at once . Velazquez painted his Meninas at the age of 57, that's quite late isn't it? I discovered collage in the 60ies and practiced it a lot, but I became really conscient about it when I was myself in the 60ies... And I feel free now to make my collages in every way I want to or can imagine. That's why I make so many of them and particularly this year.

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  05:42:00 pm, by   , 396 words  
Categories: Art, Collage

How are you?

Well I am fine, I underwent yesterday a small operation of the eyelids below, I couldn’t see well after it for the rest of the day. Today, I’ve made another collage, called “Borgne” (one-eyed).
Any connection to what happened yesterday?
For sure, but it was more about making disrupted faces. But you’re right. The eyes stare indeed out of the picture.
You often make eyes that stare at the onlooker. Do you have any explanation for that?
Well, I guess it’s because it makes the picture behave like a face. Deleuze compared a picture to a face, I agree with that and would say that this effect is even stronger when the picture is hung up, that it is vertical like a person without a body. A picture is a ghost. Or an apparition if you prefer.
But you lately made some collages filled with figures, a sort of panorama, where the point of view seems far away.
Yes that’s exactly the opposite, often used in miniatures or religious sceneries. In fact, those collages come from such material. They are more distant, you can dominate them easily as you’re supposed to have a large view. The interest in making them is to create arabesques; like in Carolingian miniatures for ex. There is no real foreground, only background. Modern photography goes very close to the people in order to fill the foreground. In my near field collages there is no real background, just a presence. Régis Debray would speak of religious aura or something like that. As I am always searching something strong, there is only the foreground, deformation and shrill colors. But color doesn’t go so well with human faces or bodies – it becomes Avatar-like or sci-fi. And I don’t look for that. That’s why I consider myself as a realist not as a surrealist.
But some aspects of your art are connected to surrealism.
Yes, the experimentation around Breton is something I cherish very much, but my roots lay in German expressionism, with a zest of Dada. But when I reflect about that, I think much more about mannerism and baroque painting, because of the madness of these paintings, without their religious program. But maybe I am too blind to see that on behalf of myself. I just go on making my daily collage, at least when I am inspired, and let the rest be.

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  11:17:00 pm, by   , 239 words  
Categories: Art, Collage


It’s curious how the collages’ flow goes. Today, I said to myself: I’m tired, I shot a hole in one, it’s 24°C and I don’t have the slightest idea about making a collage. To set my mind on rest (why do I have to do that?), I lazily put half of a picture on another – definitely not inspiring! So I went to other occupations when shortly before supper, I returned to the desk. I got the idea of putting a greedy man with an ad of a girl in underwear. Soon I found the corresponding picture of a proud male on a red background. I cut out his arms and hands and placed the girl like a Barbie in his arms. But the man was looking away from the doll, he wasn’t involved. I quickly changed the head into an oversized fragment, which transformed the gesture in a clasp. At this moment I remembered what I had been told about an elderly man married to a much younger woman who calls after her when she disappears from his view, fearing to be left alone and dependent, after so many years of bullying, commanding and criticizing her. The woman is still there, but she’s inanimate. I felt quite sorry for that and when I look at my collage I am frightened myself. But isn’t that the proof that my collage is a good one?

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  10:26:00 am, by   , 286 words  
Categories: Art, Collage


In my house, I am very inspired. I have a large table on which I can spread my magazines, a nice stereo to work in music and especially a large separate room in the house. The collages succeed and I do not think too much by doing this. Only for a short wake in the middle of the night I'm trying to make the point: are they all good? Do I still have things to express or is it that I'm just repeating myself? What good is creating every day - it'll have to stop it one day anyway. And for who are these thousands of collages that almost nobody buys? Finally it is only in the moment of creation that I find my happiness, as also said H. Hesse. I know now that I am an experimental artist (Galenson) progressing continuously, but slowly in contrast to the conceptual artists who find their way in the 30ies. Me, I'm still looking, hoping to find the total artistic freedom down the road. This freedom, I associate it with the art of outsiders, without repeating their repetitive side of course, without creating other ways as my own requirement. It pushes me in a margin of the art world that I fully assume, even if the rejection of wealthy clients at Barclays still pains me a little - what is so disturbing and even repulsive in my pictures? I've been looking for the "picture", a perfection in the continuity of tradition ... For cons, it seems that having to fight to exercise one’s art is a guarantee of quality (Daniel H. Pink: Drive) whereas rewards incite ease. So I continue to arm myself with courage and discipline to continue my "late spring".

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  03:01:00 pm, by   , 439 words  
Categories: Non catégorisé, Art, Collage


This collage reminds me of my childhood, when I spent six months in a kind of sanitarium in the Bavarian Alps, an institution called “High Light”, with Dutch nurses, sort of protestant nuns. I was five and my parents weren’t allowed to visit me because we lived in the British part and Bavaria was under American government. I was sent there because I was small and there was a risk of tuberculosis. These six months alone in this house were a terrible experience, as the nurses were more Sade-like creatures, having chosen me as their scapegoat. Elsewhere I described the horrible meals I was forced to swallow and that I spew out in the toilet at least once per week. I do not remember any pleasant moment, any kind word, any friend. I remember the snow at my arrival and that my father drove away. And the glorious prairies in springtime, as if heaven had come down into this hell. I guess that from this experience dates my mistrust of any religious institution or school and that this conviction has been reinforced later, when after a three months stay in paradise (Switzerland) with friendly people and my first love I integrated a first class at Waldorf school a couple of months late where a whole bunch of little devils cursed me every day. No, reality was terrible indeed, inside our home as outside, with a jealous, sadistic elder brother who would beat me up always every day and this horrible school where the teachers pretended to be good but weren’t. No wonder that I preferred to be sick instead of being in class. In those days, my parents never asked me how I was going, or how I felt. They just let me grow up, that’s all. I learnt self-suggestion, got fever and could stay in bed with books. And this so often that everybody thought that I was in a bad shape. My memories from thirteen years in this school are very poor: whenever I could I daydreamed and escaped reality. My emigration to Switzerland was a return to the three months paradise in Ouchy near Lausanne when I was six.
Now to the collage. How do I identify with the young infirm? It’s the isolation in a chaotic world where things aren’t how they should be and persons not what they were meant to. Later, when I started teaching, I was sure about one thing, to be never a Dutch nurse or a Waldorf (Rudolf Steiner) teacher. As for my art, for sure it’s strength roots in my childhood, in the necessity of escaping a cruel world.

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  12:48:00 pm, by   , 157 words  
Categories: Art, Collage, Painting


This collage reminds of another one that I have painted in 2004. The spirit is quite the same, but I see some evolution – if there were none it would mean that I am repeating myself and that would be a terrible statement.
So, 7 years after, what changed? The trick of changing the human head into an animal is identical. It’s the way the pieces are put together: in the painting, I have tried to smoothen the borders, in the 2011 collage, the torn pieces alternate with unbroken parts. This gives a different effect: bestiality and frailty, barbarism and doom. For sure that since 2007 things seem harder now and the hogs are getting fatter and fatter and many hopes are drowned. So I feel that my 2011 collage is less funny, less optimistic and much cruder. This won’t arrange my selling prospective, for sure. But my route goes in the direction of stronger expression, with the risk inherent to this choice.

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  11:23:10 pm, by   , 20 words  
Categories: Non catégorisé


I decided to continue my blog but to disable comments. But one can find my e-mail address on my site.

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  06:36:00 pm, by   , 252 words  
Categories: Art, Collage

My private diary

These days I have been very creative - one collage follows another, sometimes several the same day. There is no link between them except me and the date. I doubt that there will be any big exhibition of them - anyway there are too many of them. So what is this for? There is no answer, I am just doing it, that's all. And I try to share my works with other people, hoping for some resonance somewhere.
One word about painting: in my workshop I could see that painting like an outsider artist frees the person and gives a lot of joy. If I should ever paint again, that's how I'd try to do.
A collage(111/2011) that changed quite a lot. At first, there was a text saying : et après? I felt that it was about making art. But then I found it too direct.I don't like preaching. So I hid it. I then sacrified two boys at the left for another picture of struggling men, creating a sort of melancholic god with many arms on one side as he unfolds some human history. But one can see in it the 2 sides of man - a kind of a dance between action and contemplation. (I'm not sure that this hits the nail...)
B.t.w. I feel a real urge to write something every day.

Today I transformed a Renoir. Funny because of the age of the dancers. And the man has no feet to stand on, he relies on the girl. Am I the same?

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Blog on art, centered on collage. It is meant as a sort of logbook of my creative work.


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