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  01:12:00 pm, by   , 123 words  
Categories: Art, Collage


This collage:
came very quickly, in an instant. A family member had asked me for something on boats and sea, a magazine was open on the seascape from Marquet, and the pipe-line worker beneath. And it matched imediately. I fitted the captain's head to the pipe - and it was done! C. was delighted, me too, because I liked this joke with the very bourgeois seascape from Marquet, adapting it to our times. And... last not least, I am a sort of pirate too, with my hijacking of pictures. But it's only imaginary, and light. Sometimes it's good to make light collages: it's summer, it's very hot in my study and life is easy as the song says.
The link to the bigger version:


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  06:25:00 pm, by   , 136 words  
Categories: Art, Collage


This collage started with a picture of a camel race. It came quite quickly and I focused on the face. Afterwards I was thinking about the human condition and the sufferings people endure, especially in Africa: those terrible pictures of refugees in Sudan for ex. As everybody, I am aware that I am unable to change anything by my art, but it had just to come out of me.
There are still some aspects of this collage that I don't understand: the presence of the thumb and how the face fits so well into the animal's body. In fact, there's another collage which shows the same merging between man and animal:

The content here is much lighter - it is more a joke about men today: they got a ring through their nose, but behave proudly.

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  11:29:00 pm, by   , 279 words  
Categories: Non catégorisé, Art, Collage


I rewrite this commentary which has been erased.

In fact, it started with the hand full of pills. I cut it out and began looking for a matching photo. The idea was “addiction”, the promise of happiness and death. But I got stuck; I didn't find anything I liked. Only something very illustrative. And I don't want a univocal collage, a clear message like in propaganda. It’s not what I am looking for. So at last, I found the picture of the woman and then the one with the torn face. It was like in a dream when I put it against the hand: I felt that I had it done. Why? Because I followed form, not content, I gave over to my hidden artist (or my intuition) who knows better than me. How? My wife is surely right when she thinks that as a little Jewish boy in Germany, language was dangerous, so I developed a way of thinking in pictures, before elaborating words. They come afterwards, when I am looking at my collage: I understand that the nurturing of the hungry girl is an ambiguous gesture made of love and murder. André says that those pictures come from far away, even before childhood, in hidden memories I am unconscious of. The hidden artist gives me the chance to carry out this heritage which reveals itself without giving the key to a rational understanding. The enigma remains, but I can glean some apercus. This explains why I am so dissatisfied with univocal pictures. Which pill is the right one? Or should one refrain from taking any of them? Is it like Pandora’s box or the ticket to heaven?

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  10:52:00 pm, by   , 353 words  
Categories: Art, Collage

MY HIDDEN ARTIST (from june 2009)

This making of seems quite interesting to myself. Because it shows the deconstruction-reconstruction process of a collage. The more I am making collages , the stronger I believe that my collages deal with reconstruction. It was very tempting to deconstruct the French neo-fascist leader Le Pen, but I wasn’t so much satisfied with the result and decided to reconstruct the whole in direction of a Jewish face, which emerged without intention. The best “punishment” for this notorious racist leader is to make him disappear behind this face. Finally, reconstruction means the disappearance of the initial elements, but not of the scheme. So, yes the modification is radical, but the central idea undergoes a modification, from destruction to a constructive new meaning. And this has been done without my conscious acting: I love my hidden artist who guides my choices. The time spent on the collage: choice of the picture and first transformation into a caricature: yesterday night. The other states came very quickly in about 30 minutes of intense work.
Cette séquence me semble très intéressante à cause du processus de déconstruction-reconstruction du collage. Plus je fais du collage, plus je pense que la reconstruction y est un élément clé. Il était très tentant de déconstruire Le Pen, mais le résultat ne m’a pas satisfait de sorte que je me mis à reconstruire la face, ce qui aboutit à une tête juive – du moins c’est ce que je compris après coup – qui émergea sans ma volonté. La meilleure « punition » pour ce leader aux propos racistes répétés n’est-elle pas de le faire disparaître derrière un autre visage ? Ainsi ma transformation est radicale, mais l’idée centrale persiste tout en subissant une modification, avec un sens nouveau, positif. Et cela se passa sans ma volonté active : j’aime mon artiste caché qui guide mes choix. Le temps passé à faire ce collage : le choix de la photo, la première transformation en caricature : hier soir. Et puis, le lendemain soir, en une demi-heure de travail intense les autres étapes jusqu’à l’arrêt de l’image et l’évidence de ce qui s’était passé.

The link to the bigger picture

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  10:11:00 pm, by   , 269 words  
Categories: Art, Collage


After several trips here I am again. The making of this collage is an illustration of how my “hidden artist” is working: my wife’s anniversary is approaching and I can’t refrain from linking this collage to it. As usual, the faces are torn: the men’s is pushed toward a Jewish look and a gesture one can find in some ancient paintings of Noblemen with their spouse. I am tempted to recognize myself in the left eye of the figure: it seems witty to me, my wife speaking of me as “quicksilverish”. As to the woman, maybe I idealize her inner safety and assurance – it is contradicted by her face. Anyway, the picture looks quite happy – a sort of fusion without mutual absorption and that seems highly desirable for a couple.

For André, the French version:
Après plusieurs voyages, me voici de retour. La fabrication de ce collage illustre comme mon « artiste caché » procède. En effet, à l’approche de l’anniversaire de D., je ne peux m’empêcher de faire le lien avec ce collage. Comme d’habitude, les visages sont déformés : celui de l’homme est tiré vers un faciès juif, son geste est celui d’un seigneur avec son épouse dans certaines peintures de cour. Je suis tenté de me reconnaître dans l’œil gauche de l’homme : il me semble malicieux, D. parlant de me moi comme étant comme du vif argent. Quant à la femme, j’ai l’impression d’idéaliser sa force tranquille – mais il y a contradiction avec son visage. Mais, somme toute, l’image exprime du bonheur, une fusion sans absorption mutuelle, ce qui me semble désirable dans un couple.

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  05:27:00 pm, by   , 356 words  
Categories: Art

A photo of my brother and me

This photo rolls up a long story, as I am 68 and he is 73. When I was a little boy he used to bully me, beat me up, never let me win at any game and take it out on me when something didn’t work out for him. For ex. when there was a short circuit on our electrical train, he would say, what are you staring at me and sometimes beat me (he is so jealous of me). I learned to fear him but nevertheless always showed solidarity with him against our parents. At that time, I was a dreamy boy who simulated illness in order to stay at home instead of going to school. So the people would think that I was a feeble thing, an off the world dreamer. Later, I would avoid him as he used to tease me on many occasions when he had a public. But I must say that I succeeded in stopping him and in building up a better relationship. We play golf together when he visits me once a year in our house in France and we have a lot of fun, even if we live in different worlds – he a business man in Germany, me an artist in Switzerland. The photo: When I was in my native town, we went together with a cousin visiting some family houses. My brother saw a tricycle in a courtyard and sat down on it. My cousin took out her camera. He looked so small that I made a big jump on the rear of the tricycle, grabbing at my brother’s collar, like a raptor or a vampire, with a sardonic laughter. When my cousin sent me the photo, I realized that I had frightened my poor brother and that it was a sort of revenge: I felt that I had gained strength, that I was the dominator… For me, it was just a joke, but I learned something about me, a myth that my German family believed in, mainly because nobody asked me who I were, what I thought and what I desired. And above all, what I really felt.

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  10:29:00 am, by   , 304 words  
Categories: Art, Collage


I: We should talk about our relationship.
C: Again? I think it’s useless, we had so many arguments about that in the past…
I: That’s true, but...
C: OK then, speak.
I: First, I would like to know if you’re comfortable.
C: Well, lying in a black box between my companions is not what I prefer, especially in summer. And some of them are still sticky.
I: Oh, I am sorry; I’ll have a look on this. But my question was about the picture.
C: Well, I lack space, the ceiling is so low, and actually I am trying to get out of the picture. See my left foot? I am almost in your world.
I: Please stay where you are or you’ll leave half of you in the room. Why don’t you just play guitar and dance in your house?
C: It's so old fashioned, no computer, no TV set, nothing from this century. I need a handy!
I: Hm, maybe I can do something about that, but I think it wouldn't fit in the picture.
C: The problem is, I don’t feel quite at ease in here and I got this holy face, from you! So what can I do with that? Shall I be boringly decent forever?
I: Oh come on, let’s have some fun and be happy. Modern women don’t stay home sewing and cooking. Otherwise they'll depress.
C: So let me out!
I: I cannot. I just can suggest the move, not realise it like in a movie or a video. I am very sorry about that.
C: You should learn how to do it. Free me!
I: Maybe with a computer, but I prefer static pictures. Oh, I have to leave you now.
C: Like always when we speak about important things.

The link to the bigger picture

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  07:25:00 pm, by   , 106 words  
Categories: Art, Collage


This time, I started taking pictures in the middle of the work. As I wasn't satisfied with it, I started modifying it. I must say that many of my recent collages are the result of a fierce battle, more than in the previous years. Is it the mark of constant urge to do something different? The loss of an easy creative vein? When I am fighting with my collage, I always refer to Picasso, in the Clouzot movie, struggling with a big painting and leaving it finally at one moment. As my fingers were a bit shaky, please forgive me the low quality of the pics.

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  07:35:00 pm, by   , 16 words  
Categories: Art, Collage


This collage illustrates what I said about sacrifying a quite satisfactory state of the work. Enjoy!

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  03:50:00 pm, by   , 433 words  
Categories: Art, Collage

Roots and routes

Coming back from a family meeting in Hannover/Germany and sitting in the plane for Paris, I heard some French words and immediately, violently felt at home, free. Why did I experience this sensation of imprisonment in Hannover? I can identify two reasons. The first is the way how people of my German family deal with norms, their narrow-mindedness, their lack of humor and of wit. The second reason is biographical. I was born in 1941 under Hitler from a Jewish mother whose family came from Russia, and a German father deeply rooted in Northern Germany. I learned my origins by chance from a third person, at home origins were no topic of conversation after the war. I felt torn between two origins and decided later to choose the French language as my home country, a sort of middle way. So, my roots: Germany (Europe) had trapped my family; the only issue was death (the frontiers to Switzerland and the US were closed to us). Staying in the country would have implied an unbearable proximity with the possible accomplices of a tradition that had aimed at wiping me out. When I was 19 I made a break and went to… Switzerland and made French my primary language. I cannot say that I feel like a Frenchman or a Swiss or a German, my roots don’t reach the common ground. That’s why I prefer the term “routes” (that is, “roads” instead of “roots”), even if this entails some difficulty in understanding the behavior of other people whose roots are nurtured by elements I reject. Being confronted with the habit of talking and acting as if roots could be taken for granted makes me feel like an alien intruder who has no air to breathe. « Being confronted with the habit of talking and acting as if roots could be taken for granted makes me feel like an alien intruder who needs to hide

Does this explain my collages and why I create them? I don’t think so. My mother liked to draw; her brother Leo was an artist and one of her sisters- Anya- too. But maybe the split in my origins could have exerted an influence behind my back? Indeed, in my opinion collage is often about putting things together. And here again, I favor routes over roots, preferring the mobility of collage over more established means of expression. Even an installation seems grounded to me. But this doesn’t mean that I reject any roots, on the contrary, I cherish the great masters, the great schools of the past, but I try to follow my own route.

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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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