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01/03/09

  04:44:00 pm, by   , 48 words  
Categories: Art, Collage

THE MAKING OF A COLLAGE: PITTRERIE

After those very serious considerations this is a joke about Brad Pitt and French pitre=clown. A pitrerie is an innocent joke like children do so often. The collage came without premeditation, my camera was just at hand and I wanted to share this smile with you.




The link

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27/02/09

  05:40:00 pm, by   , 100 words  
Categories: Art, Collage

THE MAKING OF A COLLAGE: SERENITY

Well after the emptiness, here's another collage in progress. Nothing special about it, just the trigger for making it: the picture of the man and the bracelet and then the fingers in the hair. I usually don't like long adverts in my collages, but here the word "sérénité" made me muse on the meaning of this word. What is the condition for serenity? You might think from my writings that I am not really serene, but luckily I am an optimistic pessimist, so maybe that's why the face is making a wink.




To see the final collage enlarged click here

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22/02/09

  11:22:00 am, by   , 418 words  
Categories: Art, Collage, Painting

EMPTINESS


Sometimes there is no inspiration, the well is dry. As I am familiar with that,I’ll share my thoughts on it.
When I was young, I went through “phases” of intense creativity, painting every day and, some months after, felt completely burnt out. I then figured out that inspiration had left me for ever and I stood before nothing. I would go through something like a brief depression that lasted about the same time as my creativity phase. I usually turned to photography as some sort of replacement. And then, miraculously, the inspiration was back etc. More than I wished, the emptiness between creative periods lasted longer than it should. I ruminated about my lack of artistic power, the end of my artistic career etc. In brief, it was horrible. Every three years, after a long time of nothing, I radically changed my way of painting, because I was empty: when I started painting, I would feel like a beginner. I lived with these cycles till the 90ies. I then worked with industrial lacquer, letting it mix and flow with stunning outcomes. After a couple of years of this experimentation, I felt like repeating myself and I started gluing magazines photos in these abstract paintings, transforming them into “gardens” or “landscapes”. What struck me, was that the neighborhood of a photo transformed the abstract field into a something meaningful, realistic, in phase with the photo. The “emptiness” of the spot turned full. But again, I felt like being caught in a repetitive pattern. Apart from this gestural intermezzo, almost all my paintings were based on collages, but I considered the latter only as a way of finding new subjects for my paintings, destroying them when the painting was done. From 1999, after a discussion with a former student who told me that I was more present in my collages, I concentrated on collage as my principal means of expression, the paintings being a simple blow-up or a support for collage. Since then I have never experienced again the post-intense-creativity-depression or emptiness. The only thing that happens is dragging my feet when the weather is fine, when the sun smiles at me - I don’t feel then as to lock myself up in the studio.

With collage, inspiration comes quickly, day after day, I feel free. But when I have the impression that I am messing around, that nothing interesting will come out from my work, the fear of emptiness creeps again in my heart. Not for a long time, but still…

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18/02/09

  11:45:00 am, by   , 326 words  
Categories: Art, Collage, Painting

A PAINTING FROM 2000, WITH A NEW COMMENT

Continuing making order in my working space, I have found a painting from 2000 lying under paper rolls and other garbage on my cupboard. It was a shock.

The painting seemed so perfect to me that I immediately asked myself: am I on the right way? Was it a good thing abandoning this kind of painting? So, in order get my ideas a little clearer about that, I'll try to analyze the situation.
These paintings came after a series of abstract paintings made with industrial lacquer. I liked the hazardous outcome of these paintings. Later, I took them up and glued some figurative elements in them. The result seemed stunning to me. But after about 50 paintings in that style, I got bored of it and went over to "pure" collage. Looking back after 9 years, I consider this as a very happy period. But as all delights, I felt that I was repeating myself, that my paintings became too pleasant to my eyes. Comparing them to my collages, I felt that there was much more to do than landscapes. But I retained the idea of collaged (I said: "upgraded") paintings.

During a long discussion with my friend Chantal, she said that this painting was on the material aspect of painting, the flow of color. I said that it reminded me somewhere of Soutine's landscapes, a burst of energy. The painting is completely coherent in spite of the fragmentary character of the composition. This means that there is still "a painting", even if it is scrambled. Or, there is harmony. My later works are less coherent, they are disrupted. I think that I felt that these "gardens" were a bit of paradise in my artistic work, but that I had to go out in order to discover new territories, with stones and thorns I must admit, but I like - from time to time go back to this paradise lost: making very coherent collages or looking at these paintings from 1995-2000.

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14/02/09

  08:30:00 am, by   , 232 words  
Categories: Art, Collage

A COLLAGE FROM THE SEVENTIES

Recently, after moving a bookshelf in my working space, I discovered a Polaroid taped to the wall showing this collage:

And I went into some reflection. The collage dates from the seventies, from my first marriage, my two children being a little older than on the collage. What strucks me is the way the collage was done, if I compare it to my actual ones.
It seems to me much more “realistic” with relatively little intervention in the pictures themselves. But, looking at the content, there is much to say. First of all, the family is split – the “father” is up in the air whereas the mother and the children are on a deck, playing, sunbathing. But the deck is not level and its inclination menaces the group. Their base is not solid. Furthermore, the big waves from behind are another menace to the idyll. And the father is doing a somersault way up in the sky. In fact, the marriage was wrecked and my life took another turn some years later, a leap into freedom in fact. As to the newer picture:

even if the persons are distorted, they keep well together, with their differences and personal inner life. And the father is there. So the apparently “realistic” collage which appeals more easily to the beholder is in fact showing an endangered world whereas the deconstructed one is much more solid.

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11/02/09

  09:03:25 am, by   , 29 words  
Categories: Art, Collage

BIRTH OF A COLLAGE : CAMELOT

This collage went under many transformations - as usual from an idyllic scenery from French painter Bazille to a video game-like picture. Enjoy.




The original picture can be seen here.

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10/02/09

  06:51:00 pm, by   , 315 words  
Categories: Art, Collage, Painting

MARRIAGE


If one may think that some women are attracted to artists – I don’t know if the reverse is true – the question is if it’s rewarding for both parts. In my personal case, I must say that I never met a woman who took me for a genius or had an uncritical admiration for my artistic work. But I came to meet some of those male artists who succeeded in being the point of admiration of a flock of women. Is there any difference in quality of the work of worshiped artists to those of less sexually attractive ones? From my little experience I must say that it is just the contrary. Maybe I am jealous, so let’s go over to the point of this topic. In a traditional conception like in Henry James’ The Lesson of The Master, man is hindered in his artistic pursuit by marriage because of the everyday needs of his family. And women are mainly made for having children… Well, for me it’s just bullshit. It depends only on organization and one can learn that. That has been my case. And it hasn’t hindered me of making art while taking care of my family. What if both are artists?. Well, I think it would be better for them to work in different fields. In John Updike’s Seek my face we can see how one (male) artist blocks the work of his spouse. Only after his death she will be able to make her own career. But still there are many examples of couples of artists working together. Coming back to myself, I must say that my wife doesn’t interfere at all with my work. She respects my needs and my work and gives me the emotional comfort I deserve. And I, in return, I try to do the same. So, marriage is not the problem, it’s the artist(s) and their companion.

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05/02/09

  04:22:09 pm, by   , 71 words  
Categories: Art

ANOTHER MAKING OF A COLLAGE: DEBRIS

I find it very interesting to share the making of some collages when I feel that there has been some interesting states. The final outcome was not planned at all. I started with the photo of tourists in Yemen, I had a vague idea about a menace, nothing more. Collage is improvisation for me, that's the fun about it. I am waiting for your commentaries.






To see the final picture: link.

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30/01/09

  04:47:00 pm, by   , 154 words  
Categories: Art, Collage

GIVING MY COLLAGES AWAY


Last year, I have decided to donate my collages. I sent two e-mails offering the collection. One to the Sprengel Museum, Hannover, no answer. The other to the International Museum of Collage, Assemblage and Construction, Fort Worth, Texas where I got an enthousiastic welcome. I let the Director chose, he has just started, beginning with the most recent ones. As usual, the expert's choice is a very good one. And taking those collages (about 40 from last year) from the boxes, I felt myself quite sad - no matter how well I was reasoning: It's your decision, they will take care of them, show them around. Your wife and your daughter support your decision. You are getting older and you must think about the destiny of those fragile collages. Yes, but...
Luckily, there will be a lot of collages left in the storage boxes. And I'll continue cutting&gluing. But still, it's a split in my life.

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28/01/09

  11:48:03 am, by   , 344 words  
Categories: Art, Collage

THE MAD ARTIST AND HIS WIFE, CONT.

Unsurprisingly my wife and I had a discussion about this post. Whenever I show her a new collage (every day), she is taken aback, sometimes alarmed.
I: But darling, what’s wrong with my collage? Why do you react like this?
She: They are so violent.
I: But look at this picture of Dave McKean , he does the same .
She: It’s not the same, because he makes a picture, you break it. That’s much more violent.
I: But darling, listen to those horrible news on broadcast or watch those videos on TVv…What are my poor collages against that?
She: It’s not the same. I mean the impression I get from a picture whatever it is.
I: Where do you see the difference?
She: You force the spectator not only to perceive everything as fragmented, you arrange the fragments in a way that thwarts systematically basic perceptual expectations.
I: Wow! So you feel that my collages are messing things up in order to disturb?
She: Yes, but more than that. You always go to the extreme, that’s violent.
I: Caravaggio too, think of some of his most violent paintings.

She: Yes, but I am not concerned with content per se, but with the use of the formal means of expression. Caravaggio’s picture remains within the bounds of familiar visual experience. Your collages don’t, not even to a certain degree, and this is what hurts me. I: Now I understand. I have lived with the collage, you not. It’s familiar to me because it came by and by, but you see the whole in one glance, that’s why you are shocked.
She: Exactly. And I am not the only one.
I: And I thought that everybody would enjoy them, like me. I guess I have to admit the fact that my collage can have a huge effect on others. But I thought that you were like me, darling.
She: Oh, men! They are so childish. And artists even more.

(inspired from a real conversation, with some adaptations)

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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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