Saturday, June 9, 2007

Longing for lemonade.

In the West of France, a province called Normandy, near a small village, lives on a very isolated farm the American painter Richard Harper with his wife Karen and daughter Hannah.
Richard Harper is an incredible painter who makes hyper realistic portraits and figures.
Besides being an incredible painter he is also an amazing person.
A good friend for many years and each time Paris is visited Richard comes to town for a meeting.
That always includes a lunch or dinner in a restaurant sprinkled with the most favourite wine, a Chinon from the Loire Valley.
And often an exhibition is visited to become better informed what is going on in modern art.

Yesterday, after a delicious vegetarian couscous in a Moroccan restaurant, the two brave artists went to the Centre Pompidou.
This is one of the main museums in Paris showing Modern Art.

It has an important collection of modern art which includes the works of this humble blog writer.

These months a major show is presented in the Centre Pompidou of a French artist called Annette Messager.
A 64-year-old woman.
The exhibition presents a panoramic survey of her work from the 1970’s to the present.
Remarkable is that the curator of the exhibition, the producer, the researcher and the designer are all women.
This makes sense because it is a very female exhibition.
Most objects are handmade like they were dolls for children.
The art aspect is that the forms often are a little abstract although many monkeys, dragons and penises can be easily recognized.

One room contained an art object of Annette Messager that was a huge red cloth under which strange objects were placed.
A ventilator blowing wind under the cloth made it move like waves of the sea.
In the back was a square opening from which the red cloth was coming and the wind as well.
It was like a huge red wall was coming to the spectators in scaring waves.
A constant mini tsunami.
Although this work has the title “Casino”, also Richard had the thought that this piece referred to menstruation.

This work “Casino” was presented in a half dark room where one could sit down, making it an excellent place to have a nap.
Seeing waves, even when they are red and in a museum, makes sleepy.
For the second time in a few weeks, this shocking experience was had of returning from the nap and before opening the eyes having the thought not to know where one was.
This is a feeling of extreme confusion not to have a clue where one is.
A feeling of being ultimately lost.
After opening the eyes seeing the monthly flood still moving, quickly it was realized location of being was in the Centre Pompidou in Paris in France in Europe.

After having gone through seeing all the neurotic and maniacal exercises of Annette Messager, looking like results of instructions by Friedrich Fröbel, it was time for the boys to have a strong cup of tea in one of the cafeterias of the Centre Pompidou.

Richard made a scaring remark by reporting on his observation that most visitors of the exhibition were women and that we had been two of the very few men there.
It felt like having been in a canoe surviving a drop of the Niagara Falls and this made the prospectors head for a wine bar on the South Bank of the Seine river.

Having a generous glass of Chinon wine it was discussed in how far the heroes had become addicted to alcohol.
One full bottle of wine had become like a peanut but Richard could justify the best.
His daily ration of whiskey started to be serious and endemic as of 9/11.
We may expect now that once the war, which is already lost, is over, with Richard a glass of lemonade will be shared.

Next stage of the expedition was to make a long walk to the South part of Paris, near Montparnasse, to go and have dinner with the famous fashion photographer Sacha.
Sacha has been for over 22 years the most important fashion photographer of the magazines Vogue and Marie Claire.
Now she is retired and lives in the spectacular house that used to belong to the famous Belgian painter Corneille.

This is one of the most interesting things in life.
To be with good friends who share devotion and passion for art.
Who are bright, intelligent and sweet.
Who are aware and well informed.
To talk about all the different aspects of life.
To express opinions and to hear those of others.

It was late again and in between tropical rainfall and crazy people returning from exciting parties the room in Hotel Cervantes became the safe and peaceful place again for a few hours of sleep.
To have more meetings this morning and to get ready to train back to Amsterdam later in the day.


To learn more about the work of the French based American painter Richard Harper, click on:

To learn more about the Centre Pompidou in Paris, France, click on:

To learn more about the French artist Annette Messager, click on:
or click on:

To learn more about Dr. Friedrich Fröbel, click on:

To learn more about the Belgium painter Corneille, click on:

1 comment:

Steven said...

I love yr blog, never miss a day, it is a shame you isolate yourself in the trou du cul du monde in Baja, when you could be touring the fuso in cultural europe visiting all those interesting people you know.

Steven in Antibes