Art as a cure

Sacré Coeur, by Maurice Utrillo. Mid-30’s. Musée Montmartre. Utrillo (1883-1955) was Susanne Valadon’s son (see a previous “virtual museum” post). Montmartre, where he lived all his life, was his main source of inspiration. The church in the foreground would be the small Église Saint-Pierre, one of the oldest churches in Paris. Built in 1147, a…

Guernica by Dora Maar

1937. Civil war is raging in Spain. Volunteers from all over the world run to Spain to enlist in the International brigades. War is sinister. Civil war is “sinisterer”. Friends against friends. Neihbours against neighbours. Brothers against brothers. On April 26, 1937, the little town of Guernica in Spain, between Bilbao and San Sebastian, is…

Picasso-Trotsky, the unlikely connection

Leon Trotsky, aka Lev Davidovitch Bronstein (above) and Pablo Ruiz Picasso (below) never met. One was born in Russia and assassinated in Mexico in 1940. The other, born in Spain, spent most of his adult life in France, where he died in 1973. They never met, yet there is an uncanny connection. Picasso by Dora…

Travellers

Moustache. Traveller 16. Under Picasso’s shadow. Protection. Travellers 17. La Défense. “Have I turned the gas off?” Traveller 18. Line 1. “Have suitcase. Will travel.” I found those stuck to a wall in the Marais, after a disappointing Cartier-Bresson expo. Placed high on the wall and protected by glass from morons and taggers. (Hence the…

A summer in Paris 3

King Tut. The 100 years expo. 150 original objects. That last phrase should have caught my attention. 30 years in Marketing and I fell into the trap. “Original objects”. As in “never shown before”. What about those that had been shown before? Fifty years ago? Didn’t see them then… The place was packed despite specific…

A summer in Paris #2

Dora Maar (1907-1997). I knew (of) Dora Maar only as one Picassso’s many models and mistresses. I had no idea that she was one the 30’s top photographers and artists. She was friends with Breton, Aragon, Brassaï and many others who formed the brilliant Paris art scene of the 30’s. That was before she became…

A morning walk Paris

Saint-Germain l’Auxerrois. This pretty little church sits at the side of the Louvre. Though the oldest standing part dates back to the 12th century, there was a church there as early as the 6th century. It is often closed, for lack of personnel but well worth visiting. No queues. Adam and Eve at Saint-Germain l’Auxerrois.…

Pot-cinquante-pourri-cinq

Sunrise, Angkor-Vat, Cambodia. January 2018. “Yes, Scotty?” “System is down, Sir, we have to resort to analog visual substitutes”. “Binoculars, Scotty? You must be joking! Are we flying blind?” “They’re very good binoculars, Sir. Mid 20th century. Not a scratch.” “I don’t care, get the system back up! All passengers and crew: fasten seat belts!…