January 22, 2013 § Leave a comment
I took half a day off on Friday to go and see the exhibition L’impressionisme et la Mode [Impressionism and Fashion] in Orsay. It was a fantastic exhibition and I’m happy I managed to see it before its end, yesterday. More than the paintings and the costumes I had already expected to find there, I was delighted to see literature was used as a hyphen between both domains. You were welcomed with a quote by Huysmans: “Le peintre moderne est un excellent couturier” – meaning: The modern painter is an excellent dressmaker. That is what the whole exhibition was trying to prove: that impressionist painters were as good, if not better (Ingres’ example) than dressmakers themselves.
What I enjoyed were the quotations from Zola’s Au bonheur des Dames, Baudelaire’s Le Peintre de la Vie Moderne and Balzac’s Traité de la Vie Elégante. It made me dive again into what I have been so passionate about: fashion in the 19th century. It also made me rediscover the art of James Tissot, whose paintings, I must say, had fallen into the abyss of my mind for a while. Actually, before last Friday, I couldn’t remember anything but the scene of the onboard-ball, because it reminds me so much of the first chapter in Flaubert’s L’Education Sentimentale. Anyway.
What struck me was how, once in Orsay on Friday, I literally died for James Tissot’s paintings. Although I had come expecting a lot of Manet – and a lot of Manet there was – I soon realised I was fascinated by the precision in Tissot’s paintings. So I stared at Le Cercle de la Rue Royale for ages, and also at the foldings in the dress of the woman standing next to the Marquis de Miramon.
While I am writing, a distant memory seems to come back to me: when I was a child, I had been bewitched by the beauty of the detail in a yellow dress – a bright yellow dress worn by a woman going to a ball. You know what I mean don’t you? I’m exactly referring to Tissot’s Le Bal. Back then, I didn’t even know what impressionism was or who Tissot was. And let alone that I would be studying the 19th century 10 years later. It is very hard to believe in coincidences sometimes. I remain convinced that there exists something born inside you that makes you love one thing, one day. And later, without necessarily being aware of it, you will keep looking for the means to complete the picture for the rest of your life – and this quest will end with the end of your time. The more I grow up, the more I realize my soul belongs to that period. Maybe I used to live in that time in a previous life… Maybe I did admire Tissot’s paintings with my own eyes.
James Tissot, I love you.
January 12, 2013 § Leave a comment
You’ll say that I’m obsessed with dreams, and you won’t be far from reality. When you wake up and you feel you’ve had an unbelievable and unreachable experience during your sleep, you wish you could re-live your dreams so that you could feel the exact same weird sensations again. This happens to me all the time. Plus, I always get the feeling that my dreams are so much more exciting than real life. and also much more bizarre.
I often wake up with that strange impression that I’ve visited another world. I never have good dreams. I often have nightmares and this has been lasting for a very long time now (up to 10 years I guess). But strangely enough, I find this more fascinating than having erotic dreams or such. In my dreams, they’re always magical elements and epic situations. There’s always someone to save from monsters or zombies. I’m never myself but another character who seeks a way out. It rarely ends well. I never die but I never succeed either.
The worlds of my dreams are always very ambivalent. That’s why I like them.
This is what Ramona Ring‘s illustrations remind me of. Some of my dreams seem/look/feel exactly the same. Disproportioned nonsensical figures people my sleep.
This is a series the German illustrator made for DIE ZEIT magazine for their issue “sleeping”.
Sleep tight babies.
January 6, 2013 § Leave a comment
Happy new year !
It’s 2013 already. We survived the fake 50786th end of the world and my greatest regret is definitely that it was no zombie attack. Pity.
As everybody else, I promised myself to do more sports and eat less, you know to better fit in the fashionable skinny silhouette everybody pretend to like today. The first week of january was more or less dedicated to detox. But today is the kings’ celebration day so I guess detox time is over for a while. As every other blogger, I also resolutely said to myself I would make an effort to blog more. So as the first post for 2013, this is going to be dedicated to my New Year’s Eve visit in Prague.
The capital of Czech Republic is lovely. The architecture is amazing, the people always ready for a good laugh and the city full of treasures. It has been a very inspiring holiday. I experienced the biggest fireworks ever in my short life, on Wenceslas’s Avenue, and all fired by private people. And no one got hurt, it was just pure fun – tell me again why our governments find it useful to forbid fireworks again? Whatever. Here are a couple of pictures I made there.