ABOUT ART: The Best...My Own!

Magritte The Treachery of Images provides a cl...
Yes, sorry about that...I usually don't talk here about what I do, but this time I'm going to make an exception. Because I NEED YOU! Yes, I NEED YOUR VOTE for a portfolio of paintings I have submitted to a competition organized by a couple of (very active) painters, calling on artists to submit their work for the SCOPE space in the Miami Art Fair.

Please click this link and VOTE. And if you like it, please share with friends and get them to vote as well! With my heartfelt thanks!

 arttakesmiami.com/claude


Are you surprised? Well...You may have noticed my horse paintings that gracefully (hummm!) adorn both my blogs (this one and the one with my "It's cooking!" blog with recipes for the foodies among you - to see it, click on the link in the up right corner...) If you have noticed them, you'll know that I also paint...I've been painting since childhood and I learned the techniques of drawing and oil painting from my mother who was herself taught by Delvaux (among others). You know who Delvaux is, I'm sure: he's got a whole wing of the Beaux Arts National Museum in Brussels dedicated to him and he is, of course, Magritte's eternal rival. I'm not sure Magritte is better than Delvaux - I like Delvaux' s palette, although his sad-eyed women - always the same woman with the same expression - do annoy me somewhat. On a personal level, the most important thing I've learned from all of them (my mother included) is the art of drawing...as to the colours, they are my own and so are the themes!

Speaking of themes, you'll be surprised that what I present in this portfolio has nothing to do with horses. The theme here is based on the many years I spent  painting  the Third World where I have travelled for over 20 years in over 50 countries, inspecting and evaluating aid projects executed by FAO, a United Nations specialized agency (it's mandate is "food and agriculture",  i.e. giving people the agricultural tools to fight hunger).

My portfolio starts off with the Haiti disaster - a refugee family waiting for aid, forlornly hanging on to barbed wire (and it's real wire I've tacked on the painting, cutting myself in the process!).

The portfolio goes on next to one of the more emblematic pictures of the 2004 Tsunami disaster. You may remember it ...but not like this! I've added several bits to it (for example, the corpse of a Western tourist brought back from the beach in the left corner; a flooded house in the right corner) and of course,  I have deliberately modified the central piece: the wailing woman kneeling on the beach is cancelled  with a big cross - the sort of mark photographers put on their pictures when they want something deleted - . Why? Because there are definite aspects of that particular disaster that we in the West would rather put out of our mind. In this case,  the Indian widow who's crying on the beach where she's found the corpse of her husband.

Ok, we were all moved by her pain but she is in fact less important than the Western tourists that got caught by the Big Wave and died. So I crossed her out to reflect visually the lower level of priority attached to "natives" affected by disasters when compared to ourselves...Speaking of the "arbitrariness of the sign" which, as you all know, is precisely what Magritte's famous "ceci n'est pas une pipe" painting is supposed to be all about (illustration above)
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Think about it. Have you ever wondered why the 2004 Tsunami disaster brought more aid money THAN ANY OTHER DISASTER IN HISTORY? Because Western tourists were caught in it not by the dozen (as usually happens) but by the HUNDREDS!
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