Kupka, Czech painter

From March to July 2018, there’s an exhibition of Kupka‘s work in Le Grand Palais, in Paris. This place is maybe the perfect place if you want to… emerge from the tube and show the city to someone who never saw Paris before… It’s near Le Louvre, near La Seine, Place de la Concorde, the park of Les Tuileries… Something like :



I didn’t know anything about Kupka before this exhibition. He’s one of the guys who carried painting towards abstraction.

There’s something to explore here, which is how painters went to cubism ( https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cubism ), then to Orphism ( https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Orphism_(art) ), which is cubism with more curves and more colors.

These guys were explorers!

I let you read about them if you want. I just wanted to show you the gorgeous paintings he made.

Hmmm what is Orphism? OK another article.

Have a nice day!


















Accusation of “Liking Incomprehensible Superiorities”


Well yes I’m currently watching Justice League. I will need three evenings to do that, because it’s really bad. It’s… an off-beat pleasure. In this area of superhero movies, I often have fun to discover the “evil character” and how he (or she) is a mess. In this movie, the horned giant has to bring 3 cubes together to have a big power (to destroy Earth, or whatever).

Yes, it’s THAT bad.

One great fun is to imagine how impossible it must have been for Gal Gadot (who plays Wonder Woman – she studied law and international relations) or Ben Affleck (who’s been in Cambridge) to do this :

  • Batman: [Parademon about to attack him] Son of a bitch!
  • Wonder Woman: AHH

Voilà. I need to make an effort, but well…

I also noticed the ironic audience-elbowing geeky lines told by The Flash (“It’s like Pet Cemetery!”), yeyyy.



I ask Urban Dictionary what a Snob is, to be sure :

  • Anyone who thinks they are better than someone else based upon superficial factors.
  • A snob is someone who thinks they’ve got better taste than others in most things; especially in music, film and books. Snobs of this kind, frown upon bestsellers, blockbusters, and pop music. They regard themselves intellectuals and think of people who follow the crowd as philistines.

Well, what happens when they’re NOT superficial factors?



I read this morning in my Manet‘s biography great critic’s texts about 1870’s Salon (one is from Castagnary, the other from Duranty – those guys really impressed me). They were disliking Manet’s work, but it was delightful to read how they expressed it. Duranty says Manet has the talent and doesn’t use it properly (that’s this opinion).

In front of the public, “We don’t know any more how to defend ourselves before this accusation to “love the incomprehensible superiorities””.



Before Justice League, I watched a funny little French film (“Main dans la Main“, find it it’s silly good!), and before this The Rite, an Ingmar Bergman movie, yes it’s in Swedish and in black and white and it’s excessive and dark and artificial and great and pretty toxic.

I needed 3 evenings to watch it, too.



We don’t know any more how to defend ourselves before this accusation to “love the incomprehensible superiorities”” talks to me, and I gave up (defending) a long time ago. Manet or Bergman, this is a lonely on-my-island thing (but I blog about it, OK). I don’t want to sound a snob (and I’m sure I’m one, in some people’s mind).

And it works the other way round! If I talk about Puccini or the pleasure of XIXth paintings with a scholar, I certainly don’t talk about the links about irony I find between Thor Ragnarok and the idea of irony in Arts I read in Baudelaire’s work. I don’t want to sound an idiot either

Snob 2.0

Have a nice day!


“Get out of your dream!” as a modernity

These two paintings were made the same year, 1863. The first one (The Birth of Venus, by Cabanel) was a huge success and was bought by the Emperor Napoléon III. The second one (Olympia, by Manet) was a huge shock and scandal.

It’s a perfect example of the confrontation between classic and modern…


Manet is often called “The first modernist painter”. I’ll talk in another article about this painting, but let’s be quick : there are at least two transgressions here.

  1. Venus is a symbol, she’s lying on a rock with a very calculated posture, surrounded with pretty cherubs, awwwwe. Innocent as possible. He body is perfectly painted, “as it should be done”, with glazing light…
  2. Olympia is a hooker, someone brought flowers – a client, who is obviously… you. She stares at you, right? Manet, who perfectly knows how to paint, deliberately paints her not in a dream, but like in reality. She’s a bit pale, and wears slippers!

Wikipedia :

The painting deviates from the academic canon in its style, characterized by broad, quick brushstrokes, studio lighting that eliminates mid-tones, large color surfaces and shallow depth. Unlike the smooth idealized nude of Alexandre Cabanel’s La naissance de Vénus, also painted in 1863, Olympia is a real woman whose nakedness is emphasized by the harsh lighting. The canvas alone is 51.4 x 74.8 inches, which is rather large for this genre-style painting. Most paintings that were this size depicted historical or mythological events, so the size of the work, among other factors, caused surprise. Finally, Olympia is fairly thin by the artistic standards of the time and her relatively undeveloped body is more girlish than womanly.

(…both are in the Musée d’Orsay, in Paris. If you want to visit the city one day…)



In this article, I watch the second transgression. From him, we begin to really SEE the brush strokes. A painting like this invites you to THINK instead just feeling happy because it’s beautiful.

Look at the chairs and the characters in the front of the Tuileries park in Paris. They are normal. But the trees and the crowd are just… stains.

He opened the way to impressionism



“What I seek before all else in a painting is a man, not a painting.”
Emile Zola


Hitchcock and Wilder, as movie makers, always said that they don’t want to push the audience in a dream, but invent stories or events strange enough to make the audience AWARE it’s a film, to have fun with them. Hitchcock always appears in his films, which is an example.

Brian de Palma (cinema) works like Brecht (theater) about distancing effects, things (like a split screen) which will make break the cinema-dream to put you out and make you think.



Tool :

Yes it’s a tool, useful for today. Whatever your field, how can you do to use it? Is “Making people aware of the form” modernity? What are the other criterions?

In a post-modern era, or if your audience IS aware, what happens? You use irony, geeky references? How does it work? How can it be boring? How does it fail?

Hmmm. Sorry I have to stop and go to bed.


Thank you for reading!




The “Triangle Words Expansion” method for creative writing

When you blog on WordPress, you have charts where you can see the number of visitors and what pages, what articles they visited. It’s funny because since a few days it’s very… like telling the story of who visited me : the visited pages draw something – and I ofter re-discover articles I forgot I wrote!

It linked some writings together, giving a sense into the form of structure, and I thought about Roussel and my Triangle Words Expansion method.

I know this technique from Raymond Roussel, a French writer. It’s awfully simple : Choose 3 words and draw a triangle – draw links from each word with all you need to use – cut them in pieces, use linked words, etc, until you get a light-bulb over your head, a seed, a story-idea.

OK. The method is simple : catch a book a magazine a dictionary, choose three words. These words must be a bit interesting, and apart from each other (if you choose farm, cow and horse, you won’t go very far).

Then use whatever you want to extend/expand your field.

One day I wrote a short story about a bottle in space, but… whatever.

I just did it and found “reminiscent“, “domesticate” and “solace“.

From this, staying in English, you cut words to find these : rem, scent, mini, dome, cat, tick, mess, solo, ace, solar or shoelace…

Tick gives clock, time, parasite, insect, disease. Dome gives glass (perfect for sun). When I’m stuck I use French : mess gives “messe” (a mass, which gives me religion and heaviness, right). Ace give me “carte” (a map, or a card to play).


I don’t have a story yet, but I know there’s a woman alone living in the future, under a glass dome, with a cat named Ola. She’s praying when she sees something frightening through (or on) the dome. She will need to escape (needs a map), and outside will be captured and her hands tied : all what she saw was fake, an illusion to make her out.

Hmmm. Any Sci-Fi writer around? I’ll do better next time, OK?

Thanks for reading!


Summons to Reflexivity & Technics of Euphemization : Chronicle 38

One should from time to time re-study Yin & Yang. How they’re linked. How it passes from one to another. How they act & work together. How one prepares the other one. How we need both.


When someone rivals with you, but doesn’t understand what you’re doing really.


You have 1/ academics, the mainstream thing, then you have 2/ a revolutionary group, a powerful will to progress against it, you often don’t realize there are already 3/ people in the next phase, preparing in silence the next movement.


Bringing face to face, confronting two things :

  1. A tendency, a disposition, a propensity, something ready
  2. A situation, a place, a moment

(is the 2 provoked or prepared by the 1?)


“To make today what’s been done in the past“. How, why, what for? You have two hours.


We don’t know really what we’re doing.


What could be a trick to tell something… without telling it?

(technics of euphemization)


One danger for thinkers : the stiffening of categories. When you begin to think in non-movable boxes, the “labeling disease”. When you’re “sure”, you stop flows and possibilities.


A tendency to connect things.


The right to be disappointed by someone, a father a sister a lover or anyone.


“To remember is to imagine” is an obsession of Siri Hustvedt.


When you don’t find your words, WALK.


Freud says that dreams protect your sleep. It gets your brain busy in the meantime.


When you have a idea and you hunt it down thanks to the words. It’s a lonely process, or a conversation process.


I read somewhere that the beginning of civilization is not “family”, but “face to face conversation”.


When you neglect to call a decision into question.


Incitement without goal


Thanks for reading! Have a great day!


Hester Berry, a in two shakes of a lamb’s tail great painter

Hester Berry has a web page. She grew up in Devon, the South West of England.

I really don’t know how she is categorized, but I’d like to invent hyper-impressionism.

You’ll quickly understand her trick : landscapes made with quick painting knives… spots.

If you look closely, it’s abstract art.

If you half-close your eyes, of if you look from a mile away, you see a landscape.

(it’s why I chose for once to present her work in the stamps mode)

“Heeyyyyyy cheater, this is tricky!”.

Bah, I love that. She captures something. She is probably very fast (but I’m not that sure). She has to think a lot before attacking, right?

And prepare colors…

Thanks for reading!



Influence in Art : Simple Formal Crutch, or Genuine Semantic Relaunch?

Simple formal crutch, or genuine semantic relaunch?

The idea of influence is intriguing. Nothing comes from the magic void of inspiration. Every artist have a past, a childhood, artists he loves or hates. Every artist borrows, continuously. They swallow and it gives something else.

Like drawing water from the river of what’s around.

This being said, it gives us many dials, many needles to watch, from zero (plagiarism or copy) to the most subtle influences (and many of them are even unconscious), from a simple borrowing (the formal crutch) to the semantic whole relaunch.

Plagiarism is just boring and dishonest, but when you watch the greatest artists and how they deal with influence, it’s thinker’s delight…

Simple Formal Crutches

  1. An idea as a seed
  2. Randomly found or methodically
  3. A start, like the grain of sand to make a pearl in the shell
  4. A winking eye knack for the public
  5. An homage to the old artist
  6. A casual drawing, “I pick up anywhere if I like it”
  7. Penny dropping

Genuine Semantic Relaunches

  1. After a revelation, from a masterpiece
  2. As a will to extend a territory, to make things move forward
  3. Discovery of a style, a whole area unknown before
  4. Etc

It’s not that simple, obviously : a little borrowing, a little seed can turns out to be the beginning of a clicking huge transformation…

Thanks for reading



Seeking Circuits

I found this in a Siri Hustvedt book :

Jaak Panksepp was a neuroscientist who said that what animates us is a “seeking system”, which pushes all mammals, a mouse or a human, to explore or understand what’s around, and to extract a meaning from every situation we meet.

A quick Google search lead me to this paragraph, which will make thinkers smile :

‘’For humans, this desire to search is not just about fulfilling our physical needs. Panksepp says that humans can get just as excited about abstract rewards as tangible ones. He says that when we get thrilled about the world of ideas, about making intellectual connections, about divining meaning, it is the seeking circuits that are firing.”

E. Yoffe

I think there are ranks here – from crazy seeking for useless lols on Internet to exploration of other cultures and areas of knowledge…

Some also say that depression is caused by a failure in our seeking system…

Thanks for reading!

Quote for those who write : “Do I speak at the…”

“Do I speak at the right time or not? Do I speak facts or not? Do I speak gently or harshly? Do I speak profitable words or not? Do I speak with a kindly heart or with inward malice?”

…is it a more ancient way to ask :

“Before you speak, let your words pass through three gates:

At the first gate, ask yourself “Is is true?”At the second gate ask, “Is it necessary?”At the third gate ask, “Is it kind?”

Birdy Animal, another quickquirk poem

I saw an animal in my house…

I think it’s a bird

It has two wings you can see

Above its head

It can fly for sure

Proof is : it was on the floor

And suddenly on my bed

This bird has a long tail

A feather it is

The wings work with an engine

I can hear the engine in the bird

On the bed in front of me

Purr… purr…