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 :

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OK.

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!

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Accusation of “Liking Incomprehensible Superiorities”

ONE

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.

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TWO

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?

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THREE

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””.

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FOUR

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.

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FIVE

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!

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“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…)

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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

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“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.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Distancing_effect

 

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!

 

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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!

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