2016 was an excellent year for me. Despite the craziness on the planet I painted circa 350 paintings. Read and listened to 83 audio books. Sculpted and decorated my manga eyes. And painted those four mannequins that pinched a nerve in my back.
In April I had a show with Carré d’artistes in their Saint Germain gallery with excellent sales. Then in November my paintings were at the Luxembourg Art Fair.
In August I began painting landscapes of the American Southwest. These paintings sell faster than I can make them.
For some time I’d wanted to liberate my technique, to go abstract. Painting the red rock formations and big skies , was the ticket.
It’s true that to master your craft you need to produce a massive quantity of work and to stay concentrated.
The result is this final painting for 2016. Up close the details are abstract, the use of the palette knife apparent. Step back and it blends beautifully. It looks hyper-real.
These eyes are the result of 18 months of planning, sketching, trying, failing, sculpting, and destroying . I wanted to break away from my painting. To make something completely new.
Finally I have something satisfactory. But best of all I know where I am going with the series.
The planet’s events in the past 18 months have struck me emotionally. I was supposed to be at dinner over by the Bataclan on Nov 13th. Brexit was a big blow. Then, on July 14th, at the last minute, we decided to not go to the Nice fireworks. It was our first day of vacation. At the end of August I walked right next to the car bomb that did not explode or rue de Buci, close to Notre Dame. Then there was the US elections that traumatized and divided my homeland. These manga eye sculptures are my reaction.
A special thanks to my gallerist, Oscar Seran, for his support.