Saturday March 23rd from 4pm to 8 pm.

 

Art and aperos in Saint André

 

Anne Reymond and Malou Bertain invite you to an English speaking reception with aperitifs to celebrate their exhibition at the Mairie of Saint André des Albères on Saturday March 23rd from 4pm to 8 pm.

 


ABOUT THE ARTISTS

Art and aperos in Saint AndréAnne paints *trompe l’oeil with acrylic paint on canvas. She is showing over twenty major works with canvasses ranging from 250 x 200 ( Roman Fishing Boys ) to 120 x 80 ( The Blue Window ) You can see much of her production on her site

After much travelling in the States ( 7 years ) Africa ( 1 year ) and Great Britain ( 14 years ) she settled back in France. After Sept 11th her activity as a cross-cultural management trainer came to an abrupt end. However, she was able to enter a training programme through which she could convert a passionate interest in art work into a career as a professional painter.

She works mainly on commission. Clients express the theme they want and she prepares pencil sketches ( which they can correct until they are satisfied with the composition ), then comes a colour sketch on a smaller scale than the planned work and when this is accepted, she starts work on the final stage, working on a canvas which she can then attach to the client’s wall.

Trompe l’oeil expands perspectives and brightens up all sorts of rooms.

Art and aperos in Saint AndréIn her Montesquieu studio Anne gives painting lessons, during two day intensive workshops on various themes – portrait, relief , figures, drapes, landscapes, composition and perspective. You can see details of these training programmes on her site.

 

Art and aperos in Saint AndréMalou was born in Marrakech. She learned  3D modelling at the Atelier Médiane. She has a great interest in the female body which she represents with grace and sensitivity. Motherhood and femininity rank among the more frequent themes in her sculptures. She has lived in various African countries as she followed her husband who worked for oil companies, and she has developed an particular interest in African female themes.

She works with “anodised bronze”, a process which allows for a beautiful bronze-plated patina, yet both weight and price are much lighter than bronze!

 

* Simon Newman explains the trompe l’oeil

As in so many endeavours in the field of the arts, this clever visual trick can be traced back to those perennial suspects, the ancient Greeks. At least that’s the theory put forward by modern Greeks – though you don’t need to dig too far to find the same story claimed by Chinese, Persian, Roman, Turkish and Egyptian historians too.

There is however a common thread running through all of these claims; that of theatre. Drama productions in ancient times were frequently staged outdoors and exterior walls would be painted to give the effect of anything from battlefield carnage to bacchanalian romp (though in the case of the Romans, it’s hard to tell the difference.)

But it wasn’t until the technique of perspective had been fully mastered in the 15th century by Renaissance painters that the trompe l’oeil really took off. The use and deliberate misuse of perspective allowed the art of “bending reality” to be taken to new heights. And new heights quite literally – for one of the most famous examples of trompe l’oeil stands 100 metres high in the Jesuit Church in Vienna.

As you gaze upwards at Andrea Pozzo’s masterpiece, your eye takes in the beautifully frescoed ceilings and then on to the interior of the ornate wooden dome. But the latter is a complete illusion. Pozzo has so cleverly captured the rise towards the apex that from the church’s entrance end you’re completely fooled.

It’s only when you get to the chapel end that you realise that something is wrong – the angle of view doesn’t make sense any more. And that’s the great thing (some would say the essential thing) about the trompe l’oeil – the inclusion of a visual device, often a witty one, there to reveal the trick. Without it, that subtle-but-defining element of mischievousness is lost.

More recent examples can be seen in Hollywood productions of the 50’s and 60’s – both in real films as well as cartoons such as Tom and Jerry. The mouse pauses just long enough during the chase to paint the entrance to a tunnel on the wall – at which point the cat, in hot pursuit, heads straight for it and.… splat!

Then of course there’s the celebrated routine from “Singing in the rain” (no, not Gene Kelly’s pavement and umbrella sequence) when dancer extraordinaire Donald O’Connor appears to be running towards a corridor as if to exit the scene during the song “Make’m laugh.” But the corridor is actually a solid wall which he “runs” up, executing a back-flip of sublime perfection. It’s rumoured in some anorak quarters that the perspective of the corridor trompe l’oeil was skewed to disguise the wall’s lower half being angled sufficiently to give O’Connor a ramped launch into the gravity defying manoeuvre. Even if that were true (and we’ll never know – the evidence has long since been destroyed) then it would only serve to make the design of the trompe l’oeil even more ingenious.

But back to the present – there are no end of fine examples of trompe l’oeil to be seen all over our region (see the Spring 2012 P-O Life article on Maury) and a little further afield there’s the famous street scene in Montpelier where a fake window carries a reflection of the (very real) church opposite.

And if you’re in Le Boulou sometime, check out that cat on the window ledge – in particular take a critical look at those window shutters. The trick is revealed in the angle of the shadows.

There’s only one time of the day (assuming the sun is out) when it could be possible – though of course if you happen to be there at exactly that time, then who’s to say what is reality?

As Picasso put it, “Anything you can imagine is real” – a statement that’s both irrational and plausible at the same time. Rather like a trompe l’oeil.

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