Saturday, 6 January 2007

Slave to the Rhythm - 2. Fighting the Bulls

Art Studio, Friday 5rd January 2007

„Slave to the Rhythm“: what a wonderful title for a song! And what an appropriate title to convey these painful confessions of a painter on commission...
It is not so long ago, a week perhaps, that I dreamt of artistic freedom and was determined to defend it with all my brushes and pencils. Then came the incident with the big painting (see part 1. La Folie des Grandeurs), which I have, by the way, turned to the wall in the hope that some day I ´ll be brave enough to face it again!
Then, 2 days ago, I heard that my bullfight exhibition in Vera should be prolonged, which puts me in conflict with the one planned in Mojacar. Therefore I now have only 2 solutions: either I postpone it, or I paint some new bulls.
But to tell you the truth, I have got a certain kind of bull allergy. Not that I get red when I see some –although I must admit that I would make myself scarce if a real one suddenly appeared in front of me and I´d certainly get red from the exertion! No, you see, the thing is, in the last two years I painted many bullfights, and sold almost as many. Little by little, people seem to steer me into the job of a bullfight painter. Even my father, an active animals rights campaigner, was quite disgusted as he saw my first bullfight painting. So I couldn´t believe my ears as I heard him saying, some days ago:
„I hope you are painting some new bullfights!“
Curiouser and curiouser. He just loves the colours, the movement, and, last but not least, the success I ´ve had with them. Something similar occurs with my clients. When I ask them:
„So, you like bullfights?“
they immediately answer, almost offended:
„Not at all!“
but hastily add with a guilty look:
„But we like how you paint it!“
Anyway... I am currently in the middle of my own bullfight, rebelling against the fate of becoming a bullfight painter. Trying to find a solution, I decided to change the themes, not always in the expected tradition, but a slightly different view, like the bull in the picture above. I didn´t like it at all as I finished it some time ago: I missed of course the colours, and above all the man in front of the bull. So I hid it and forgot it.
Some time later I found it again, by accident. Kevin saw it and said, it was wonderful. I found it to be better that it existed in my memory, so we decided to present it in the Vera exhibition: it was sold within one week! Hard to believe for me, but my agent had a smug grin on his face!

Faithful to my character always trying to reach the impossible – we have in french a kind of proverb saying: „impossible n´est pas francais!“ -, I tried this week to recover some of my, and not to mention the bulls, freedom within our slavery of the rhythm. Put simply, the glorious freedom of a herd of bulls in the wild!
The price of freedom is high: A difficult theme! I thought I would suffer. But I am quite happy now with the result. I will exhibit it tomorrow in the Street Gallery and see how the people react to it. And then, I guess, the herd will make its way to Vera, to fill the vacant places left by the ones who are gone (not dead, no, my bulls never die).

PS: The rhythm slave in me will go on hoping that the spanish animals rights league will succeed in banishing the bullfight from spanish life!

No comments: