Fascinating, but very familiar. You see, my husband's ex-girlfriend is an artist and she is always sending him stuff in the mail, stylistically very similar to this, even down to the figures. It's amazing the post office forwards it. I tolerate it somewhat well, but when she sends him vaginal wall plaques I draw the line. This woman is unstable and got fired from a movie job (she does set painting) for sending "hate art" to co-workers, paintings and sculptures run through with razor blades and nails.
THIS stuff, however, looks wonderful, but I won't be ordering the book or sending mail.
While in Havana, I bought some extremely cheap folk art, but then I bought an extra item, knowing I had to give it to someone. It was a sort of magic place where all of the money obtained goes directly to the artists rather than passing through government hands. The very next day I was ready to buy even more from the very same person, but the stand was not open. It was sort of like in those fantasy movies where the portal is only open for a very limited time and then disappears.
Anyway, it only took me an hour or two to realise that I had bought the item as a gift for Marie Morel. Here it is.
I was planning to mail it to her in a box, but yesterday for some reason I logged on to Facebook (which I still hate) and saw that she was having a gallery opening in Paris tonight. So I went to it with my little package.
She is working on a project to honour all of the women in a "dictionary of women" that has been published with about 10,000 entries. Tonight there were only about 400 women on display. It is a huge project.
When I entered, she was just finishing her introductory speech.
I finally had a chance to approach her and stepped up with my brown paper bag, which was stapled shut. She had no reason to recognise me since we have not seen each other in so many years, so I flipped it around to show that I had written "pour Marie Morel" with my trademark signature which she knows perfectly well since it has been on every postcard over the years. Her eyes widened. "It's you?" "Yes," I replied. "I bought this for you in Havana on Saturday. Open it whenever you want, tonight, tomorrow or in a week. There is no hurry."
She set it aside. "I have saved every single thing that you have ever sent me," she said, "and I'll even save this bag." She remembered everything. "I still think about one of my first gallery showings when you sprinkled glitter all over the streets of the village and told me it was you only later." "Yes, that was in Forcalquier." I had actually flown to Marseille to go to that show but had not revealed my presence that night. "Do you still have the painting 'for my mystery friend' that I gave you?" "Yes, it's hanging on the wall right over my desk."
"I have to leave you to your fans," I finally said, since other people were waiting to talk to her. "We'll see each other again."
I picked up a price list on the way out. Prices for the very small items start at 1000 euros and go up to 20,000 euros. I doubt that anything is really being sold for 20,000 euros yet, but who knows, maybe one day.
Because of the crowd, I didn't see everything on display. I didn't even have a glass of champagne or any of the tempting snacks. I just wanted to leave. Perhaps I will return before the exhibition ends.
How wonderful, how absolutely perfect! What are the chances?!
Having followed this thread through the years, I was stunned with admiration when you told me your plans for the little bar. The serendipity of finding out about the opening and having the gift all ready to go is just magical. Lovely, lovely story.
A wonderful endearing account of respect and friendship between two people.
This is an introduction to me in regards to naïve art and due to the level of abstract, I will do research to try to fully understand this concept. It is visually appealing and receiving the numerous personalized envelopes would have been a complete joy when retrieving them from the mailbox.
When I worked in the courier industry, I can recall enjoying the extent of the effort some consignors would place in decorating the brown wrapper paper that certainly contained gifts to loved ones and I disliked placing the shipping label across some of the artfully decorated shipments.
Thanks for the update Kerouac. Sometimes I see items (mostly from the garden or up on the river) that look like they would be things she would use and incorporate into her work. Some of them I collect with the idea I might try and create something similar to her work. Not to imitate her. I just find her work incredibly inspiring.
"Learn silence. With the quiet serenity of a meditative mind, listen, absorb, transcribe, and transform" - Pythagoras