Legends from our own lunchtimes

Friday, September 19, 2014

Orléans (and Le Ferté Saint-Aubin)

There’s something quite disconcerting about walking into a club on the other side of the world, to find oneself face to face with paintings that for many years hung in one’s own living room.   It’s even more disconcerting to be treated as some sort of celebrity by guests amazed that one would travel across the world to be “here” at a function complete with hovering journalists, photographers, government officials and art critics.

Somehow instinctively one knows when questions are asked about artistic intent, that responding with “I thought it seemed like a nice way to fill a bit of space on the living room wall” is not going to cut the mustard.  Thankfully in my own case, perhaps in no small way due to the amount of drivel I write each day, after the first wave of insecurity had passed, suitable answers to these questions and more were soon materialised and the nervousness and insecurity that had been building prior to the event soon vanished, or at least abated to a manageable level.

That nervousness and insecurity had been stoked to near fever pitch during the morning, spent with Dume’s friend Daniel as he led us on a private tour through the catalogue of his own life’s work, and that of his father and grandfather before him and that of his wife as well.  We were hopelessly inspired and overwhelmed at the same time as we wandered through room after room of his crumbling mansion, sifting through canvasses and sketch books and a volume of work the likes of which we could not even aspire to create. We could easily have brought any of his work away with us too had we had enough spare change to buy a small family car to exchange for it.

We wondered if one day anything we did could ever be worth as much, and after the warmth of the reception this evening we were all somewhat encouraged.  We concluded though that the only thing preventing any it from becoming quite valuable is the fact that we are still alive, and on that basis we are actually hoping that our work will remain affordable for quite some time to come.

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