Mardi-Gras in New Orleans

A new painting in the series “The Music of New Orleans”… like my jazz paintings, certainly not in my usual wild free style, but this work is based on photos I took there, and I can’t work the same way from photos as from sketches done live on the spot. But it does not matter,  the result being one more painting style in my eclectic body of work, and one reason more for the critics to say that my art is all over the place…   I frankly don’t care, I am free, I have my own  gallery, I have no boss of any kind (except myself…  surely the most demanding boss in the world!), so I can really paint the way I want. And this eclectic way as they say certainly reflects my own character at best, so it is really me painting the whole stuff, and not me in search of myself. And as my brother answered to some people criticizing his new blog  ( “Je vous ecris de Tahiti”):

“… Ceux qui prétendent le contraire, je les emmerde.”

For this piece I have connected different elements which caught my eye in New Orleans on the Sunday 7th of February 2010. We were at our first parade in Canal Street, and I was of course fascinated by that colourful dream world. I am sure it will inspire me to some more work soon. I saw then the silver guy with the guitar in the French quarter after the parade, with a lot of folk around here. By the way I saw him again later on in the bar where we watched the Saints winning the Super Bowl, he was quite excited… hi YOU, if you happen to see this post and recognise yourself!

I have no idea if the New Orleans natives will like this kind of art featuring their town and their festivities. From what I could see there, their own art is very different -more caricature-based I would say- although we certainly have in common  the explosion of colours… how could we not!!! Somebody commented on one of my jazz paintings saying that much of the art there is tourist oriented. Even if it is, I guess it does not mean automatically that it is bad. If most of the art is like that, it means that the tourists like it, that they find in it what they felt being there, which is surely a very positive point. But anyway, I paint myself the way it comes to me, I have no intention of any kind when I start. I remember a painter telling me that my art is commercial, the reason being that we were regularly exhibiting together and I sold much more than he did. If this is the definition of “commercial”, then I am glad that my art is commercial! But I think it was his way of comforting himself…

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