Dali: self portrait

“Two extraordinary things can happen to a painter in the 20th century: being spanish and being named Dali”. S.Dali.

That quick self-portrait is a master piece. Impeccable structure: don’t look for “mistakes” there is none. The real sense of depth thanks to the delicate shading (look at the chin…), the unreal materiality of the eye and the staring inside, that flaming light where so many emotions cohabit… all wrapped in a sort of brevity that serves the purpose of an instant sketch. Work of a master.

I told to myself: “no more lines” – or rather just the useful ones.

 

 

Raw cheap materials, why?

I draw with very basic materials, charcoal, kraft or white paper (although of a good quality, acid free, etc.), ink, graphite, all cheap and very common. They’re also tough materials if framed properly. Of course drawings live better and longer in a folder, I had an Ucello in my hands once. It felt incredible.

 

 

eBay…

Selling on eBay is rough. It’s the equivalent of playing in the streets for musicians.

10£. Yes.

When I used to do art markets, in Paris mostly, there was always the suspiscion that the sales were partly triggered by the place itself. It’s a well known phenomenon: the context adds some value, creates it nearly. My impostor syndrom is so strong (I know, working on it) that even after so many drawings gone, I still had that doubt…

On eBay there is none of that. It’s raw, primal. The choice is huge, the buyer is not impulsive as in an art fair. It’s nearly cruel but it brings everybody back to the street level and I like it. I’m very grateful and honored by my buyers. It’s a constant miracle and I’ll never get used to it.

And yes, I sell damn cheap there. Why?

Because not everybody has 200$ to spend. It took the habits on those art fairs and markets. I would leave a folder with all the sketches and studies with a few words “Bargain corner”. 20, single price. Because that is what they are worth according to me. They are good cheap drawings, no more no less.

I find selling very clean. Noone forces you, you buy because you want to. Clean.

So good shopping on Ebay… drawings or not, it’s the world bazaar :))

The sketch grunts

I wanted to pay hommage to the Sketch Grunts…

I called them in French “les petits grognards du crobard” (it’s a complex play on words, a poem by Paul Fort on Verlaine’s funerals by Georges Brassens mixed with the memory of the nickname of Napoleon’s soldiers: the “Grognards“, feeeww).

These were all the guys sketching at the Académie de la Grande Chaumière where I spent countless afternoons, happily sketching. Well, sometimes the pose was boring or I was too stoned… so I used to draw the drawers :). I felt and still feel an infinite tenderness for these guys, they were admirable, devoted, committed. Many pensioners spending their time there in a daily ritual. In fact many must be dead by now, one more reason they remain somewhere, a bit alive I hope.

Of course I lost lots in dead hard drives. Here are the double survivors…