Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Agent Provocateur

Douglas Brodoff was one of the first people I met when I moved to Montmartre seven years ago. I heard him speaking American English and just started talking to him. He was with another American and we bonded, like strangers in a strange land do.

He was a writer then, but has since begun an ongoing painting project that illustrates the every day man on the street. But not just any man - the little green men (and women) who clean our Parisian streets. His extensive research and interviews of them and their life are part of his website . Their proper name is "Agents de Propreté" of Paris.

In French the name for outsider art is "art brut." And the French have a museum for it: Halles Saint Pierre near the fabric shops just below Sacre Coeur. The building was an indoor market in the old days and now has some of the most interesting shows in Paris, and one of the best little book shops too.

Douglas hasn't shown his paintings there (yet) but he has had shows at the Mairie of the 18th, the Mairie of the 2nd, Theatre Mouffetard, and here chez moi in February 2006 at the closing party for Delphine Perlstein.

He's also good with computers. He's walked me and talked me through setting up an online gallery of images of the artists who have shown here, and he sure does know his way around Photoshop. When I mentioned that I intended to throw out all the photos I have that are underexposed, he took one underexposed photo, lightened it, made a mirror image of the girl, made a mask cut-out and colored it red with a yellow edge. Just playing, like that, my pathetic black photo of a girl was now turned into a surreal piece And I was reminded yet again that that's what artists do.

1 comment:

Arturo said...

Art Genial !!
A bientôt !!