Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Fantastic Realism

As I watched the students in the marquetry workshop at ecole Boulle choose their projects, I noticed that there was a preference for transforming art into marquetry. Some of the most popular design sources were from M. C. Escher, who was responsible for much of the black light art posters of my young college days. Yes, I experimented...

Another source of inspiration was that of a Polish artist I had not heard of previously. Wojtek Siudmak was born in 1942 and moved to Paris in 1966 to study art at the ecole des Beaux-Arts. He is the most famous proponent of "fantastic realism" which, to the normal viewer could be described as "science fiction art." I suggest you visit to see for yourself.

I have included with this post the original paintings by Siudmak along with the marquetry panels which were produced by the students while I was there. The detail is amazing.

I have included a photo of one of the students, Stephen Delage, who is shown in front of his work during a marquetry exhibition around 1992. These exhibitions were grand affairs, with the Minister of Culture and other official dignitaries opening night. They were usually held in some large room, which by itself was worth viewing. It was an impressive feeling to see the artists, their work and all the public standing around discussing the works.

Stephen also produced the second image of "the man who stopped the world" loosely translated by me from the official title: "L'homme qui arreta la Terre." The name of the work which Stephen is standing in front of is "L'infranchissable obstacle." That means something like "the insurmountable obstacle."

I do not know who made the marquetry picture of the third image or the original title. This panel was located under glass in the office of the school, and was made before I got there. I cannot actually find my picture of the full panel, but I was able to find a picture of a detail, which I show here. When I get the time to search for the full picture, I will post it.

In the meantime, just enjoy the detail of the work, and the faithful interpretation of the original work. Far out, Man!

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