I am going to miss days like today. I woke up around noon, ate breakfast, got ready to go out, and took a nap. When I finally got out I went over to Notre Dame first. There’s a ton of different, good places to people watch in Paris. (Duh.) For example, over by Saint Eustache there is a little park area where Parisians hang out. For good tourist watching Trocadero or Notre Dame are great. I wanted to head to the library at the Centre Pompidou to do a little reading and writing, but while it was still light out I wanted to be outside so I shot to Notre Dame. I posted up and watched the tourists and the hustlers. There is the sparrow man, the gypsies the souvenir guys. I actually ended up going inside for a little while, walking around, and wondering what percentage of the 2 Euro per votive candle went to defending pedophile priests and paying off victims…
From there I was on my way to the library when I happened to walk past a gallery that happened to be on my Paris bucket list. I had read about it and definitely wanted to see if before I left. It is only open Thursday, Friday and Saturday evenings, so the timing was great. On the walls was the work of Jean Rustin.
In a quote often attributed to Rustin (I couldn’t find the source) he is having reportedly said:
“I realize that behind my artistic creation, behind the fascination for the naked body, there are twenty centuries of painting, primarily religious, twenty centuries of dead Christs, tortured martyrs, gory revolutions, massacres and shattered dreams […] I realize that history and maybe art history are engraved on the body and flesh of men.”
You could easily see distinct stages or periods when what he was doing all had similar characteristics and the things that did or did not carry over into the next phase. One of the things I liked was that it looked great up close and from a distance. There were two pieces that I could snap pictures of, but there’s enough here I think you can get the jist.
I think the stuff is great. No surprise. Dark, ugly and naked? Perfect. I bet I can pick which of my friends will like this, and which ones will abhor it.