Saturday, January 16, 2010

Deux artistes ou/or Two Artists

I am utterly smitten by those who have artistic talent. I used to be able to sing quite well, but age and twenty years of smoking have taken their toll on my voice, but that was it. Pat, my wife, has taken up painting and is really very good, despite her oft repeated claims that she isn't. I am envious of that. I've tried one or two crafts, but I don't think that I have the patience for them. So those who have talent and real artistry fill me with amazement. So I thought that I would write about a couple of artists that I know, today. At least it saves you from another paragraph about the weather in England. By the way it has been raining on and off for two days now, so the snow is rapidly disappearing. By Tuesday we'll have the newspapers complaining about flooding!

My friend Danielle's son, Boris, is a really talented draftsman, and artist. I must say, by the way, that he is no longer called Boris, but rather BORRIS. An interesting name change and obviously plus cool que l'autre nom. But anyway. I really started admiring Borris' work a few years ago now, I simply don't remember how long. But his mother and I were having an extended conversation by email at the time. Sometimes my conversations, like this blog, can be a bit surreal. I had read something about the french penchant for hunting just about anything that swims, crawls or flies at certain times of year (probably all 365 days of it, truth be told.) This conversation had wound around my liking for piggy things, a forthcoming visit to france by air from Manchester, the recurring phrase "pigs might fly" and the probability of being shot down by some French hunter sitting on top of the Tour Eiffel.

Then out of the blue, Boris sent us a picture that he had done. We have it framed, hanging in our kitchen and it is still one of my favourite pieces of original artwork. I took a photo of it this morning but the photo does not look too good. I obviously didn't do a good job of photographing it. I might try again later and amend the blog, but for now, this is what that piece of work looks like.

I was, and still am, greatly taken by the way that the young artist has captured my wife and I as the passengers in the plane! What is fascinating is that, several years later, Borris is still drawing anthropomorphic pigs. I would urge you to look at Borris' Blog at where you will see a great deal more of his excellent work. I like to think that maybe I had a tiny hand in introducing him to this piggy theme, but I am sure that I am kidding myself. You should also have a look at Hippolyte et Jeremie, which you will find at and which is, itself, quite surreal! Have a look, you'll see what I mean.

However, the reason for writing about Borris today is the fact that he is just about to have his first Graphic Novel published in France. Called "Lutte Majeure" it is, I think, published by Casterman and comes out at the start of February. It is available through (I did try to buy it by way of, but despite admitting that the book existed it had a notice saying "but we don't know if this book will ever be available in the UK" or some such.) In this internationalised world that we now live in, I was quite happy to purchase it from Amazon France, and I do believe that the French Postal system is probably capable of getting the book to me.

Don't get me wrong, my French is not very good and, like most BD titles it will be filled with colloquial French, so I probably won't understand it, but I will sit in my archair and look at Borris pictures with wonder in my eyes!

So, anyway, here is an opportunity to support a young and very talented artist. Even if you hate pigs, buy the book, just for fun, you might like it!

The second artist I thought I'd talk about lives in a different world, literally. Hollywood. I first met Charlie when he joined my Lodge, probably about three years ago now. He is a smashing young man, full of life, good humoured and unfailingly pleaseant. At the time he said that he "made films" for a living. So I sort of pictured him making little short films and putting them on the Internet, or some such. He has been away, out of the country, for quite a while, but I bumped into him at our Ladies Night Dance just before Christmas. We got chatting and I asked where he was currently working, expecting him to say somewhere in Europe, for the last time I knew where he was I think he was in Prague. But I was quite taken aback when he said that he was working in Hollywood.

Actually, as a little aside, Charlie is partly responsible for restarting my blogging. He actually admitted that he read the blog and said he liked it as it kept him in touch with home. I think he was probably just being nice, but it was kind of him to say so.

I asked what film he was working on and he told me. The he said that the film starred Denzel Washington and Gary Oldman and my ears pricked up a bit. I really rate those two as actors. I was even more impressed in my own little way to hear that Frances de la Tour, who starred in that seminal TV comedy "Rising Damp" so many years ago, also featured in the cast together with Michael Gambon. Well I suppose he will have to find more work now that Dumbledore has kicked the proverbial bucket!

Then I was even more impressed when I started seeing trailers for the film over the Christmas Holiday. The film is called "The Book of Eli" and it is another entrant into what seems to be a group of post apocalyptic movies that are coming out at this time. There was "2012" at the end of last year, "The Road" a couple of weeks ago, and now "The Book of Eli" fits in with them.

I think that the film opened in the UK yesterday, and I must admit that I am very tempted to go and see it, as much because of Charlie's involvement as because I want to see the film. Mind you, I looked the film up on IMDB just to see what Charlie's title was. He told me that he was Second Unit Director which sounds very posh indeed, and I just wanted to see it in print. No mention on IMDB, I found "Freedom" (Mr Washington's Body Double" and "Safari" who is probably the bloke who purchases Mr Washington's cupcakes, they mentioned the Make-up filler artist and the Foley Artist (and yes, I do know what the Foley Artist does. They should have a bumper sticker that says "Foley Artists do it with half coconuts") but no Charlie Parish. I sent him a message on facebook and apparently you have to tell IMDB that you have a credit in a film. You probably have to pay them as well. Such is life.

However, to continue the theme of this blog, this film "The Book of Eli" is now on release in the UK and the States, and it may even appear in the arthouse cinemas in France pretty soon. So for Charlie's sake, go and see it. As he said in his post, you might even enjoy it. Yeah, I must go!

So that, I think, is it for today. Hopefully, more than two people might read today's blog and decide to help a couple of fine, young artists. Who knows?  See you soon!!

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