Sunday, October 21, 2012

French art for French art's sake

There are an estimated 6 million amateur musicians in France, but - I've seen it myself at the Associations Forum this September - actually everybody is engaged in practicing a form of art or another in this country. Just ask any French you know what do they do besides their official work and you'll receive some major art form as the answer: playing an instrument, singing, dancing, acting, photography, painting, sculpting and who knows what else... I've met French men and women actually defining themselves as an artist before their day job breadwinning profession: the sensitive French soul is mercilessly exposed to the world, you'll find out on the same occasion, but the world doesn't always understand the hidden genius behind (every one of) it.

Watch any contemporary French movie you wish and you'll see conclusive examples about how a mason is in fact a deeply perceptive musician, an economist is a genius novel writer and even a racketeer is a sensitive piano player (can you tell I enjoy Romain Duris movies?...). Nevertheless, there is an enthusiasm about art in France that I find truly ecstatic; what's left for the rest of us is the art of enjoying art, because art is everywhere!

That's why I didn't want to miss the Artists' Open House days this weekend in Versailles, when local artists open their studios to the public. It's a rare opportunity of seeing the artists on the very spot where they create their masterpieces and you get to ask them any stupid question you want, you'll be taken seriously (in the name of the art).

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