30 April 2008

Marc Chagall, the visual poet!

I gave an interview recently about Art, Fantasy Art, me - being an artist. At one point the interviewer asked me which artists from the Surrealist Stream impressed me, influenced me the most. I said nobody in particular. But after few minutes I came back to the question. There is one painter that I was really impressed with, and I still am. Chagall.

I made once a long time ago a water colour painting 'la Chagall. I sold it or gave it to somebody, can't remember. I don't have it any more. It was a nice one. The street where my grandparents lived, a row of houses, a farmer with horse and wagon, a flying angel, a violinist on top of a church, some toys from my childhood. The whole painting was like a picture from my childhood of my happy tie with my wonderful granny and grandad.

Later that same day I was thinking about Chagall. I love his art, his spirit, some of his creations.
A great free spirit, great imagination, incredible feeling for colours, unbelievably productive.
Maybe in the beginning of his stay in Paris he was influenced by cubism but for the rest his art was unique. He dreamed his life. He painted a life not a dream. He painted that which he saw and how he saw it. Using his imagination and the pallete of the colours he has been telling stories about his life, his loves, his wives, his parents, his friends, his people and their history (Jewish). He was a passionate inmate of this planet.

He got very angry when people called him surrealist. He answered: "Don't call me a fantastic artist! On the contrary, I am a realist. I love the World."

He lived in a world where the cows were flying in space; the fish were playing violins, where the lovers were connected in a passionate embrace in the clouds, where everything was possible. I love his world; his world is my world too. Period!

My favorite creation by Chagall is his first big work, the sketches, drawings and paintings for the Jewish Theater in Moscow. I just loved them. I saw all of them in the Jewish Museum in Amsterdam.

A big collection of Chagall work (not only the biblical paintings) can be found in Nice in his own museum; Musée National Message Biblique, Marc Chagall. Don't expect any information in English. Welcome to France!

Moma NY has a few paintings and a lot of sketches and drawings.

The Marc Chagall Museum in Vitebsk (Belarus) owns the following collection: the series of illustrations to Nicolai Gogol's poem "Dead Souls" (1923-1925), the series of colour lithographs on the theme of the Bible, made in 1956 and 1960, the cycle of colour lithographs "The 12 Tribes of Israel" (1960) and other works by Marc Chagall.

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