You're not just arrogant , but very dumb Caio , posting your work side by side with these masters . This is suicide , you know ? Yes , but if i don't talk about their presence in my life I'll get sick and die anyway .
I have a theory . the Dutch painters of the 17th century were the supremacy of the civilization's art of all times .I mean , they did everything that was done before then and did everything that was made after then . If today there is people saying that painting is dead . Okay , but lets be fair , if painting really died , it happened at the 18th century with all the rest of the art .
I must to make very clear , i don't read about these painters , i am totally ignorant about their biographies and gossips in general...i don't care . I think it is a lack of respect to read about Rembrandt for example . The man didn't write one single word his entire life , all he left for us was genial paintings . And you spend your time reading about him ? What are you? the antichrist ? Go to the hell !!
The works of this generation of painters is too perfect for me waist my time reading about . It must to be seen . And this is a job for the entire life ... and more 3 or 4 reincarnations .
I am posting here under the Rembrandt's self portrait some of my works of 2001 , 2002 , this was a period that i believe all the other influences i had were forgotten and just the Dutches "haunted" me as references .
The first painting was always my favorite , the Rembrandt's self portrait .
Any other work had a such strong influence in my values as this . And ( as i don't read books ) when i was in London , it was at the National Gallery , a huge surprise to me , i am not kidding , i almost cried , i didn't expect to meet this such dear friend there .
the following 3 painting from me are works that i believe wouldn't exist without this influence .
Yes , for now one these posts about my influences are going to get less and less obvious , it doesn't mean that the influences are weaker or less important .
I remember when i discovered this Vermeer's work and saw the way he built the face of the woman .... it drove me crazy . I spent one week looking to this book an doing anything else . Then i painted the one i posted right below for you see how i searched his values on my work . It was 2001 . Now , if you have followed my work a little bit , you can realise that a important part of my personal style is to touch the canvasses with the brush , not "slide " on it . Touching , building the image touch by touch ....this Vermeer's work changed all my way to paint since then . And as consequence , changed my way to see the world , light , changed my life and mood . One single painting's reproduction in a cheap book all yellow and old that i bought from a guy in the street .
Frans Hals . He is a ....dammed!! I mean .... he invented the modern painting . Not that apelative Cezanne or that guy that cut the ear . Both that imitated Frans Halls a lot , by the way .
I remember when i was in a Impressionist exhibition , after to spend 1 hour , just 30 centimetres in front a wonderful Monet , i decided to walk around the room looking to some pieces from bigger distance , when came this sweet old Lady and asked me :
- Oh , i saw you liked the Monet !
-hum hum .
-and this Cezanne , don't you like it ? It is so beautiful and so important ( as i dislike people that asks and answers at the same time ) :
-Cezanne is just an affected Frans Hals with apelative colors , my dear , what a fag ! ( i am a master to create new prejudices ) .
I posted here 2 things that had a strong impact on me when i discovered his work , his way to paint a hand and that owl . At 20th century many painters were considered brilliant for have done what he already did at the 17th century . All he did at the 17th century were exhibited at end of 19th and 20th century as big revolutions . After to look to Frans Hals work , all the modern and contemporary paintings get boring .
I posted a Brilliant portrait i always loved with a coat of arms by the side . And under it a portrait I've made with one too . I always loved this kind of 'ornament" but never knew how to add to my work in harmony . He showed me how .
Then come a Antony van Dyck . I am going to tell why it is there later and i tell Kristina's story . I love this painting .
"Wait a minute ! why is Jan van Eyck on this post Caio , here is from another century ! Are you an ignorant bastard ? didn't you study at all ? " No , i told you i don't read and yes i am very ignorant , and very proud of it . It took me many years and lots of courage to arrive at this level of ignorance . Thank very much .
It happens that for me Van Eyck came together with the others , i discovered his work at the same time and got amazed too . Even so , you can put him side by side with the others .His geniality makes him goes beyond everything .
For last a portrait of a friend's cousin i did last year and i believe that has lots of the Dutches lessons on this . LOTS .
Out of my country i discovered so many Dutch painters of this period that are brilliant , i mean ... they are all fantastic and you never see in any book their works or references about it . I remember every single brush stroke and solution of those works . But i can't remember their names .... for a brain like mine that works with Latin grammatical structure , is impossible to remember all those "something van this " , "blah blah van that" , the elder , the younger .... come on !! Couldn't their names be Rodrigo , Manuel or something ?!!!
One thing that nobody talks about ( because nobody looks to the painting , but prefer to read ) , is the huge sense of humor they had to find pictorial solutions from representation . Exactly because they were genius , they were very smart and simple to find solutions that any other painter would struggle hard to get . When you look at the paintings , you see that they had fun , and smiled at the time they found that solution . They were the real freedom in art . Just who really loves painting and knows to do it can realise . Sorry experts , go to write your biographies and theories about based on other books or documents of the time and leave the art for who has eyes .
National Gallery : 2006 and 2007 . For 6 months i went there every day , and 90% of the times i went straight to the Dutch rooms . This was my living room . Sometimes i spent 2 hours , sometimes less than 5 minutes , but i always learned something , got amazed , and in crises with myself .
I remember one rainy day , i didn't have a place to go , so i got there walking around the Dutches rooms , hands in pockets , curved , looking to the floor and giving glances to the walls . Thinking with myself :
Why do i paint ? what for ? Look at then , they did everything . The world doesn't need another painter pretending that are doing something . The world have those guys already , they did everything . What i am going to do ? Oh my God , i am going to be a cleaner for the rest of my life !! I am going to starve and die homeless because there is nothing left for me . I am useless . All artists are useless . Why keep producing if those guys did everything ?! I don't want to live as a liar !! Am i a liar now ? Is this the reason i left my psychologist carrier ? For being a liar , a charlatan ? oh my GOD ! WHY DID I LEAVE MY CARRIER ? why did i leave the Marketing company ? WHY AM I SO STUPIDY ?
then comes the security guy :
- Any problem Sir ? Is everything OK with you ?
- LEAVE MY ROOM !!!
Yes ... i was going there so much , spending so many time , that in my mind those paintings belonged to me , not to any institution , country , even less were patrimony of the stupidity humanity . It was mine . And those rooms were my personal rooms .
So here comes the reason i paint : In my entire life , in the hardest and happiest moments , i didn't have a relative , a friend , a lover to share or help me . I was alone . I had God , Jesus .... and i tried to avoid art because it is too heavy for my shoulders . But God puts this on my way . So the artists productions were always in my life making company , receiving me , teaching me , listening me and offering me what i never had from anybody else in any place or any time .
Misfits , i mean , real misfits , not the stupid guys that think it is cool to be a misfit , born from times to times everywhere and i am just one more of then .
I pray that one day , my work can be there for then , as another artists works were for me . This is the only real reason . And when i think about this , these Dutches are the first ones to come to my mind . That is the reason i am talking about it on this post .
let me tell you a history about Kristina and the Dutches :
It was 9:00 , a cold a nice Sunday or Saturday morning , i was getting out of my job of cleaner at the H&M of the Oxford street in front the Bond Street Tube Station . Walking down the streets when i remembered it was Saint Patric's day . I was wearing my green jacket ( the only one i had ) and a pink Hello Kitty t-shirt i found in the garbage that some fat girl gave up at H&M , i thought very funny a man with my face walking down the streets exhibiting proudly a Hello Kitty t-shirt . Yes , i was looking for trouble , so what , i didn't have nothing better to do . Okay "green jacket hello kitty boy" , let's go to Trafalgar Square where the crowd always appear to celebrate everything , and i could make some money .
My idea of making money was honest , but a shame . I was a starving , starving hound dog that walked all London always looking to the floor because Englishes and Europeans in general drop their coins and don't stop to catch this . They don't care or don't realise . They used to drop small coins of 1 p , what made a huge difference to me , and sometimes i used to find 50 p , it was the price of a entire meal , as everyday i had exactly 50p to eat , nothing else . every week i could pay one meal just with the coins of 1 p i used to find on the sidewalks . I was there with a student visa , i could just work 20 hours a week , and i just found jobs that payed the minimum . I didn't want to do anything illegal because this wasn't the reason i had traveled so much . The queen charges heavy taxes , she took all my money for food .
So at the Trafalgar Square i went up to the National Gallery's stairs to look to the crowd . I imagined that all that bunch of irishs and tourists pretending being Irish , that at almost 10:00 in the morning were drinking already , would drop lots of coins . It was like the lottery to me . I could even imagine me living as a millionaire eating a bag of Doritos or something . haha!
I went to the middle of the crowd looking to the floor and nothing . after 2 hours , nothing . Dammed Irish's . They don't drop coins !! They want to belong to the European Union but don't behave as Europeans . Drop you coins bastards !!
Then i found a shining 20p coin . It was blinking to me , calling my name and last mane . 20p for 2 hours of hard work !! Tastes like Heaven , hein ? YES ! When i went to take it a girl stuck my hand with her long nails and tried to take it fron me . We fighted . With my bleeding hand i punched her stomack , she kicked my leg , i still have the mark of it ( on hand and leg ) .
-It is mine you bitch .
- No way your fag , go to do a blowjob on Hello Kitty and leave me alone .
her answer made we both start to laugh , she took the coin .
- Is this your coin , girl , did you drop it ?
- no you didn't , your fucking liar .
- Those Irishs don't drop their coins , i don't know what is happening .
- i know . Tird World people . They look like brasilians .
-Or polishs !
and we started to laugh again .
I asked what she was going to do . she said nothing , so i invited to get into the National Gallery and see some paintings . She told me that hated art . That didn't understand nothing . "What is for be understood ? It is just pretty paintings! camon !" She didn't have nothing better to do and came with me . "Do you, like punk-rock? I am going to show you the guys that created the punk . " And took her to the Dutch's room . My bad mood was really high , i remember we both walking in the museum till arrive where i wanted and she saying that didn't like to read about art , and i answering nice things for a first date as "anyone that reads about art deserves to be stabed right in the midle of the face " . I am such a charm .
When i get to the first room one of my favorite paintings was the Antony van Dyck . And guess what ? There was a tall fat turist in front of it blocking the view . Looking to the painting ? apreciating the piece of art ? NO , reading the stupid text by the side of it . This was the day i started my dear tradition of giving a "dry-death metal-bark : GET OUT ! in a very loud and monissilabic way right in their faces and sometimes even followed by a pushing . You should see their facial expressions , i should do a documentery about : GET OUT , by Caio Fern , so tender . At this moment she held my right hand and didn't leave for hours .
I showed her all the brush strokes , all the moviments , the sense of humor , the beauty of the solutions . How those characters there represented were pretty and the life was much better after to meet then .
One by one , one turist flying here , other there : "Oh my God , fuck you your ashole , i am going to call the security ! " and i showing the paintings to her , introducing her to my dear friends . She smiled . The Dutchs made a starving polish girl smile , and laugh and feel good about herself as they always did with me . They never fail .
After that we went back to "the world" and decided to make a pic nick at the Saint James or Green Park . We went to the Tesco right on the corner and i bought a package of cooks that cousted 22p , she bought a can of coke . hahahah!! Our banquet . we went to a very isolated area at the Green Park . Among shy sunshines and few drops of drizzle i had the best afternoon of my live till then . We both , with our bad englishs and accents , just laughed making jokes of the miserable life we were having and all the dreams that had failed .
Her name is Kristina .
On the next morning i was geting out again of the H&M when i saw her stoped in front of it .
- Coll ( the only way she was able to pronunciate my name ) , last night i dreamed about the paintings and the museum . I loved that . I want to start to paint . Lets go to the museum now ?
- Are you asking to the monkey if he wants banana ? sure !!
For a couple of weeks she was my sweetheart and my secret . i didn't want to share her with anybody else , i imagined that at the time i talked about her to someone , the spell would finish .
We used to hang around for the entire day , we had no money and no place to go . I shared a bedroom with unlegal imigrants and there was always someone sleeping in there , i couldn't let her there , and she lived in a very similar situation . So our "beds" were the bathroom of the Victoria and Albert Museun , the Tate Gallery's bathroom and the tinny Wallace Museun too .
Or the most isolated corners of the Regent and Hide Parks .
We used to learn one from the other the personal tricks to survive in downtown , as geting food , perfume , tea all for free ( not stealing ) . The best public bathroons , the best place to rest the legs . the best places to listening music or use internet for free ... all those things . We were a couple of urban rats . And she was beautiful , that steriotype of hot polish girl . And every night i used to put my head on the pillow of my bed saying that this was the best day of my life ever !!
Then one day she didn't appear on my job .... and i didn't find her anywhere . I looked for days . I had her number , but nobody answered . I went to the house were she rented a bedroom , but she wasn't living there anymore . After a while i let it go .
On my last week in London , i was living only as a turist , had saved money and was preparing myself to travel more . Discovering England . So there was me all relaxed and happy in a spring afternoon on the Oxford Street's sidewalk . When i see her coming towards me . She was huging a tall handsome man with very expensive clothes and a fashion look . She was very well dressed too , diferent hair ...she was even more beutiful , but looked a bit like a porn star . Our eyes crossed for a second , she turned her face pretenteding didn't know me . I got devastated . Then i looked back and saw that the guy walked sqeezing her ass. It killed me .
Okay , i understand her very well . How can i blame her , to judge ... she is right . Totaly right .
Something like 1 or 2 minutes later i feel fingers poking my shouders from behind . In one fraction of second my heart lighted up and i could see her face smiling and giving a sweet kiss on my lips , then turning around and running away towards the crowd . I followed her body with my eyes as much as i could , then , just the top of her head , and then... she got lost among the crowd .
But it was just an ilusion of a fraction of second . The owner of the fingers that poked me was a kid with scared eyes and lots of backpacks , hand bags ... a tipical foreinger kid that had just arrived to London for 6 months as student or something similar . He asked me where he could find the adress he had writen on a piece of paper . "Do i look like a local now for giving instructions ?" It was the same hostel i got when i arrived on this city 6 months earlier . I explained that wasn't far way fron there . Gave the directions and lost myself among the crowd too .