Wednesday, 13 July 2011
How I Invented French Impressionism!
Back in the 60's, (the 1860's), I was travelling back home from Austria, where I'd been teaching some guy called Hofzinser. He never really clicked when it came to cards, and to be honest he looked like he'd be more at home working in some government department!
Anyway, travel in those days wasn't as simple as just getting on a plane! It was steam trains, carriages, boats and sometimes even horseback. Kids today don't know they're born. So I decided to stop for a few days in Paris, the city of romance.
There I was one day, sipping a creme de menthe, when I got into conversation with a bunch of young guys. Something about them told me they were artists. Whether it was the look in their eyes, the way they moved, or the fact that they were covered in paint and carrying brushes and canvases, I'll never know.
They started showing me some paintings, and I remember telling them they were too representational. I suggested they experiment more with light and colors, creating the IMPRESSION of the subject, instead of just slavishly copying.
One picture in particular, by some guy called Manet, had a couple of chicks in it, not leaving much to the imagination, if you know what I mean!!! Well, I said to him, "Eddy," I said, "What this picture needs is a couple of guys, if you get my drift!"
"But Barry," he said, "No one wants to see naked men these days! Zut alors!"
"Eddy," I replied, "Here's the trick. Paint them FULLY CLOTHED!!!!"
And the rest, as they say, is history!