Jacques was a good friend. But also a very interesting and unusual one. He was interesting, because he had views about the world, derived from his travels, his work, his personal experience and his friends. Also, from his relationship with Diana, his wife. He was unusual, because he was kind, but also tough, open but also enigmatic. Whenever Doris and I went to dinner, he prepared all the food – a sort of idiosyncratic tapas collection. He never drank alcohol, having in his own words ‘drunk too much in earlier times’. He made no attempt to discourage the rest of us, however……He knew how to disable an attacking dog and bent one of my fingers in a demonstration thereof……
He did not think much of politicians. Neither would he be drawn on a range topics. He was not so much as anti-intellectual as anti-intellectuals.
Jacques was a great collector. Nothing escaped his collector’s attention. Whether from the street, car boot sales, charity shops, garage sales and so on. But he also curated and presented his collections, both in the house and in the garden.
Further, he was creative, in that he turned some pieces of his collection into ‘artwork’. It is a matter of debate, whether the resulting creations are art, arts and crafts or something else. Jacques probably would have said to this something like: ‘I find things and put them together in my garden. I look at them and so do other people’. Of course, they were displayed to decorate and to be seen. It is we, who have seen and engaged with them to reflect on what they are, their meaning and their artifactual status.
It is a pleasure to include examples from his artwork collection on the site. Enjoy and be surprised?
Thanks for the memories, Jacques. A plus!
(This is a starter introduction. More is to follow.)
This photo of Jacques is a masterpiece. It is so much like him, it is hard to believe.
First, his ‘self-framing’ in the form of a beret and dark glasses. Unclear, whether it is for dramatic or stylistic effect or something else. Of course, he ‘just like to wear them’…….I can hear him say.
Then his very solid face with bushy eyebrows and straggly moustache. A good colour, acquired while walking, of which he did a great amount.
Last, his delightful and kindly smile. Also, a bit cheeky too.
COME INTO THE GARDEN, MAUDE!
A really interesting ‘composition’ from ‘found’ bits and pieces.
First, the scale. It is on the side of a garden shed. So, the height of a person. Non trivial. Needs a bit of a distance to view and to appreciate.
Second, structurally in 2 halves. The ‘plinth’ is half discs and half foliage of some sort – ivy? Catafalque comes to mind…….Thereon lies a sort of mechanical Jaws…..with a British flag between its teeth. The backend looks intestinal, but mechanical at the same time. A GB sticker complements the British flag and claims to be a virgin……
Third, as to meaning, anyone’s guess. Funeral of GB with its loss of Empire, failure to find a new role etc etc? Failure of GB to dominate EU fishing policy. Your guess is as good as mine and no guess might be better than all of ours…..
I think Jacques must be chuckling to himself about all the fuss. However, in our defence he composed the art-efact in his garden visited by friends and family……so he knew it would be seen. He took responsibility for it in some kind of way…..
This composition is definitely person-like, with a head and an arm and inappropriately in a dustbin-like container. However, there is only one arm and the head is frightful, maybe even frightening.
The face is expressive…….3 prominent teeth, a monstrous glass eye and a boxer’s flattened nose. More the beast than the beauty, I would think.
The meaning, as with Jacques’ compositions is anyone’s guess and maybe no-ones…..A sort of bottom-line human being……? A view of ourselves…….? A cartoon character of some sort….? A re-cycled dummy….? A dub-down dummy? All the fun of the fair……..methinks!
No, Let’s Stay Inside……
Not much missing!
Again, like the photo at the top of the post, this is also a very good one of Jacques. Maybe a bit less soave…..The framing is more professorial – thin-rimmed reading (?) glasses and balding head. Straggly moustache is the same. Smile maybe a bit less natural. Teeth a bit clinched. Neck veins standing out. Eyes a bit hooded and almost closed. A good photo, never-the-less.