March 3, 2011

Death of a Painter

Simon Procter "Death of a Painter."
Christian Dior Haute Couture Fall Winter 2010
Bloom Magazine

I opened my inbox one day to discover the visual feast above, sent to me by Simon Proctor, the photographer of the shoot. How or why I was sent these photos, I don't remember nor do I care; all I know is that they they literally take my breath away with their stunningly haunting beauty. The vivid colors and textures transcend the forlorn artist's studio, rendering it a pedestal on which to place the model in all her couture glory.

Here is the story to the photos, as published in Bloom Magazine:

"On rare occasion the ephemeral medium of fashion photography transcends its own nature.

Last summer the friend of the international photographer Simon Procter, Rolande, an aged but still very wild paintress died.
The family of Rolande agreed to open her studios one last time before all was cleared away.
Simon Procter with help from his friends at Christian Dior Couture and his paris creative team shot in this extraordinary space.
The young french model Pauline Serreau was given the daunting task of embodying the dead artist.

The following images, are a unique example of life, art and death interpreted through contemporary fashion photography.

The article in Bloom magazine is accompanied by the personal text from the photographer;

"We found dear Rolande the painter dead today. She lived just beneath my studio a mysterious recluse, when i first came to this place i only ever heard her, then she appeared one day,just like in a a fairytale. She had the head of a cat and was permanently shrouded in cigarette smoke. She came to tell me my footfalls were almost silent and she much appreciated i didn't wear shoes, then disappeared. The second time I saw her i enticed her with vodka , she liked vodka and told me my brand was wholly acceptable but not the best. She declared she was "sauvage" and then disappeared and we were friends.

Much later the strangest of things her friendship with my 5 year old daughter. I would sometime watch them from the window as they talked together. 80 years of life between them. Brune earnestly explaining birthday cakes and butterfly masks and Rolande discussing cats and sauvagery and the liberty of beasts.

The last time i saw her she told me of her boat. Henri was her dead husband they had had a magnificent sailing boat , together they voyaged all over spain and greece. She told me once of a great storm that had come in fast and how they were afraid but had survived. She told me that they had planned to sail to Egypt but there was some reason i didn't understand and they had never got there.

Xavier bravely climbed through the upper window and peered down through the trapdoor, he saw her body that had been there for many days, and then the forces of order descended and asked us all such ordinary questions, and the dream was over."

Simon Procter,Paris, August 2010

On an unrelated note, today is my fourth wedding anniversary, so Mike and I are headed to Reno tonight to enjoy some much needed alone time and excitement. Photos to follow. Besides gambling, our main intent is to hit up this huge antique store that we fell in love with the last time we were there. So keep your fingers crossed that I either come back rich, or with some great antiques. My birthday is on Saturday too, so maybe I'm due for some good luck. Downside is that this will be the first time that I leave Lia with the grandparents for two days....I don't know how I'm going to handle it. A drink or two may be in order.

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