Reflections on art, fitness, family, politics and literature that hit me like bricks as I chauffeur my children from place to place...
A pink taxi
July 28, 2010
Recently, we were invited for lunch at Bernar Venet's house. I was honored as I have long admired his work. We went on this artistic pilgrimage in Muy, North of Saint Tropez. Bernar Venet, in his 70s today, is from the Saint Tropez generation of Belmondo and Bardot; and he wants to live close enough to the entertainment. His residence is a renovated old mill (moulin) with a park on the banks of a stream. The new buildings, which exhibit his works and include his studio, blend nicely with the Mediterranean environment, despite their modern lines. We sat for lunch in his gardens and spoke of art. We were surrounded by larger than life scuptures, mainly arcs and twisted indefinite lines. He told us about his many projects around the world. Public art. Grandiose sculptures. Venet is also a painter. He paints mathematical axioms. Mathematics are art and music he explains. The sight of one reminds you of high school when school blackboards were left forgotten after a math class, with a gibberish of intimidating graphs, figures and logarithms. Venet doesn't imagine mathematics that way. He explained to me that math are the ultimate abstract form and since he was seeking abstraction in art, what better way to show that, than a juxtaposition of mathematical terms, all painted with reference to beauty and not to "real" mathematics! It reminded me of the movie "Beautiful Minds", which also glorified the beauty of mathematics. In my layman's mind, very advanced mathematics serve as theory, almost like theological studies, so abstract are those formulas to me. I was holding my four year old son on my lap, at the desk of Venet, as he kindly autographed the latest publications about his art. My son then found a mathematics book on the desk, for the brevet exam (10th grade) and was leafing through it, the sight of mathematics formulas and axioms leaping at him. Those are Bernar Venet's source of inspiration.
The pink taxi runs from 7 am to 7pm. It picks and drops off my 3 kids at school, ballet,judo, aikido, violin, climbing, riding, squash, basketball, skiing, skating, swim team, friends, grandparents and teachers. The car, not pink, but a black SUV, drives to Carrefour and Coop. To Club stretch for pilates and Aviation club for weekly workouts. It is driven by a woman who navigates on the radio, gets DJed by her 4 year old or sometimes quietly reflects. The thoughts are about politics, family, humor, literature, art or fitness. Sometimes they are excruciatingly longwinded, other times they are gossipy and hot.
I hope you will all enjoy!