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
August 15, 2010
My first contact with Fernand Leger was his large ceramic mural at Colombe d'Or Restaurant in Saint Paul de Vence. I discovered it at the time of panoramic cameras: the ones that allowed for panoramic photos that required their own albums. I would ask my father to take a photo of me and the mural every year. At first I was alone but I began holding a new born, who became one and two and that was the end of panoramic cameras.....
Then one summer, perhaps 2002 or 2003, Credit Suisse bank sponsored a Leger exhibit with ceramics only. A two meter high walking flower stood by the tram road that led to University of Geneva. I had seen it at Biot at the Fernand Leger museum. Here in Geneva, I had the luxury of spending more time examining the works. There also was a very large Colombe d'Or pannel, measuring about 6x3meters.
Some of these ceramics were for sale. I looked closer at the price quotes and authenticity certificates and noticed a name: Brice. The artisan-ceramist who had worked with Leger was called Brice and his son had been his apprentice.
Without any further ado, no sooner had I arrived in the South of France that I took the white pages, went to Biot, where I supposed he would live since it happens to be the village of ceramics and looked up the name of Brice. It wasn't long before I was speaking to the man in question.
He gave me his address in Biot and I went with my family, extended and all, to visit him. He lived in an alley called "Allee des Roses". We made so many expensive pilgrames to him over three to four summers. He lived in a small village home with his wife. A dozen of Leger ceramics hung on the wall. We purchased them, one at a time, always bargaining. During these bargaining sessions, he spoke to us about Leger, showed us pictures. My sister and brother in law also bought. My parents did too.
Transporting these breakables was another story. Panels were easier than three dimensional pieces. The walking flower, in its smaller size, was the statuette in question. My parents and sister and I have three of the seven limited editions. Mine traveled by car. When it arrived in Geneva, I noticed one of its petals had broken off. How I cried!
I called Brice. By now, we were good acquaintances and we had mutual sympathy for each other. He was so saddened by my story that he told me to bring it back the following summer and he would replace it with the artist proof. He also told me to hurry because he had cancer and his days were counted.
Bless his soul, Brice died the summer next. I will always remember my walks up l'Allee des Roses in Biot. Stories for me to keep for my children.
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!