GAëtano was born in Normandy just as West Germany triumphed at their home football World Cup. He didn’t choose a career in sports, however, as he was too busy practicing his self-taught painting skills on his parents' walls. Aged 10, as Celine Dion sang in front of Pope John-Paul II, GAëtano entered into art class rebellion by not handing in any work to the teacher. He claimed: “Art cannot be graded. It is the view the artist offers to the viewers’ sensibility, for them to appreciate, be moved or think their 6 year old can do better”. This attitude earned him some quality time in detention, where he could indulge his interest for life drawing to his heart's content. He now lives between the waves. His paintings have since travelled to Germany, France, the UK, Belgium, Japan, the USA & China.
Pintura al oleo
Lived in a shoebox
Days in a year to paint
Fingers to hold a brush
Colours to choose from
wHAt is Going oN ?
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Embarrassingly self-indulgent, I know, but looking at my portrait I see a slight smile, in a shattered frame. Both bring thoughts to mind.
There are lots of wonderful things in the world that yield endless joy -- children and grandchildren, for example. But there is also misery and violence and oppression, and even threats to survival of the species, and if we are honest, we discover very quickly that far too much can be traced to our own actions, or inactions. A shattered smile may be the appropriate image.
The portrait GAëtano painted of me is quite a friendly companion to have in the office,
since neither of us looks at the other directly!
What a surprise! What a painting! And what memories of difficult times which GAëtano overcame with courage and confidence. A true lesson... It makes one feel at peace with mankind again.
When GAëtano came to show the result to me, I was pleasantly astonished. He captured laughter lines, which is pleasing, but also something rather fiercer, which surprised me. But the likeness was marvellous, and my wife says that the fierce bit is also right. So I learned something as well. A triumph.
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