Sunday, 18 April 2010

Dreaming about Bleus or shelf life of Angels

I don’t have many possessions. Among those few which I treasure there are two wooden sculptures I found in Haiti. Both are carved signed “Bleus”. My Internet search didn’t bring any results. But questions remain. Who was he?  Was he young or old?  Was Bleus a good psychologist, who knew exactly what Haiti-voodoo-magic-obsessed treasure hunters would bite into, or was he himself voodoo-magic-obsessed-dreamer?...

I love the choice of material of his sculptures: driftwood, metal wire, buttons, nails (lots of’em), even a plastic cap of a Haitian yogurt LAKAY (which was rather sweet, so I would  just use it to ferment fresh milk to make my own yogurt in Haiti) .

One sculpture is hanging next to my bed. What was he thinking making it? To me it is a Cyclops (the yogurt cap makes a perfect watchful eye) who watches over me while I sleep. I call him “zanj gadyen mwen” – my guardian angel in Creole.

The wood is so old and fragile; sometimes I am afraid it will vanish all together. So here is a portrait of my guardian angel (40x15 cm, acrylic on paper). Naturally the portrait is abstract and looks almost nothing like the original, but you'll get an idea.

Speaking of angels…one is indeed gone for good. I really liked her. I painted her hair gold and I made her make up, I even fixed her wings with new white feathers…and now she is gone. Everything has it’s shelf life, even angels...


  1. Christopher Freeble20 April 2010 at 22:19

    I very much like the sweep and movement in this painting. I see an inanimate object "spark" to life with depth and harmony. The image, (although I'm probably influenced by your description), reminds me of a tribal African warrior. It is also just a little menacing in a way.

    As for not having enough materials in Haiti...that's not a bad thing. It's sometimes better to be forced to improvise. I think painted mosasïque is more arresting than actual ones...it makes the images like Trompe L'Oeil.

    Well done.

    P.S. Angels don't die. They just go where they're needed the most. :-)

  2. Or they lie in darkness with dusty golden hair and folded wings, eyes wide open... waiting for something, like all of us...

    Hmmm, while answering your comment i stumbled on this book "Lie Down in Darkness" by William Styron, 1951. (How did I stumble on it? I wasnt sure how to spell Lie...seriously). Anyway, do you know it?, sounds interesting: The story is about a young, psychologically vulnerable woman, Peyton Loftis, who experiences her dysfunctional Virginia family as emotionally remote and oppressive, and who ultimately kills herself. The story is told partly in a stream-of-consciousness narrative. Fits into the Jungian concept (I didnt take the test yet).

  3. Christopher Freeble23 April 2010 at 01:38

    Is it a first edition?????? If so, do you want to sell it????

    Styron's first book (author of Sophie's Choice, etc. as you know) Not a bad read. But VERY collectible though!

  4. Jeez, I stumbled on it in INTERNET! And yes, it was with a picture of first edition cover. :-), or maybe rather %(