Monday 10 January 2011

The Calanques: jazzy blue

A short boat ride from Marseille or Cassis are the magical calanques, deep cliff inlets like small fjords. For all the photographs and artworks that abound, it’s not easy to find images that do justice to their pure beauty, austere in places and yet lush in others.

But Olivier Boissinot’s exuberant paintings of the calanques pulsate with the vivid blues and oranges of a day so hot everything seems reduced to primary colour, and the heat and light sharpen every line. The eye is drawn deep into the myriad blues, in contrast to the baked rusty soil, until you can almost feel the beat of summer just by letting the picture work.

Born in Aix-en-Provence, Boissinot makes his work all about colour, the vibrant relationship of each shade to the one adjacent. The result is celebratory: of place and mood.

Here (below) is his masterly evocation of the high Calanque d’En-Vau. It seems the characteristic black outlines of his trees and rocks capture the dizzying effect of the height above the sea and the unrelenting sun.

   The calanque was below us, such a long way down. I shivered, involuntarily. On one vertical drop human climbers scrambled like lizards, searching out holds in the scarred rock faces of the cliffs. Turquoise water shifted far below, sprinkled with silver flakes.   
                                                                                             From The Lantern

To discover more of Olivier Boissinot’s work, which includes his travels in Morocco and the jazz clubs of New Orleans, click here for his website.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Hi: I just "found" you through Julie's blog. I really like your posts: those roof tile pictures are wonderful! And I'm about to order the book "French Tales", thanks to you. I'll sign up to follow you in Google Reader...hope you will come visit my blog!

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