Monday, July 18, 2016
An excerpt from my newsletter of July 17, 2016
Dear Art Friends,
I’ve had a difficult few days. The Nice tragedy has really upset me. It has disturbed my equilibrium.
Nice was my home for almost 8 years.
These last days have had me scanning every French news report I can find as, slowly, the victims names are released. I have spent hours trying to figure out the current ages of friends’ children. I study the posted photographs, wondering how my neighbours would look now. Were they there, in this picture, or in that one.
When I lived in Nice I was directly above the Promenade, between Gambetta & Congress, right where the truck finally stopped. I would walk my dogs every day on the Promenade, a ten minute walk from my apartment. Would I have been there on that night had I stayed? Certainly the entire city was made up of gregarious folk who enjoyed a stroll after a good dinner. Would friends have dragged me out? The girls, my golden retrievers, would have stayed at home; they firmly believed that any fireworks announced the commencement of the end of time. Last Thursday they would have been right.
I am heartsick.
Memories that I prefer to let lie, like sleeping dogs, have stormed my brain. Nice changed my life. From betrayed, loving and loyal wife, I willed myself, forced myself, to refocus my psyche completely on my art. I showed my work in Paris, as well an Monaco, and other places; lectured at the home/museum of the Baroness Beatrice Rothschild, Le Musée Ile-de-France; discovered my intense love of research; founded The Tevlin Perspective: art history from an artist’s point of view; lectured up and down the Côte d’Azur; worked as a volunteer at the Hôpital L’Archet, in the children’s ward, and promised myself never to let another person become more central to my existence than myself. (Other than my mother of course ;-)))
It was hard work.
For me Nice was a city of betrayal, and a place of regeneration. My art changed completely. I took chances I hadn’t even considered before. I now only had myself to please. It was in Nice that I did all of my triptychs, the small ones as well as the large. Most of the triptychs are still there. The French buy a lot of art.
The reports of tragedy are so common now that we tend to forget, or have no way of realizing, the simple humanity of the people who have been destroyed, and the families that have been ripped asunder. All of the French tragedies have made me search for old friends. These survivors, my friends, les Nicoises, les Parisiennes, must be thinking, “Have we been forgotten? Why have we been forsaken?”
I have not forgotten how to pray.
Posted by Paris Diaries at 10:06 AM