Last night the Clos de Souquet had a triple opening and the place was packed. The triple occasion was the opening of the restaurant for the season, more than a month earlier than usual, the opening and tasting of a new white wine they’re adding to their cellar, and the opening of a new exhibit of paintings by the late M Pagus,(I think that’s right – I got the name over the phone) a naif painter who lived in Fabrezan.
What can I say? I don’t remember the name. I know nothing about wine and I’m not a white wine drinker but whatever it was it was very pleasant. Do you think anyone would ever hire me to write wine reviews?
Usually at the opening of an exhibition of an artist’s work there’d be a pile of photocopied bios and maybe some information about other exhibitions and a list of the paintings. Not last night. I did manage to discover that the artist is dead and that he lived in Fabrezan. I called late this afternoon to at least try and find out his name. No one seemed to know when he died and whether painting was his career or a hobby.
The first few paintings that I saw didn’t appeal at all. They didn’t seem to have a focus of any kind. Not realism, not abstract, not naif, at least not the way I think of naif. Then I saw this one of workers walking through the vines. My photo is not great. The thing that struck me was how much it looks like the kind of paintings I’ve seen of Soviet workers. I’ve actually been thinking about it today so obviously it struck some kind of chord.
The other one that I really like is this triptych. My apologies for the flash.
I arrived at 7.15 and it was wall to wall people. Children, old people, middle-aged people, young people, some dressed up, some not. Much kissing of cheeks as people greeted friends. The only people I heard speaking English were Marques Vickers and me.
Michel, the mechanic who runs the garage in Servies was there. He was the only other person I knew. I didn’t stay for long but I managed to meet someone who has a house for sale – I’m going to go and list it tomorrow; had a conversation with about the merits of the rotating screen on the back of Canon cameras with a sweet little old man; met a man who’s interested in setting up some kind of artists network; and was grossed out by a 6 year old wicking coke from his glass into a napkin. He was delighted with my reaction. And all in French, other than 5 minutes talking with Marques.