Archives for posts with tag: Belgian

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It’s been a while since we checked in with Cecilia Gimenez, the 80-something artist from Spain who decided to dust off her paintbox and try to fix up Ecce Homo,” a flaking fresco of Christ’s face on the wall of her church.

At first, Cecilia was in trouble for botching the restoration — which was so off the mark that it even inspired a zombie-looking Halloween costume. The church threatened to sue for the cost of a professional restoration, but the situation gained so much international notoriety that soon tourists, gawkers, and art aficionados were flocking to Borja, Spain — boosting community revenues and adding to the coffers of the church, which charged a fee to view the fresco.

The next plot twist occurred when Cecilia Gimenez demanded a cut of the proceeds. I believe she also intends to trademark her artwork — which is appearing on T-shirts, coffee mugs, postcards, and other lucrative sites.

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The Cecilia Prize was established to honor the artist who has inspired so many others to pick up their paint brushes, colored markers, Bic pens, and worn-down pencils — and begin to create art. The contest has received over 5,000 submissions from people offering their own wild and varied forms of “Ecce Homo” restoration. Whether you are a believer, nonbeliever, atheist, or agnostic, The Cecilia Prize is a philosophical exercise in contemplating the endless faces of the ineffable, the mysterious, and the creative spirit.

In this blog, we’ve featured entries that serve as homage to famous paintings or are rendered in the style of renowned artists (Warhol and Picasso, for example). Today’s entry by Mark Ferguson is based on René Magritte‘s celebrated painting “The Treachery of Images” (1929). The French phrase in the painting (“Ceci n’est pas une pipe”) means “This is not a pipe.” The joke is that it’s not a pipe — just a picture of one. (Sort of like “I’m not a doctor, but I play one on TV.”)

I have a feeling that the Belgian Surrealist would have enjoyed the whole Cecilia Gimenez passion play. According to my go-to source (okay, it’s Wikipedia), René Magritte‘s work “challenges observers’ preconditioned perceptions of reality.” And, after all, isn’t Cecilia Gimenez doing the same thing?

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If you need a shot of emotion (and who doesn’t from time to time), sit back, put your feet up, grab a glass or cup of whatever suits you, and listen to one of the greatest performances by one of the greatest performers of all time — the beautiful Belgian, Jacques Brel. See it and hear it here. (Pure poetry — with English subtitles.)

Photo: Zarateman (street art, Zaragoza, Spain)