Arts - Entertainment & It
A protege of Picasso?
Alain Veran 1943-2013
Alain’s modernistic paintings.
By David Hardcastle
That was how Alain Veran was known by the very limited number of
people who knew him in his 20-plus years here in Chiang Mai.
A shy and reclusive single man, Alain was found dead in his tiny Changklan
Road apartment on August 18th, aged 70, suspected to have died from natural
causes. He is thought to have an estranged daughter who lived in France or
Morocco, and at time of writing the French authorities are trying to trace
In his own words, Alain was an “artist-painter” who specialised in
contemporary work which some regard to be so far ahead of its time it was
In an interview with the former ‘Good Morning Chiang Mai News’ magazine,
Alain said that he painted “only from feelings”, and a celebrated Thai
artist who studied his work said “There is a lot of anger here.”
He was deeply moved about the deliberate destruction of the two huge
Buddhist statues in the Middle East, and possibly his best known work, ‘The
Weeping Buddha’ was sold soon after to an Irish business woman here in
He had 2 small exhibitions of his work in Chiang Mai during the past 12
years, but sales were inhibited by his extreme dislike of personal
publicity. Yet as an artistic adolescent with zero support from his parents,
he had a unique stimulus from the great Picasso, a story he utterly forbid
his few friends to reveal during his lifetime.
“In France my father was the gardener for Picasso and my mother was the
house-keeper” he told one friend some 8 years ago. “Picasso was a difficult
man but he and I got on quite well. He had no students, but on just one
occasion he gave me the only encouragement I ever had.”
“It was the birthday of the great man when I was about 12 years old, and my
mother had baked him a cake and covered the top with white icing. I came
home from school early, and the cake was on the table to cool. Beside it
were several tubes of coloured icing, unused. I picked up some of them and
made my own design on top of the cake.”
“Well, my mother came into the kitchen first and began to shout at me and
scold me for ruining the cake. But Picasso came in just behind her and
gently set her to one side. He looked at what I had done to the cake and
said: ‘You have a good idea of colour. You must draw or paint every single
day!’ And my mother shut up - and then I knew what I was going to do!”
The Honorary French Consul will arrange a funeral and the disposal of
Alain’s remaining paintings, after his daughter has been consulted.
The Pleasure of 13
An eclectic and interesting mix
performed an intricate candle dance on stage.
By Shana Kongmun
The Pleasure of 13 was a truly delightful show that was performed over
Friday and Saturday, August 30 & 31 at CMU Art Museum and featured an
eclectic and delightful mix of performances from 13 old school friends.
Graduates of Chiang Mai University’s Faculty of Fine Arts, the show
incorporated not just dance but floral design and makeup techniques. The
unique concept started with amazing floral displays decorating the entrance
and followed up with both traditional Northern, Burmese and hilltribe dances
but a wonderful performance featuring performers creating a beautiful
bouquet of flowers through dance, and then presenting it to the artist’s
mother. Another featured the transformation of a dancer into a beautiful
bird through paint and makeup.
The intermission was followed by masked dancers and concluded with the
thirteen performers on stage. The quality of the performances was high, the
ideas unique and the presentation very well done. We can all hope these old
friends decide to collaborate again.