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Arts - Entertainment & It
 

A protege of Picasso?

Alain Veran 1943-2013

One of 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 her.
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 not “commercial”.
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 Chiang Mai.
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

Dancers 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.


HEADLINES [click on headline to view story]:

A protege of Picasso?

The Pleasure of 13