It’s Day 122 and now that I’m finished with my painting, I’m inspired to get into writing my new book and working on old ones. I have to submit my chapter to my writing group…so writing and editing for the rest of today. THANK goodness, the heat wave is over. My dogs and I were not enjoying it after yesterday. It’s always fun for a day or so, but then having no AC begins to get somewhat torturous. I fell in love with today’s artist and I hope you do too. His bio will be from various sources since he’s an outsider artist. Let’s honor Gaston Chaissac today!
Chaissac, Gaston (1910-1964), France
Born in Avallon, France, Gaston Chaissac came from a humble family. Little attracted by schoolwork, he left
school very early and did sundry jobs such as kitchen boy, assistant in an ironmonger’s, saddler’s apprentice and ostler, among others. Later, in 1926, Gaston Chaissac went to live with his older sister. He started an apprenticeship as a cobbler – his father’s trade – before working among other things as a brush-maker.
Gaston Chaissac embarked upon his first artistic work ten years later, but war and illness – he contracted tuberculosis – slowed down his creative activity. He married in 1942 and settled in the Vendée with his wife. From that point on he never stopped painting, sculpting and writing poems.
His sculptures are characterised by a diversity of support materials, such as pebbles, bits of rock, tree stumps, planks of wood, worn-out brooms, on which he painted with a free and spontaneous hand. He corresponded regularly, notably with Jean Dubuffet and André Breton.
Bio above is from www.artbrut.ch which is a wonderful site all about art brut artists
from all around the world! I will be doing more artists from this site for sure!
Below is an article from the nytimes.com.
Gaston Chaissac And the Mystery Of
Published: August 26, 2000
The painter Gaston Chaissac (1910-1964) was a self-taught, idiosyncratic product of the French rural working class. Living in Paris in 1937, however, he happened to meet two professional artists, Otto Freundlich and Jeanne Kosnick-Kloss, his neighbors. They introduced him to modern art, encouraged him to paint and showed admirable constancy in helping him and promoting his work.
The merit of Chaissac’s art was quite understandably acknowledged by Jean Dubuffet
when he first came across it in 1946, but Chaissac, who was then describing his style as “modern rustic,” had already been corresponding for some time with such prominent French artists and writers as Albert Gleizes and Raymond Queneau.
Chaissac’s parents were small shopkeepers from Avallon, where Gaston grew up with his mother after his father had moved on to greener pastures. In the 1920s, along with his sister, he happened to take some drawing lessons from a local chatelaine, a Mademoiselle Guignepied, who through a peculiar coincidence, also happened to give a few lessons to Dubuffet — whom Chaissac would meet only 20 years later.
Penniless most of his life, he was also in chronically bad health and often inclined to depression. He did manage to marry a schoolteacher — a social promotion of sorts — went to live with her in Vendee, on the Atlantic coast, where she had been appointed, and in due course he won a remarkable degree of
international recognition, including shows at the Ekstrom Gallery in New York. Locally, however, he continued to be treated with scorn and, as he once reported in a letter, “People here shout ‘Picasso’ at me with the same intonation they would use to shout” a particularly offensive insult.
I hope you enjoy my piece I did in tribute to this artist today. I had tons of fun…how can you not have fun after seeing his paintings? Now it’s off to writing land and I’ll see you tomorrow on Day 123! 1-2-3! Best, Linda