Monday, August 14, 2006

Jean Dufy

Back in the wayback I hardly gave a wink at Raoul Dufy's paintings. I'd take a peripheral glance and decide that they were just naive, superficial cottony fluff that must have dashed off his brush while he was mincing about in his pajamas and munching on a pink ice cream bon-bon.

Some time later, in the early 80's I saw quirky movie shot in black and white with some surrealistic premise. Now I don't remember the name of it but I do recall Bill Murray had a cameo role as a bus driver who(don't ask me how) took tourists on a jaunt to the moon. One of the main characters was a young artist who was obsessed with Raoul Dufy. Somehow this got me round to looking a little closer at Dufy's work and i wasn't displeased. But, I didn't pursue it further.
(By the way, if anyone out there has seen this movie and knows the name, I'd be grateful if you'd let me know because I've scoured cinephile brains in vain)

Then about 4 years ago I saw a major collection of diverse painters at the Phoenix Art Museum - when I came into the room with the large Raoul Dufy painting of his studio, I was transfixed and had to continually return and bathe in the holy light of it.
Then and there he finally reached me - the lines and colors were so simple but filled with grace and light like a breeze from another planet.

So what does Jean Dufy have to do with it? Well, I kind of blundered across some of Jean's paintings while looking through a catalog of Raoul's. Of course Jean was a younger brother of Raoul and he revered him as a master teacher - among others - and, at first glance there is little to distinguish Jean's paintings from Raoul's. After awhile, a subtle difference can be seen.
Interestingly, though Raoul's paintings were often musically inspired Jean actually was a musician; he played classical guitar and jazz bass.

So in honor, of guitarists, jazz bassists, painters, and - perhaps - lovers of pink ice cream bon-bons, I dedicate this blog to the littler-known Jean Dufy.

Jean and one of his paintings above....


persephone2u said...

I actually really do like that painting. It's one of a subdued ambience and is very calming at the same time. I quite like the color scheme as well.

Anonymous said...

Persephone -
Yeah, there's always more than meets the first glance in either of the dufy's paintings. Overall i always get nice feel from the tones and lines. One site claims that jean's paintings have a kind of panoramic flow while Raoul's are distinguished by by details and textures...i dunno, but i like em
- Selenite exile

a jazz bassist said...

Digging it

steve said...

Tom...thanks for the late night lift.
Your post inspired me to look further at Raoul's and Jean's work. I went to Google and typed in " Jean Dufy Images". I did the same for Raoul.
Not only did I see a truckload of images,I saw a PLETHORIC truckload of images.( Young man, why didn't you just use the word "many" instead trying to act all smart and stuff? Yours truly,Miss Glenda Sheilds,Rockford,Ill.)
I prefer Jean's work.His sharper lines sustain my interest.Hats off to Raoul "Fluffy" Dufy for being the older brother.

Anonymous said...

Steve - Great to hear you took it further. Jean is on the edge of being unknown.

Tom Clohessy said...

I should've known:
By simply using the keywords "Bill Murray" and "moon bus" I was able to get the dish on the "mystery" movie.
..called "Nothing Lasts Forever" (1984) - produced by Tom Schiller who was an early SNL writer of some note. This movie is now referred to as a cult classic but is not obscure enough to not yet be available on DVD.
- distinguished by cameo appearances of Imogene Coca, Eddie Fisher, and the late great Sam Jaffe in his last movie role. Sam goes all the way back to Gunga Din...playing the title role

Tom Clohessy said...

correction: that should be : "is obscure enough to not be available on dvd"
- i need to walk over right now and make some non-obscure coffee.....