Peter Clarke (1929 - )
Paul Gauguin

mixed media
50 x 35cm

When he brought up the topic one day of course I was shocked. Here he was
with a respected position in the bank, a good stable wife & loving children, a decent well-
run home, a nice class of friends, a comfortable petit bourgeois existence with nothing,
absolutely nothing, to be unhappy about. I listened to him say he wanted to devote
himself full time to art, something which, for a long time, he pursued only as a hobby
in his leisure. When passion makes itself evident in certain people it can always be
a bit embarrassing.
Thinking about it afterwards, at the time I imagined him, the artist, among a lot of
Bohemian types, one thing leading to another, Gauguin getting away from the formerly
familiar & acceptable, becoming absolutely involved with dubious characters,
going off to paint the peasants, perhaps even going off to paint landscapes
& nobles savages in the French territories in the lushness of the topics. I imagined
him trés avant garde wearing beret, smock & sandals. With certain people you
never know how far they can go.
With Paul I didn't think he would go as far as he did, certainly not so far. Passion
can really be a terrible thing, quite shocking, absolutely devastating.

© 2005 Michael Stevenson. All rights reserved.