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Painting is silent poetry, and poetry is painting that speaks. Simonides

Jean Thomassen

The absurd reality of Jean Thomassen

In August 1956 his parents had already made arrangements for his funeral for their seven year old child was sufering from bone marrow cancer. As by a miracle he survived, recovered with difficulty and had an isolated and lonely youth; his father's encyclopedia. was his only comfort. Here lies the origin of his interest for paintings. He applied in vain for the Academy and for alI artists supporting arangements; nevertheless he followed his callling. In 1972 he lived in Amsterdam in an attic, complete unworldly under appalling circumstances.
The well known ballerina and movie actress Ine Veen saw his work in 1974 and liked it. She opened doors he always had found tightly closed,.arranged his debut at gallery Artim and persuaded the Dutch TV to make a film about his life and work. The day after the broadcast he sold aIl his work.
Ine insisted on his joining international competitions with his absurd canvasses. His work which was rewared with Prize Awards in America, Canada and Bulgaria. The appreciation for these strange paintings (he also made portraits and paintings with Egyptian scenes) are very diverse. Some critics thought that Thomassen must be a runaway from some lunatic asylum for how can a normal human being think of sornething like this? Another ended his torrent of abuse with the remark: 'Can I puke here or do I have to do that outside?' Other art critics though, are of the opinion that Thomassen is a genius and consider him the most important realistic painter of the nineties in the Netherlands.
'Work that is so notorious must be very special' thought the director of Museum 'the Markiezenhof', the palace where long ago, the Marquis of Bergen op Zoom had his residence. He honored 'the master of absurd art' with a large exposition covering his complete oeuvre. Thomassen is the only painter in this book to whom befelI this honor, and that, in his 45th year.
He became internationally renowned by a commemorative exhibition, with memorabilia and paintings, in the honor of the ballerina Anna Pavlova ( 188 I -1931 ). Thomassen wrote a sensational biography that created a lot of publicity both in England and Russia. Even CNN interviewed jean and Ine. With the passing of the years Thomassen has grown into one of the most successful realistic painters. His Works are seldom on show in galleries because they are most of the time bought by collectors and investors straight from the easel, the paint still wet. He made large canvasses for the industry. Museums in the Netherlands, Bulgaria and Russia have his works.
In April/May 2001 there will be a large exhibit of his total oeuvre in the 'West Fries Museum' in Hoorn. Among others his Egyptian Triptych, measuring 170 x 460 cm., will be on show, according to many, his best work. Next to that his smallest work can be seen for 'Ine's left eye' measures only 1,2 x 1,2 mm., the tiniest oilpainting in the world and recorded in Guiness Book of Records.


1 comment:

zoe said...

wow! what a life!
and these paintings! i love them!!


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