LONDON (AP) — A Paris streetscape by Impressionist painter Camille Pissarro has sold for double its top estimate in a week of strong sales at London auction houses.
"Boulevard Monmartre, Spring Morning" from 1897 was bought for 19.9 million pounds ($32.1 million). It had been estimated at 7 to 10 million pounds.
At the same sale Wednesday, Vincent Van Gogh's "Man is at Sea" sold for 16.9 million pounds (27.5 million).
At rival Christie's on Tuesday, Juan Gris' "Nature Morte a La Nappe a Carreaux" ("The Checked Tablecloth") sold for 34.8 million pounds ($56.7 million), a record for the artist and double its pre-sale estimate.
The high-end art market has rebounded from the global financial crisis of 2008, with new buyers from Russia, China and the Middle East helping drive prices higher.
Cincinnati, Ohio, United States
Frederic Pissarro, great-grandson of Camille Pissarro, father of the Impressionist movement.
About Frederic Bonin Pissarro
A painter just feels things. I’m trying to give people feelings.
I’m trying to make people happy. ~ FBP
Frederic Bonin Pissarro reflects art history in his lineage as well as his art form. He is the great grandson of French Impressionism’s patriarch Camille Pissarro. Like his great grandfather, he is bold and innovative.
Born in Paris in 1964, to painter Claude and Sylvie Bonin Pissarro, he grew up and studied in France before moving to the USA in the late 1980s. He resides and maintains a studio in
With such a heritage, Frederic Bonin Pissarro mastered at an early age the fundamentals of drawings. His father was his first art teacher and encouraged his propensity for observation, especially during the family holiday in the countryside of France. His first works were greatly inspired by those sceneries.
Another important early influence was French artist Jean Edelman with whom the Pissarro family shared a summer home. Frederic has credited Edelman for freeing his sketching from the “slavery to detail” and helping his ability to capture the essence of feeling and light.
At age 20, Frederic Bonin Pissarro attended Atelier de Sevres in Paris, a foundation year art college and entered the prestigious Ecole Nationale superieure des Beaux Arts in Paris one year later.
While completing his studies, he undertook several creative projects, including television and theater set design, and assisting with the design of the amusement park Planete Magique in Paris.
His concerns continued to move beyond the art world. His compassion for struggling workers inspired him to found FAIRE, an organization that helps them re-enter the work force. In more recent times, he has provided art therapy for Alzheimer patients.
After completing his studies, Frederic Bonin Pissarro moved to the United States and settled in Cincinnati, Ohio.
He started to paint as a professional artist and his first works, over the 1990s, were representative of Post-Impressionism and Expressionism styles and inspired by the French landscapes. Success came quickly in America’s art market where his works were featured in a number of galleries.
Frederic Bonin Pissarro is renowned for his ripe palette, filled with bold, exuberant and sophisticated combinations of colors and fresh. The result is work on canvas that is joyful and visually stimulating.
In the early 2000s, feeling trapped into a style too influenced by family tradition and the expectations of the art market, Frederic decided to start experimenting with his art and develop a more personal style away from post-impressionism. An artist must create not manufacture.
Innately confident in his talent, Frederic Bonin Pissarro braved the struggle to free himself from the shackles of public expectations and the confines of his own success – that is, continuing in the familiar and profitable.
I tried not to corner myself in one thing – not repeating the same image
because it sold! Not to copy myself! Not to be bored! Boredom is
death to me! In the artistic process one can take oneself too seriously.
I still care about what I do, but I am free to be playful and diverse.”
He points to a contemporary American figure who inspired his artistic emancipation, a recording artist not a painter – the late Michael Jackson. Yet it was not Jackson’s singing but his dancing that captivated Pissarro. His movement, it seemed to him, was transcendent, energized with a power beyond himself that brought freedom and originality.
The artist explains, “I am just now starting to feel comfortable in what I do – to not be afraid and no longer limiting myself. I must express myself and do what comes from within myself. Let the world name and tag what comes out! I must produce – even with diversity!”
Part of the playful dimension of his spirit and art can be seen in his work with children’s books. His latest illustrations are featured in Gigi’s Window, written by Missy Griffin.
Frederic Bonin Pissarro works in the alla prima, yet stylizing his pieces, giving them a more theatrical and whimsical quality. His palette explodes with bold sophisticated combinations of color. His wide brush strokes create movement and rhythm. He explains his proven technique, energized by new styles and freedom.
I don’t even sketch – I just start! The background comes first, of course.
As I prime the canvass, I must kill the white! It intimidates me and
makes me nervous! And so I create a neutral background first. Then I
begin to paint and draw – to explore and have fun.
Frederic Bonin Pissarro has gained identity beyond his legendary Impressionist forebears. He is now also a widely acclaimed contemporary abstract artist, painting both human and animal forms, especially magnificent horses. His portraits have earned signature status.
I have always been fascinated by human condition and
often felt that we were powerless to change it. I quickly
realized that changing it was actually the wrong
approach. Most of the human representations of human
beings in my paintings are harmless. Literally. You’ll
find multiple faces interacting by expressions only,
crowds of “pawn like people” struggling to find warmth,
compassion or love, finally as atoms of a vast but
same universe, faces shaping waves in imaginary
Painting faces is painting the essence, the essential.
The faces I paint are wondering, thinking, dreaming,
searching; they are a “mirror with humor,” because at
the end of the day, when everything is said and done,
we should all fall asleep with a smile on our face.
Frederic Bonin Pissarro has not simply preserved the Pissarro family tradition. By reinventing it, he carries their legacy into the twenty-first century.
His works are featured in prominent personal collections in the United States, Canada, Western Europe, and now the Far East. He is exhibited in the United States, particularly at Cincinnati’s Greenwich House Gallery.
Recently, Frederic has chosen Hong Kong for his first exhibition since 2002 when he decided to “retire” as a post-impressionist painter to explore a more personal and contemporary style.
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