Snails—the Denouement, More on Art in France/Car Art/ Children and Art

OK, PETA was all over my case once they learned about the snail-abuse being planned at the annual Running of the Escargot to be held yesterday in the farm country outside of Paris. I’m afraid the outcome was far worse than anyone imagined. In a strange twist of fate a truckload of salt samples on its way to the annual meeting of the French Salt Syndicate crashed at midnight directly into the truck bearing the 100,000 live escargots that were on there way to being released for the big fete. I was going to include photos of this mishap but they are far too grisly to be included here. Perhaps once the foaming goes down….

Anyway, the cancelation of the escargot festival opened up our day and we took an epic walk through the city that was beautiful. We went by many of the usual tourist sites and ended up at the Rodin Museum. So many of his sculptures set in a gorgeous garden. They are mind boggling in their intensity and power, even the “simple” busts. I had been thinking a lot about the comment Marcy Whitebook sent me about her experience watching a group of four year olds with the giant Monet waterlilies (see comments for the 10/27 post) when this quite remarkable thing happened. Its not uncommon to be at a gallery and have art students sketching away at the various pieces they’re viewing trying to learn technique. We were walking through the mansion that is the museum and came upon this little girl, probably four year’s old and she too had a sketch pad and was intensely making her own picture of the sculpture. Her mother stood behind her with great love in her eyes. I asked for permission and got this shot:

In the U.S. we rarely ever give children opportunities to see and really experience real, great art. I think it has to do with a misguided view of developmental appropriateness. The power of any of the arts with young children is just not honored enough. This became even more apparent in this newly uploaded video of a 10-month old brought to tears by hearing her mother sing. It is quite remarkable to see this power so clearly and how it can touch us deep within, even at so early an age.

Hey, speaking of art, I couldn’t help but notice that Citroen, the French car-maker has a new model, “The Picasso.” It even has his signature in chrome on the side. While we Americans are out naming our cars after hungry animals, the French name theirs after artists.

While I am thrilled that the French honor their heritage and the arts this way, I must say they got it all wrong. As you can see by looking at this car it only represents Picasso’s cubist period, and this is something that has actually been done far more effectively by the Nissan Juke, the Kia Soul, and even the Honda Element. Further, although the car does come in blue to reflect his famous Blue Period, it is not available in Rose. Additionally, Picasso never had a Silver, Black, or White period, yet the Picasso car comes in those colors too. Finally, it seems clear to me that any car named for Picasso should look radically different from this mini-SUV. A Picasso should have 3 tires, and the tailpipe should be located on the roof pointing upwards. The headlights would obviously go on opposite side of the car and the tailights should be grouped together next to the door handle. The grill would probably be on the car parked in the space next to it.

That’s it, off to the Ile de la Cite for a crepe toss.


2 thoughts on “Snails—the Denouement, More on Art in France/Car Art/ Children and Art

  1. This is what my friend Debby thought of the video:
    “I think we are misunderstanding the baby’s response completely. We are projecting. The baby is mirroring the emotion he sees on his mom’s face and hears in her voice, pain and sadness. It is scaring him a little too. This is kind like baby torture in my opinion and really not so cute. ”

    I can’t tell if the baby is crying because it is moved or scared. In any case, I don’t think I’ve ever seen a baby cry for so long without any vocalization. The whole thing is a bit strange. What do you think Dr. Science?

  2. I think you’ve missed your calling, you should be either teaching art or car design.

    I am also most appreciative of the report out on the snail situation, and thank you for not posting pictures. I recall an event, which was similar in nature, on Oahu in 1964. It was the running of the Banana Slugs and a training incident that involved salt. It was terrible.

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