Bullfight online… ole!

mikismartvignette

I have opened

“Miki’s Mart”

my online shop, where you can buy on-line many different products featuring my bullfighting art work (and my other artwork too!):

Original paintings

Giclee prints

Calendars

Mugs

Greeting Cards

Posters

For the moment I have put on sale only about 30 products, but I will regularly add more. When you are interested in a product featuring one of my paintings which you have seen in one of my websites but not in Miki’s Mart, please drop me a line at

miki@goodaboom.com

Thanks for visiting anyway!

La corrida, un truc de vieux appelé à disparaître ?

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Les jeunes n’aiment plus la corrida

On entend parfois  que la corrida va disparaître naturellement puisque les jeunes spectateurs d’aujourd’hui désertent les arènes au profit des concerts et des stades de foot. Ainsi, ce « spectacle barbare » serait tout doucement en train de mourir de sa belle mort, il n’en aurait plus que pour deux ou trois générations.

Un dessin d’ABC

Ce débat, lui, n’est pas tout jeune. Rappelons-nous ce dessin fameux publié dans un ABC d’il y a une vingtaine d’années – ou plus peut-être, le temps passe si vite ! On y voyait une arène comble de spectateurs fervents en train d’attendre la sortie du taureau, alors que, surgissant du trou noir du couloir, arrivait en plein soleil sous les vivas… un ballon de foot ! Une génération plus tard, la tauromachie ne s’est jamais aussi bien portée. Les fauves qui jaillissent du couloir provoquent toujours la sourde et puissante exclamation du public saluant la sauvagerie, la force et la beauté du toro bravo.

Les jeunes vont vieillir !

En réalité, la seule inéluctable certitude est que les jeunes d’aujourd’hui sont les moins jeunes de demain. Or le goût de l’art classique, la volonté d’exalter ses racines et le plaisir de la nostalgie croissent avec l’âge, c’est bien connu. C’est ainsi que depuis des siècles des millions de jeunes Espagnols ont découvert la tauromachie sur le tard et sont devenus des aficionados experts et enthousiastes. Conclusion, nos jeunes rockers prendront un jour ou l’autre, c’est sûr, le chemin des arènes et nous verrons encore souvent l’affiche « No hay billete » orgueilleusement placardée sur les murs des plazas.

De la confiture de fraise

Les anti-taurins ne vont pas disparaître non plus, et c’est tant mieux. Leurs actions sont formidables, ils doivent absolument persister. En effet, c’est un régal pour l’œil de s’attarder sur les photos de presse prises lors de leurs manifestations, et il serait dommage de ne plus pouvoir admirer toutes ces jeunes femmes absolument nues, le corps barbouillé de confiture de fraise…

Par Bernard F.

Red

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“Tired”

In my last post I was writing about the use of the colour blue in my bullfight paintings, which seems to be quite unusual. Some people categorically don’t like it as they think that bullfight must spin around warm colours, others like it because it is unusual, and some  perhaps need time to get used to it…

A few days later, I received the following mail:

” Hello, my name is Tom. I am from England. I am taking GCSE art on the subject of red and have themed it all around bullfighting and Spanish culture. For my project I need an artist study and through research on the internet found your home site and its greatly interesting and your works have significantly influenced how i plan to do my final piece. I was wondering whether you would mind if i could complete my artist study on you and your pieces.

Gracias

Kind regards”

Honestly, I  quite often receive mails from young students, who like my art so much that they want to write their final work about  me. This is always a great moment for me, as I believe that one can be very proud to be able to inspire young people.

But this one was a very special joy for me. I feel quite close to the whole bull and bullfight world, not only with my art but with my heart too. Although I understand the people who are against it or even hate it, I always feel very sad when they attack it without even knowing what they are speaking about. To meet a young man, who comes from a different culture, and chooses bullfight to make his final work on it is simply GREAT!

I was so touched that I asked Tom to tell me a little bit more about his project and which bullfight painting of mine he more associates with “Red”.  He was kind enough to send me the following answer:

“… The subject of Red was one offered by the exam body but elaboration on the subject was left entirely to the student. For me the typically red bull fighter’s cape links bullfighting to the title. My idea is that the colour red, as a hot colour, can often symbolise anger which could be present in the bull, and red can also reflect blood spilt in the manner of fighting. So far I have completed primary studies on the way red fabric flows mimicking the red cape, and many secondary studies, using different media, of matadors and bulls. While originally I intended to emphasize the red of the cape and any blood present I have begun to extend the red beyond the cape to become the principle colour of the matador, the bull and even surrounding landscape. In this I am attempting to bring the anger and heat through as well as depicting the scene, and of course, it remains close to the title.

The painting I associate most with red is “Tired” fundamentally because reds and oranges
are the main colours, but also my personal interpretation is the sate of the bull reflects how its weaking and links to the blood spilt in the fight. I have been studying Spanish for a number of years and intend to take it for A-level next year, other than France, Spain is the only place I have been on holiday and I love the culture. However I have not yet had the chance to view a bullfight so my direct link to it is somewhat limited… “

I want here to thank Tom for his direct, wonderful contribution to my blog, and for giving me the hope back,  that bullfight will not die… Many people argue, that bullfight will automatically die by lack of spectators within 1 or 2 generations… perhaps not? Are perhaps our young people from today more tolerant?

Well, I shall write a post soon about the death of bullfight…

A question of Taste…

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In my last post I told you (in French, sorry…) about an acrylic bullfight painting which is standing unfinished on my easel in my new bathroom converted into an atelier. I will finish it, at some point, but in the meanwhile I decide to make some work on it with the computer, and here is the result, one more from the series “Toroscapes”.

I changed quite a lot of the initial colours, opting for blue/green instead of red/orange… my brother, who normally loves my bullfight paintings, told me once that he does not like it at all when I put a lot of blue or green in these paintings.

I am myself not a fan of the so-called cold colours, but when one paints so many bullfight themes as I do, and stay true to the traditional colours which one kind of associates to corrida, there comes a point when one cannot see these colours anymore! I am quite close to this point right now!

But anyway: as always, a question of taste!

One more Toroscape…

toroscape27-xs– Toroscape 27 –

Bon, lentement mais surement je me replonge dans la corrida. Pas toujours évident de trouver l’envie de les peindre, c’est vraiment un sujet très particulier, et souvent j’ai besoin de longues pauses entre les séries. Je ne crois pas que la pause est complètement finie, mais j’ai trouvé ce matin un dessin commence il y a quelques semaines, puis abandonné pour autres priorités, et finalement oublié… j’ en ai aimé le sujet, alors j’ai repris le dessin et l’ai continué, d’abord à l’encre, puis à l’aquarelle, et finalement, et c’est bien le cas de le dire, je l’ai achevé à l’ordinateur!

J’ai aussi sur mon chevalet dans la salle de bains transformée en atelier pour peinture sauvage, un tableau de corrida à l’ acrylique sur toile, commencé il y a environ 3 semaines… il faudrait que je l’achève bientôt celui-là aussi, car j’ai l’intention de faire toute une série à l’acrylique sur toile… mais quand je fais çà, de la peinture j’en mets partout, et pour le moment je me sens un peu sophistiquée et je n’ai pas envie de me salir  🙂

Et puis faut dire aussi, et ca c’est moins amusant, que depuis que nous avons amenage ici, a Turre (Andalicia, Provincia de Almeria) l’approvisionnement en materiel de peinture est devenu très diffcile, et je suis obligée de commander presque tout en Allemagne… et mes acryliques, elles se font un peu rare… alors peindre sans les couleurs dont j’ai besoin, ca pourrait etre un challenge genre occasion de changer ma palette de couleurs, mais queston corrida, il y a quand même des couleurs que je ne peux pas trop varier…

Je ne voudrais pas vivre dans une grande ville comme Paris ou Londres, mais je dois dire qu’il y a une chose dont je les ai envie vraiment les artistes qui y vivent:

leurs magasins de peinture!

Days and weeks and months with toros…

My new bullfight calendars for 2010 are ready.

This time they ahve been designed and produced in Scotland,

by

The Bay Attic.

Available sind 2 different designs:

1. the Slim line

bullfight-calendar-2010-slim-amour-toro

2. The not so slim line

bullfight-calendar-2010-a3-amour-toro

Mugs and Bulls

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I am very proud to present you today one of the products which The Bay Attic in Scotland have created especially for my

Bull and Bullfighting Art site.

I have received these two mugs, some days ago, together with some other wonderful products which I will present in my site there. These cups are simply wonderful, of a beautiful quality and design.

And I have tested them already: they work perfectly!

I have thought about a way to present them here, and in my site. I simply couldn’t take the usual boring path, so I had this idea of using a white coathanger as horns and holder for the cups… and I stole the bull from somewhere in the net, like a cattle rustler(!) , but I performed some plastic surgery on him, giving him the eyes from another prettier bull featured on one of my paintings… Hope I won’t be sued by any of them!

Cheers and Ole!

An English Rocker in the bullring….

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I first visited Spain, or to be more precise, the Balearic Islands, thirty-three years ago, and have been regularly visiting the Almeria region since 1985. I finally moved here to live around 6 years ago, yet, until recently, had never attended a Bullfight.

I have never had a problem with this particular manifestation of Spanish Culture, not being given to hysterical animal rights outbursts, and rather viewed it as a rich and colourful evocation of Spanish tradition. That said, I remained largely ignorant of it.

When I met Miki, and began to develop an appreciation of “the ballet between man and beast”  that is so evoked in her Bullfight art, I felt that I would one day attend a Bullfight myself.

And so, towards the end of last year, on the Occasion of the annual fiesta in our village, Turre, we went along to the large portable arena on the outskirts, where I came face to face with this great Spanish tradition.

What you have to understand is, I viewed it from a unique perspective. I had come to know Bullfighting through Miki’s paintings, each pass, each Olé,  each carefully choreographed stage, beautifully illustrated, scene by scene. I had learned about the picadores, the different capes, pink and red, and the importance of a clean kill.

As I sat above the dusty ring, outside this humble village, my eyes were assailed by pomp, ceremony, and a riot of colour! As the Bullfight commenced, I was stunned as what seemed to be an endless series of Miki’s images leapt into life, right in front of me. It was a profound moment, I understood the passion of this misunderstood art, and the reverence and respect the fighters themselves have for their powerful adversaries.

A thrill coursed through me as each bull careened into the arena, snorting, stomping, a seemingly unstoppable powerhouse. In that moment, I think I knew that man and beast are inextricably linked in a profound and ancient manner, and to seek the demise of this incredible spectacle would be the equivalent of gelding a nation.

By Kev Moore

Marie Sara revient… avec Simon Casas.

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C’est une actualité récente qui fait reparler de Marie Sara : elle devient la première  femme, organisatrice spectacles taurins en France. En effet, un nouveau prestataire des arènes de Mont-de-Marsan vient d’être choisi ; il s’agit d’un ensemble composé d’anciens toréros français : Marie Sara, Robert Pilès, Richard Millian, Curro Caro et… Simon Casas.

Cité dans la biographie de Marie Sara, Simon Casas mérite quelques lignes sur ce site consacré au monde de la corrida. Je me plie donc bien volontiers au désir de notre hôtesse, Miki.

Il n’est pas dans mon intention de refaire un énième article sur cet incontournable personnage du mundillo (25 600 pages sur Google, quand même !). Mais le directeur des arènes de Nîmes fait partie de mes souvenirs des années quatre-vingt, je peux donc jeter quelques mots sur ma feuille blanche (oui, je sais, ça impressionne au début…).

De son vrai nom Bernard Dombs, Simon Casas est né en 1947 à Nîmes d’une mère turque et d’un père polonais. L’afficion le touche à l’âge de 8 ans. A 15 ans, il part en Espagne avec Alain Montcouquiol (le frère aîné de Nimeño II…) mener une vie de bohème à la recherche de quelques tientas. En juillet 1968, il se fera remarquer comme espontaneo lors d’une corrida de Antonio Ordoñez. Devenu novillero, il se battra comme un beau diable pour imposer les toreros français. C’est surtout cela qu’il faut retenir de sa carrière de torero : en effet, le jour de son alternative, en 1975, il ne réussit pas à tuer son toro et dès le lendemain, se coupe la coleta, cette petite touffe de cheveux qui, coupée, signifie la retraite d’un matador.

C’est maintenant que va commencer la vraie carrière de ce « passionné multidirectionnel » : organisateur de spectacles taurins, il deviendra directeur des arènes de Nîmes, de Saragosse, de Castellon, de Malaga… Farouche défenseur de la tauromachie, il est de tous les plateaux de télévision pour « affronter » les anti-corridas et autres défenseurs des animaux, ma mémoire ne me fait pas défaut en écrivant qu’il était impressionnant ! Narcissique (il le dit lui-même), capable d’envolées lyriques dignes des plus grands romantiques,  il s’imposera petit à petit dans le paysage taurin. Il devient aporado (entre autres, Conde, Chamaco, Jesulin de Ubrique… et Marie Sara !), producteur, éleveur, il tentera même de se lancer dans la politique !

Bien que Simon Casas ait fait beaucoup pour le développement de la taumachie en France, qu’il ait fait de Nîmes une plaza reconnue où il a fait venir les plus grands, il n’en est pas moins un personnage très controversé… et ce n’est rien que de le dire !

Il a développé la corrida-spectacle, il fait venir le tout-Paris, il fait de la tauromachie un monde de paillettes, il affiche son amitié avec des hommes politiques de premier plan… C’est assez éloigné du monde taurin classique et les critiques ne manquent pas (les 25 600 pages de Google ne sont pas toutes très gentilles…)

Mon souvenir personnel est lié à cette période du « parisianisme » forcené nîmois :  à l’époque, je me contentais des places dites générales et j’attendais avec mes amis plusieurs heures sous le soleil pour avoir la meilleure place tout en haut des arènes. Lorsque Yves Mourouzi, journaliste très en vogue, est arrivé avec sa jeune épouse, l’animateur des arènes a demandé de se lever pour le saluer. Je me suis dit alors que l’un ou l’autre de nous était en trop dans cette atmosphère. Cela ne me semblait pas répondre au respect de la lidia, tel que je le concevais.

Depuis, je suis fidèle aux arènes d’Arles.

Joël D.

The Day She became the First Woman Bullfighter on Horseback in France – Part 3

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(Joel D.,  friend and author here in Amour Toro, gave me the links to a temoignage written by Marie Sara, the first woman bullfighter on horseback in France. I am so impressed and fascinated by this story that I feel the need to translate it from French, to give as many people as possible the possibility to read it. The basic message has in fact nothing to do with bulls and bullfights. It is simply  a great lesson of courage and will, and the proof how dreams can become reality if we really want it. This is why I believe that it is a very important message for everybody!)

The Day when I became the First Woman Bullfighter on Horseback in France   – Part 3

Since then, even if I don’t fight the bulls any more, I  stood of course in the Taurean milieu, the big passion of my life. Close to Arles where I live, I now have a bull breeding farm (“Los Galos”) which boasts more than 150 head.

As for the future, I would like to become a bullfighters agent and then director of an arena- As Simon Casas did in Nimes.

Will I succeed?

I don’t know, but what I do know is that I will try my best to reach it, in the same way I did it it all my life. And there is no reason that it should not happen: if I succeeded in becoming the first woman bullfighter on horseback in France, why shouldn’t I be able to reach these new goals which are mine today? With passion and work -much work- I sincerely believe that nothing is impossible. My way of life proves it, I think.

I am often asked if I am proud to have been the first woman bullfighter on horseback in France.

I am not especially proud of me, for me. Happy and touched, yes, absolutely, but proud… What seems more important to me is that I could cause some young girls to dream. To transmit to them my passion and to give them the lust to enter this magnificent career. If I were able to create vocations and to open doors, then I would be very happy.

I think that it is easier today than in my time, even if the level has considerably ameliorated. Not only because I have contributed to it. But also because the Taurean milieu – which was so macho, sexist and conservative- slowly opened itself. Probably because they have understood that it is in their own interest, especially in these times when the anti-bullfight lobbies become more and more structured, powerful and influential.

Bullfight, even if it is  still very popular in the south, has not reached a national popularity.

The arguments of “the antis” are always the same: barbarism, butchery, cruelty, violence…

I hear them and I try to respect them. Having said that, I would like that these people have a more global and above all more cultural view of bullfighting.

Bullfight, at least for us, is an art. It means sublime lights, magnificent colours, choreography filled with grace, music… A feria is a feast, a communion, an extraordinary ambience which cannot leave anybody indifferent.

Bullfight is an art of living and a culture. And culture, whether you like it or not, you have to respect it.

“The antis” only speak of the sort reserved for the bulls. I want to answer them:

First of all, the animal will die, one day or an other, it is a certainty. Like cows, chicken, whatever. And since man is man, he is a carnivore.

Then you must understand that nobody respects the bull more than the bullfighter himself. He grew and lived with him, he profoundly loves him. Today I am a bull breeder, as I said,  and I can testify that I care for my herd with infinite love and attention.

This will make some people smile, but nevertheless it is true. So true that it is not rare that certain animals, -considered as especially brave- are saved. One never speaks about that…

A bullfighter is neither a bully, nor a sadist who persecutes the animal. For that man,  nothing is worse than to miss the death blow. The death blow by the way, when it is achieved according to the laws of this art, leads to an instantaneous death. No pain then.

There is a deep respect which ties the bull to the man. And these are not just words, they are the reality of the arena.

To caricature bullfight as “a circus game” is as simplistic as to attribute it to some act of butchery. Running the risk of repeating myself I have to say again that it is all infinitely richer and more subtle. It is certainly not a coincidence that so many writers, film makers, and famous intellectuals dedicated magnificent works to the bullfight world, which still serve as references. Neither a coincidence that in spite of all the pressure, the ferias nowadays still show “complete” and that no-one can deny the fascination of the public.

That one does not approve bullfight is something I hear and respect.

I would simply like that some people make more efforts to understand and accept that culture which is ours. In its global nature and its history. And not only by the thin end of the wedge. I am not pleading here, everybody is free to think what he wants. My words are only the words of a woman who had the luck and happiness to enter this noble family of the Tauromachy. The words of a passionate woman happy to have made some people dream, vibrate and to have caused vocations to bloom.

END

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