I promised to tell you about my new encounters in Nice this week, but for that to make any sense, I have to tell you a tale and talk to you about the power of a picture
My daughter Ella has a young communications company in Nice, on the Cote d’Azur. The girl is passionate, driven even …. and I am continually amazed by her energy and vision. Her company is called Sunday Events, and her favoured media is street art.
Sometime late summer last year, while surfing on instagram, she came across the account of a young photographer called Callowlens in Bridegport, CT. Different setting, different lifestyle, different life experience but similar age and sharing the same love of a good picture, and the way that urban arts are a part of today’s living.
She started to connect with the young photographer whose name is Donovan, and to cut a long story short, he and his fellow photographer Gary Pivot boarded a plane early March to come to Nice, where Ella had promised them prime position in her upcoming exhibition.
We can call this a leap of faith, and a big leap at that. A leap that removed them from everything familiar and took them to the Cote d’Azur. Not only do they speak no French, they had never left the States before and they had never before had an opportunity to show their pictures. A culture shock.
Before the exhibition took place they had a week to acclimatize and explore the region, and I had the good fortune to spend a morning with them in the old town of Nice and on the shoreline, chatting, and taking photos. Donovan and Gary are fine young men, brave enough to try to launch themselves in the competitive world of photography. Modest and autodidact, Donovan’s logo, proclaimed on his website reads, “Avoid being the smartest person in the room”. I like that.
The exhibition took place in the vaulted cellar of a 16th century building, decorated beautifully. The music was live, the mood was young, and the energy in the room vibrant and positive.
And once again, the power of their beautiful pictures, along with the work of the other street artists in the show served to cross boundaries. The evening saw an amazing mix of people from journalists, to artists, to family members, to town dignitaries, to foreign gallery owners and other professional people from this bustling town. The goodwill was apparent, the wish to see the exhibition succeed and to assist in the launching of the young artists.
And as I chatted and met new people, I was very happy to think that the whole event came together because of the power of art, and our longing to share the beauty around us each day, no matter which form that beauty may take.
Gary and Donovan have supplied the photos for this blogpost, and I am proud to show their work and their view of the south of France.
If you’d like to learn more :