PT BARNUM, JEAN COCTEAU CONFERENCING


PT BARNUM AND JEAN COCTEAU CONFERENCING
Oil on Linen (34 X 46 inches)
Cocteau, Barnum
Large Oil portraits of two fabulous entrepreneurs. Ringling Brothers and Barnum‘s showman, and French filmmaker Jean Cocteau.
B & C, detail
I’d wanted to do a portrait of two people together, in some way connected, and two favorites have always been these men. In a way, extraordinary hucksters who had a passion for and success in driving the public to their various tents.
They were separated by about half a century and likely never met. But both showmen extraordinaire, who’d have, it seems to me, enjoyed each other’s company. And been in hot competition.
The Entrepreneurs, B C
Barnum with elephants on his hat rim, a roll of  red Ticket for Ones in his hand, and stilt walkers and tight rope dancers in his imagination.
Jean Cocteau with his fat roll of 35mm film, flora bunda of his scenery, the galloping horse riders of ‘BEAUTY AND THE BEAST” and both
with a look of
far-off mind-boggling enterprises to try next!

Many months after finishing the painting (2010) I looked them up to see if they’d ever been put together before, out of curiosity. Well the darnedest thing is that they turn out to share a birthday! I think it’s July 3rd. The lesson for me being not to ignore what floats in the ether and heads in my direction, and lookie here! all this, with a great many fascinating things to catch the eye and interest the brain.

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