Jean-Michel Folon 1934 - 2005
A kind Belgian reader, Kati, advised me that Jean-Michel Folon -- the Belgian artist who did the "Inflammatory America" painting below and so many others that I admire, died in Monaco recently.
I became aware of Folon indirectly in the 1970s -- I worked in downtown Seattle and every day I walked past a gallery exhibiting serigraph posters whose geometric edginess were perfect ... especially one of umbrella-topped, briefcase-accessorized businessmen marching to work, a perfect satire of a scene found in Seattle every winter day (and a serigraph that still hangs in our kitchen).
Those were by an artist named Granger, the first "art" I ever purchased ... and the interest in Granger, a student of Folon, led me to the work of Folon -- whose soft-edged dreamscapes were even more intriguing to me than his student's work.
In particular, I admire Folon's ability to gently -- and sometimes sharply -- address social issues through his art.
In 2004, Jean-Michel Folon received the Legion of Honour; he also became a UNICEF ambassador. This year, before his death, the city of Florence opened the doors of the Palazzo Vecchio and the Forte Belvedere for a grand retrospective of his work.
Jean-Michel Folon died in Monaco on 20th October 2005 at the age of 71.