Cherry blossoms in Spring and Autumn

Cherry Blossoms

Cherry blossoms in spring don’t come as a surprise. Cherry blossoms in autumn are a very different kettle of fish, or flowers for that matter. I suppose that only a few years back, before Covid-19 struck, taking pictures of Cherry Blossoms would have sounded naf and awfully deja vu.

Cherry blossoms in Spring and Autumn

As it happens, many people flock to Korea or Japan to see these Cherry Blossoms but Flyskam makes all this impossible.

IPCC tells us a major catastrophe is just around the corner, it’s not the right time to roam the world and it’s just as well because you don’t really need to.

[Boy isn’t that report utterly depressing! I don’t feel like reading it at all. Anyway, we’re all looking the other way so why bother, we’ll all die in a flash one day and that will be it. No need to fret now, is it? It’s a much better idea to have a look at our Cherry blossoms and enjoy them. It will be as good as it lasts, though, Cherry trees aka Prunus serrulata won’t survive for very long in that heat]

Cherry blossoms in Spring and Autumn

Regardless, Cherry blossoms are still widely available here in Europe, at our doorstep so to speak, as above in a local 13th district square in Paris.

Cherry blossoms in Spring and Autumn

The square is quite nice, almost like a common, tucked away in the corner of some real estate development with council flats all around. If it weren’t for the trees, it would look quite dreary I should say.

Now, I haven’t told you why it’s no longer cliché — a very apt expression if you ask me — to take pictures of Cherry Blossoms.

Here’s why.

Cherry Blossoms the Damian Hirst way

On October 17, 2021, we visited the Cartier Foundation right down the road from our flat and as a matter of fact, for an exhibition that was right down our alley too.

Cherry blossoms in Spring and Autumn

I remember Hirst from his split cow days. A cow and its calf sawn in half and kept in formaldehyde. It is still debatable whether the cow was dead or alive before the sawing.

What is true though is that these works of Art actually leaked formaldehyde gas. Maybe a solution to our gas-shortage issue? That’s an idea.

But that was before. Now, Hirst paints Cherry Blossoms. They don’t leak gas for one, and second, they make up quite a pleasant show.

Cherry blossoms in Spring and Autumn

We went there before the end of Covid (well, I’m not quite sure it’s finished, and I’ll keep my fingers crossed) and visitors and tourists must have been afraid so that we were quite alone in that place.

A 360-degree panorama of Hirst’s Cherry blossoms

Cherry blossoms in Spring and Autumn

Quite enjoyable I must say, and a tad ironic as well. It all reminded me of Jonathan Gibbs’s Randall that tells the story of one of the young British artists who end up playing a prank on his fans by painting quite crude figurative paintings (you should buy this book).

Or Kurt Vonnegut’s Bluebeard with its former abstract expressionist painter who keeps a secret in a potato barn that is anything but abstract and certainly not much expressionistic.

Notwithstanding, nothing beats the real stuff, now that Mr. Hirst has made it quite acceptable again as a subject for pictures.

Don’t read that IPCC report, listen to Gurevitsch’s latest opus instead, it’s a much better idea.

Yann Gourvennec
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  1. So glad to read your report on Hirst’s Cherry Blossoms 🌸 I’ve been enjoying the catalog from the show and finding it quite stunning. No trips to Japan for the foreseeable future so just have to enjoy the blossoms here in Portland and remember our trip to Japan 14 years ago

    • Thanks for your kind comment David. Already 6 years when we visited Portland, God knows when we’ll travel again that way. I’ve never been to Japan as far as I’m concerned. I see that Hirst’s show came to Portland 2 years before Paris, I suppose he’ll be showing them all around the world.

      • Yann, you caught me by surprise when you mentioned the Hirst paintings being in Portland! And sure enough, I have photos to prove that I saw them. Six of them were here at the art museum in Spring 2019. That may explain my fascination with them when I first saw an article about the Cartier exhibit and why I ordered the catalog! I also believe his studio where he painted the Cherry Blossoms in London is upstairs from the River Cafe where we had lunch in October of 2019. Thanks for helping me recreate all that 😊

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