The Island That Changed Gauguin

By Lupita Franco Peimbert.

Post-impressionist Paul Gauguin had the exuberantly-bohemian life most artists had in 1800s Paris. For many, it was a life of contrast: rich in experiences and not so great when it came to money. For Gauguin, bored with the moral and political conventions of his time, it was a life he had to get away from.

Gauguin had a thirst for adventures. By going to French Polynesia he found out that some adventures can indeed mark one’s life forever and within that, one could be immensely happy, miserable or creative.  

By 1891, Gauguin was already well-known as an artist. He heard of Tahiti and felt compelled to leave all behind, including his wife and children, yearning for new inspiration. And there he went.

The San Francisco International Film Festival presented the “Gauguin” film in the Spring of 2018. In this biofilm, Director Edouard Deluc’s presents the immense beauty of the island and the energy and mystery of its surroundings, including the native people with their way of life. And all these settings are as important as the main character.

During one of Gauguin’s journeys deep into the Tahitian jungle, he meets Tehura, a young woman who becomes his muse, his lover, his friend and companion, and the source of inspiration for Gauguin’s iconic works of art.

Actor Vincent Cassel as Paul Gauguin delivers a strong, multidimensional character. He portrays a man in the midst of frenetic forces, the depth of loneliness and the richness of connection. The film involves you into the wonders of the man, the artist, and the human being.

Paul Gauguin died at age 54, alone in French Polynesia. As it seems to have happened to many artists of the past, he died poor. Years after his death his work and name took new heights. His pieces of art are sold around the world in the millions and have set new records at art auctions. Gauguin has also been recognized as a leader of Post-impressionism, bringing new approaches to color –something attributed to his time in Tahiti.

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