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Fine-Art Chameleon

(June/July 2018) posted on Thu Jun 21, 2018

Michel Caza’s 55 years as a leading fine-art serigrapher set him apart as a pioneer in screen printing.


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By Steve Duccilli

With the Canadian Peter Fromme-Douglas and his “Movie-Stars,” the complexity between softness and contrast was difficult to recreate. This was a problem that I found again many years later with [Alain] Margotton’s nude of 2003, for which I earned the first “Best in Show” at the SGIA awards competition. Recreating works in the manner of Warhol was also a series of exciting experiences. So many things that mixed art and technique together so closely, all my life!

 

It’s interesting how politics seemed to weave in and out of your career – the student uprisings of 1968, the Chilean dictatorship of the 1970s, the AIDS protests of the 1980s were all documented in your work – and yet you also worked for a number of famous French politicians. Were you something of a chameleon in that sense as well?

It’s funny, but by nature I remained completely apolitical, even secular – neither angry with any religion, nor the absence of it. As my friend Pierre Soulages told me: “Whether they are left or right, I do not care, as long as they like what I do!” I fully share this point of view.



But there is an enormous exception: I have never been able to support dictatorships, whether left or right – hence, my pleasure to realize the “Chile” portfolio with South American artists, the sale of which paid for the expedition of artists and intellectuals fleeing from the Pinochet regime. 

The portfolio with [Gérard] Fromanger after the events of May 1968, with the controversial bleeding flag, was another nice challenge. The two years spent developing the mass posters which raised awareness of the AIDS epidemic was also very rewarding. We worked with 37 European artists in 1993, then 23 from Latin America the following year, and the exhibition toured both continents.

So, there were certainly many of my works that I knew had significant political implications – like the greeting cards created for President Chirac – yet overall I remained a chameleon, changing colors often.

You worked with many famous artists over the years – Fromanger, Niki de Saint Phalle, Dali, others. Is there one for whom you will always have a special place in your heart?


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