POP ART BY ALAN BERG
BY ANTONIO PINEDA
The Tamarind Cafe was the venue for an exhibit of pop art by French artist Alan Berg. I am greeted by Cyrille and Ellen , they have just done a show of the works of Alan Berg at Bed Supper Club at which several paintings sold. The paintings on exhibit represent the best of the Swinging Sixties.Cyrille guides my attention to Beatles Abbey Road canvas, I explain the white suit worn by John Lennon sold at auction in Las Vegas for 66000 Quid.
Jimi Wing and his wife Joyce make the scene with a cool hip hop dude. Jeff Kung is spreading the hip hop culture in China. He attended Michigan State and started a career as a pop singer in Taiwan. Jeff cut 2 albums there and won the Taiwanise
equivalant of the Grammy for new artist of the year. He is now exporting the brand for hip hop culture to China.
The scene is the hottet in Asia.The government does not allow the use of derogatory language indiginous to American street culture. Pimp,hoe,bitch and other seeming vulgarities are verboten. Jeff finds other ways to push the envelope.His outfit The Park and a radio show plus TV show Block Party spread the hip hop culture in Beijing and Shanghai. The scene is still nascent and underground. Hot acts like Uranus with girl rapper Dai Bao,Yin Tsang, MC Young Kin,and Yin Sar are the flavor of the day
. I enquire after Lenny Futura aka Futura 2000 now known as Futura. Jeff contends his interest in graffiti art was nurtured by the work of Futura.EMI, sONY and BMG are on the bandwagon on China, but there are no alternative labels and massive piracy.
A striking brunette from the Czech Embassy chats me up before a nouevelle vague portrait of Brigitte Bardot. Petra extolls her remembrance of the seminal Bardot classic God Created Woman. I am transported to my halycon youth when this Roger Vadim vehicle made me fall forever in love with Bardot. It was also the first time I was exposed to savate, the French underworld martial arts form involving many forms of kicks. Jean Louis Trintigant is beaten senseless by two French hoods dressed as beach boys.Jimi Wing immortalizes the night taking pix of Petra, Hollywood producer Steve Roeder,Joyce et moi.
The beaucoup des sangrias are starting to kick in as I assess a potrait of Ursula Andress. The Teutonic beauty is in her pomp as she was when she inspired love as the archetypical Bond Girl ,or the unforgettable creation of the British author Rider Haggard in ,She.
Audrey Hepburn is represented in a series of paintings.Her cool sophisticated beauty is still missing in the modern cinema artists of today. Twiggy ,once the symbol of Mod-Lysergic London and face that launched a thousand shios on Fashion on Carnaby Street reigns supreme as the very symbol of the pop art explosion launched by Andy Warhol and the plastic fantastic exploding inevitable.
My favourite paonting is a NYC scene of Times Square with taxis as the stars and a sly cameo of Audrey Hepburn sedreted away in the right upper corner.Alan Berg has had Exhibitions of his work in London and Paris.Cyrille is promoting Berg exclusively via his art gallery in Bangkok.
Steve Roeder and I sit with two lovely Thai girla. He and local film producer Ric Lawes are liaising with director Don E. Fauntleroy to shoot a motion picture on location inThailand .Fauntleroy is fresh from the success of his association with Steamroller Productions as director on the Anaconda franchise. Mercenary and Today You Die are other titles directed by Fauntleroy.
Jimi Wing makes us an offer we can not refuse. There is a cool house party on the other side of town. Tome to blow this honky tonk mes cher amis. We desert this temple of pop art for the baser pursuits of pleasure and self gratification.The street outside smells of flowers and grilled meats on street vendors barbecues. A blind couple sing for alms on the street. He plays keyboards plugged into speakers and electronic playback. She sings a languid Isaan lament. Her voice wafts through the shadows of the night.Balzac would roll over in his grave and construe a novel around this celestial music and song . We jump onto a taxi and roll on to our next rendezvous of the Bangkok night.