‘Live portraits’ by Corado BOUST at Espace Culturel Louis Aragon

To experience and re-experience!


‘Live portraits’ is what is commonly called an artistic performance, which was today the painting of two portraits in only 45 minutes, in a poetic atmosphere filled with words flying away and, guided by the sweet melody of a guitar, coming to leave a mark on the spectators’ hearts.

Both portraits by Corado represented the faces of two charismatic men, who marked history: they are Nelson Mandela’s and Louis Aragon’s ones.

By painting these two men, the artist, Corado BOUST, deals with themes that are still very relevant today, i.e. freedom and racial equality (besides, it is no coincidence that one protagonist is white and the other is black: this idea is obviously reinforcing the message and the call to Equality).

Zooming in on these two men, who marked History…

* Louis Aragon *

Louis Aragon was a French writer, a poet and a journalist. He was also one of the intellectuals, like André Breton, Paul Eluard and Philippe Soupault, at the origin of the Parisian Dadaism and surrealism.

Dreams, sweet illusions, but also fight and hope are the powerful concepts at the heart of Louis Aragon’s work, without forgetting his poems about love, friendship, and the wonders of life.

‘There’s always a dream that is awake.’

– Louis Aragon

* Nelson Mandela *

Nelson Mandela was one of the historical leaders of the fight against the political system of Apartheid in South Africa, and he was elected president of the Republic of South Africa in 1994 (until 1999) after the first non-segregationist general elections of the country’s history.

Nelson Mandela received an international support and could thus keep on fighting against segregation, and become THE symbol of the fight for racial equality.

A walk to freedom

‘I always knew that deep down in every human heart, there is mercy and generosity. No one is born hating another person because of the colour of his skin, or his background, or his religion. People must learn to hate, and if they can learn to hate, they can be taught to love, for love comes more naturally to the human heart than it’s opposite. Even in the grimmest times in prison, when my comrades and I were pushed to our limits, I would see a glimmer of humanity in one of the guards, perhaps just for a second, but it was enough to reassure me and keep me going. Man’s goodness is a flame that can be hidden but never extinguished! (…) A man who takes away another man’s freedom is a prisoner of hatred, he is locked behind the bars of prejudice and narrow-mindedness.’

– Nelson Mandela

Interview with the artist, Corado BOUST…

To the question ‘why did you choose to paint these two men in particular?’, Corado replied that it was a co-decision, made with Mr Daniel Meunier, the deputy mayor appointed to cultural affairs. He added that in general, for this kind of artistic performances, the idea was to stick to current events or to a specific environment, a specific universe. Anyway, the aim of each performance is always to arouse the emotions of the audience.

The lovely thought of Corado also implies bringing art to the individual, instead of displaying it in art galleries and asking the audience to come look for it: in short, he hopes to facilitate the access to art.

Therefore, one of Corado’s ambitions would be to – why not – perform at people’s houses in order to bring art, to deliver something that is bigger than us, to human hearts.

Our world needs more and more artists like Corado, who is humble, modest, gifted and endowed with a greatness he might not himself be completely aware of.

In a few words, ‘Live portraits’ is an artistic and spiritual experience one doesn’t leave untouched, and which detains the power to fill someone with wonder – a power that is to cherish, especially in today’s world.

French version of this article HERE


© Photos by me – All rights reserved


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