Fin de Siècle

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  Medium: hand-pulled lithograph
  Image size: 30 1/2" x 43 1/4"
  Edition size: 250
  Numbered Proofs: 52
  Non-Numbered Proofs: 16
  Total Edition size: 318
  Number of colors: 15
  Year printed: 2003
  Atelier: Arts-Litho, Paris
  Current Price: $ 1140 Last price on secondary mkt.
Throughout his artistic career, Authouart's raison d’être has been to chronicle our times as seen through his eyes. Authouart worked on this piece, creating ideas and making drawings, for some 13 years. The result, Fin de Siècle, an oil on canvas (192 x 273 cm., or more than 6’ x 9’) was finally completed in 1999. This masterpiece played a large part in his selection as worldwide painter of the year in Art of the 20th Century. Now he has created the litho of this great image.
In Fin de Siècle (End of the Century), Authouart encapsulates the noteworthy historical events, icons, and cultural and political realities in a snapshot of Times Square that is a time stamp of the changing of a millennium. The focus is on the second half of the century from his birth in 1943 until 01-01-2000.
Authouart sees New York City as the center of the cultural and artistic universe of the 20th century, as Rome and Florence were in the 15th century. In this piece he shows major events of the century such as man walking on the moon but he is quick to point out that these are collaborative events. It wasn’t just Neil Armstrong, but as we can read in the New York Post, Christa McAuliffe and many others as well made our space program work. He also keeps his sense of humor showing Tintin and Milou, two French cartoon characters, on the moon because everyone knows they walked there first.
There is much contradiction in our society and Authouart is quick to point it out. The Cadillac is decked out in peace and flower power symbols, yet is driven by Charles Manson with a Vietnam veteran in the back. A cowboy has mortally wounded an American Indian that Authouart uses to symbolize the earth, ecology and freedom.
Reds and yellows, indicating good times and prosperity, dominate the center of the image. The people on the New York Jungle Tours bus (a takeoff on NY Big Apple Tours) are partying to excess… a comment on overindulgence.
Yet, even in all the good times, there are many troubles in the world. War, continual unrest in the Middle East, Bosnia, assassination and even genocide are still in the picture. Reminders of this are seen on the right side of the image.
In the midst of all the reverie and partying, Authouart, holding the newspaper that asks “Will it be War?”, seems to be the only one alarmed about the condition of the world - a statement on the vanity of human behavior.

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