An Interview With Artist C’ecile Duteil (Excerpt)

Sources: The Examiner – By Rev. Catherine Gross | Edited By All Things Michael

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Last week we began a series featuring the artists who will give life to the MJJ Art Museum. We are all very grateful that they have donated beautiful pieces. It is their works that can actually bring hope and healing to so very many. It is important for us to acknowledge them today, while they can see how their work has touched us, and they can hear our applause. It has been the practice of museums to display the works of artists who have made their transition.

Whereas the art lives on long after the artist, there is something lonely about owning a piece of art because the artist is no longer here to share. Our purpose is to create unity through a living art experience. Cécile Duteil will be speaking to us today.

As a result, you are really a fantastic artist… What motivated you to become a Michael artist?

It’s a long story. I’ll start with my first job experience in Disneyland Paris, in 1997. That’s when I first “crossed paths” with Michael Jackson. As all his fans know, Michael loved to go to Disneyland when he was spending some time in France. He was staying at Disneyland Hotel, the beautiful hotel at the entrance of the park. I remember having worked right under his windows when he was there! At that time I was not a fan yet, although there were many songs of him I appreciated. And several of his song videos were among my favorites.

I did not meet him personally but one day before we left work, our team leader told us that some tickets for Michael’s concert were available. They had been graciously given on behalf of Michael to the attention of the Cast Members (that’s how Disneyland employees are called). Such an offer could not be refused! I even had the chance to get 2 tickets, one for myself and one for my brother who was a student then – and we shared the same apartment.

So we attended the HIStory concert in Paris, Parc des Princes, on June 29th, 1997. There is no need to describe how a King of Pop concert is like ! It is a precious, unique experience. My favorite memory of it is Earth Song. Now when I listen to this song and close my eyes, those images of him hanging at the “cherry picker” come back to my mind. He was like flying over our heads in acrobatic postures, putting all his soul and passion into this song.

Believe me I was crying like a child when I found the concert ticket again, after Michael’s passing. I had moved to several places since then, and I was afraid I could have lost it. It was kept in my 1997 agenda book ! Then how did I become a fan?

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Yes.. how did you become a fan?

The life of famous people is something I’m not interested in, most of the time. So I like to listen to music, to watch some song videos but don’t know much about the artists’ life.

On July 7th, 2009, the Michael Jackson Memorial was aired on TV. Like many people on the planet, I did not miss this final goodbye to the most famous superstar. And after the Memorial, the Bucharest concert was broadcast on the same TV channel. Although it was late and I felt sleepy, I could not get my eyes off the screen. There was a powerful feeling in my guts. He ignited something in me.

I thought it would not last, but day after day I wanted to learn more about him. Why did this not happen when I saw him live on stage ? I don’t know, this was probably not meant to be the right time then. Maybe it’s because I was a bit too far from the scene and there were taller people in front of me.

Now I have learned from many other fans that something special happened for them too, after Michael passed. The sky only knows how or why it happens, but we agree that there is a spiritual connection with Michael.

So in 2009 I started discovering nearly all about Michael’s life and what I learned made me love and admire him more each day. He was -and still is- such a loving and inspiring soul!

Naturally came my eagerness to draw or paint portraits of him. He’s so graceful, be it his movements, his smile, his deep gaze or his interactions with others! He has become my masculine muse. And other fans are encouraging me a lot when they write how they appreciate my artwork. This means a lot to me. I want to share more of it with them since they enjoy it. Seeing other great fan-art pieces is also a significant emulation to me.

Last year I illustrated Smile Effect, Brenda Jenkyns’ beautiful story inspired by Michael’s smile, and it was a wonderful experience. I thank her very much for this. Here and then I’ve had a few drawings also published in fans collective books. I’m thankful to all the kind people who have given me these opportunities.

Several fans who support or manage charity projects have proposed me lovely ideas and ways to contribute with art. This is part of my motivation too, because it is such an honor to perpetuate Michael’s legacy by helping heal the world!

Michael said he was committed to his art, that it was a gift , I can see that you feel the same way too

Michael teaches me a lot. He was a deeply spiritual and loving person. Very learned too. There are lots of meaning and important messages in his art. Somehow, he must have shared this beautiful energy with me and many other fans from above because I cannot explain otherwise how I suddenly turned to be a fan. It’s not a secret anymore -at least for fans- that many of us feel his energy, his spirit. He recruited his “little soldiers of L.O.V.E.” I guess !

Art has been a part of me (another part of me !) from the youngest age. So my commitment to my art is not something I have to question or to waken. It is like a vital need, it is necessary to my balance.

 

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