Philippe Arnoux Photography

June 28, 2010


Filed under: Panama — Philippe @ 4:10 am

The guanacaste tree (Enterolobium cyclocarpum) is one of the largest trees found in Central America, and is also called corotu in Panama, or Elephant Ear Tree in north america due to the shape of the seed pods. It is the national tree of Costa Rica. It can reach an elevation of over 30 meters and the trunk’s diameter can measure up to 2 meters.
Guanacaste trees appear to delay the onset of fruit development up to nine months, so that seed maturation will coincide with the start of the rainy season.

Raúl Vásquez is one of Central America’s best known artists. He was born in Los Santos Province in 1954 and died recently in 2008. He was painter and poet. Outside his house there is a huge corutu, where he used to sit for hours, celebrating the vision of Man and Land nourishing and taking root together.

I took this photo of the Tree, and later, working on it, I got the sensation of having made a portrait of Raul Vasquez himself.

Man and Land taking root together.

June 21, 2010


Filed under: Panama — Philippe @ 4:29 am

The literary movement, Négritude, was born out of the Paris intellectual environment of 1930’s and 1940’s. It is a product of black writers such as the Senegalese Léopold Sédar Senghor, or the Martinican  poet Aimé Césaire, and the Guianan  Léon Damas, joining together through the French language to assert their cultural identity.  Césaire speaks of Haiti as being “where négritude stood up for the first time.”

`Prayer to the Masks (by LS Senghor):

Masks! Masks!
Black masks, red masks, you masks black and white –
Masks at all four points from whence the spirit breathes –
In silence I salute you!

And not least of all you, my lion-headed ancestor,
You keeper of holy places forbidden…
You who have painted this picture of my face
over an altar of white paper
In your own image…hear me!

Here dies the Africa of Empires –
it is the agony of a ruined princess
And of
Europe to whose navel we are bound.


What is negritude today?

A vast ocean of black solitude?

June 13, 2010


Filed under: Panama — Philippe @ 5:30 pm

Bronze is a metal alloy consisting primarily of copper, usually with tin as the main additive, but sometimes with other elements such as phosphorus, manganese, aluminum, or silicon. Bronze was found to be the perfect metal for statues, and more specifically for nude bronze statues.

Nude Art a form of art that expresses profound admiration for the body as the shape of humanity.
Nudity is always disquieting, instigating and surprising. So the artist, both in painting and in sculpture, in dancing or in photography, discovers in the nude a profound link with the pureness of being.

“Naked came I out of my mother’s womb, and naked shall I return thither…” (The Book of Job 1:21)

June 7, 2010

More Doctors Smoke Camels

Filed under: Panama — Philippe @ 2:38 am

In 1946, 113,597 doctors were surveyed by the Reynolds Tobacco and co., and the conclusion was: “More doctors smoke Camels than any other cigarette!”. The question was very simple: “What cigarette do you smoke, Doctor?”. And naturally, more doctors named Camels than any other cigarette!
In a defensive way Lucky Strike made another survey with 20679 physicians and concluded that “Luckies are less irritating because it is toasted”…. So for those who wanted to keep their teeth clean and white, Viceroy Cigarette got the support of the dentists.

When the scientific and sport community was no longer looking credible, Santa Claus appeared in the scene and first claimed that he was smoking “Chesterfields”, and later moved to Pall Malls.

Today 1 American out of 5 is a smoker. WHO estimated that there are about 1100 million regular smokers in the world. About 300 million are in the developed countries, and nearly three times as many (800 million) in developing countries. In the 90´s the estimated number of deaths caused every year by Tobacco was 3 millions, with 2 millions in developed countries, and 1 million in developing countries. By the end of 2020, the toll will rise to 10 millions, with 3 millions in developed countries and 7 millions in developing countries. In the meantime successful therapies are few and the overall 5-year relative lung cancer survival rate for 1995-2002 was 15 percent.

The average life expectancy of a camel is 40 to 50 years, which is more or less the life expectancy of someone who smokes heavily.

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