Le chalet des oliviers (Chalet among the olive trees)Baptistin Pastouret, known as Titin (d. 1987)
Châteaurenard (Bouches-du-Rhône), France
Highway D16a, km 250 Châteaurenard (Bouches-du-Rhône), France
About the Artist/Site
It is not known when farmer Pastouret began adorning the grounds of a small cabin near his home – but in a separate location – with a variety of painted concrete figures, as well as with columns and garden ornaments such as arches, windmills, whirligigs, and wells.
His imagination was expansive; the animals include local, domesticated fauna such as dogs, birds, and deer, but there is also a (rather skinny and short) elephant. In the same vein, his human figures include mostly those who appear to be neighbors, with their berets and simple clothes, but there is also a queen sporting a stiff crown. A jockey rides in a light two-wheeled sulky being pulled by a racehorse; other anonymous figures are scattered around the property, standing near landscaped elements or mounted on low pedestals.
Relatively densely populated within the circumscribed property, Pastouret’s figures, while carefully painted with cuffs, buttons, ties, and necklines delineated in contrasting colors, are all generally stiff and stocky. There is no fluidity in their gestures (nor, indeed, apparent joints within their limbs). While lips were painted red and mustaches painted black, there was little definition of facial contours – although the women’s breasts do appear to have been sculpted with particular attention. Simple outlines of animals, figures, and abstractions, generally in monochrome although with occasional lines of contrasting colors, were painted on the otherwise unornamented concrete columns erected on-site.
The current status of the site is unknown.
~Jo Farb Hernández, 2019
Map & Site Information
Latitude/Longitude: 43.8820059 / 4.855685
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