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Michel Delacroix is truly a French original: an acclaimed master of the Naïf tradition and one of the most popular and successful artists in the world today. A self-styled "painter of dreams and of the poetic past," Delacroix has devoted five decades to painting a city he calls "the Paris of then," the magical place where he was born, where he spent his boyhood, and where he continues to live to this day.
But the Paris Delacroix paints is not the urban metropolis of the present. It is the dream-like place the city became in the 1940's, during the Occupation, when "we suddenly jumped fifty years into the past. No more cars in the streets, very few lights. Paris suddenly became very quiet, very dark, and, though people were afraid, there was a brotherhood and spirit that was very delightful." For Delacroix, who was then a child of seven and spared by his age from understanding "the cruelties and absurdities" of war, it was "the one great adventure of my life."
And it is to this special Paris - the Paris of by-gone years and innocent splendors - that Delacroix has returned to over and over again in his gentle works. Theses works, renowned for their graceful balance of "the earthy and the urban, the cosmic and the ordinary," have captivated private collectors, museums and ordinary people alike throughout the world, earning the artist both universal acclaim and numerous awards.
In the U.S. alone, Delacroix's work has been featured in over 275 one person shows, from New York City, Boston, and Washington D.C., to Los Angeles, Carmel, Denver, Seattle, and San Francisco. Abroad, his work has been exhibited in France, Switzerland, Germany, Luxembourg, England, Japan, and forms part of the permanent collections of the Musee International d'Art Naïf and the Foundation Max Fourny in Paris, and of private collections around the globe.
In 1994, Michel Delacroix was named an Official Artist of the 1996 Centennial Olympic Games by the U.S. Olympic Committee and commissioned to paint a work marking the hundredth anniversary of the modern Olympic Games. The work, entitled 1896 Olympics, was used to create an Official Poster for the 1996 Games and a special Limited Edition. In 1995, Delacroix also became an Official Artist of the Atlanta Committee for the Olympic Games (ACOG) which commissioned him to celebrate the site of the 1996 Games in a work entitled Atlanta 1896-1996. Delighted with the work, ACOG selected it to serve as a 1996 Olympic Games' Official Poster and a Limited Edition.
Following Atlanta 1896-1996, ACOG again honored Delacroix by commissioning him to create the Commemorative Painting and Cover Art of the Official Five CD Music Box Set of the 1996 Olympic Games.