Photographer Robert Doisneau, who likened his art to a fisherman's catch, loved Paris more than anyone possibly could, and he rarely left its confines to shoot his pictures. The tiny, split-second tableaux of splendid life are so perfectly indicative of time and place that they still transport us immediately. You see, Doisneau wasn't simply lucky when he caught events in action, but rather waited patiently on street corners for the moments to reveal themselves, like a director plotting out his play on a bare stage, with the full production clearly pictured in his mind. And we've all seen the results -- most notably, the undeniably romantic "Kiss at the Hotel de Ville," with its tempestuous couple locking lips with abandon on the street, the stuff of a million posters tacked to bohemian apartment walls.
Along with his kisses, his little dogs and musicians and cafe habitués, Doisneau caught anxious schoolchildren seated at desks under a slowly ticking clock, Pablo Picasso making light with little baguettes at a table, a line of undies flapping in the breeze before a distant Eiffel Tower, and hundreds more Parisian vignettes. When he passed away ten years ago, he left behind more than 300,000 negatives; 117 of them, including "Kiss," will be featured in Doisneau's Paris, which opens today at the Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center, 30 West Dale Street, Colorado Springs. It's a hike for Denverites, but an hour's trip south is a lot more affordable than time-traveling across the ocean to 1940s-era France.
The exhibit continues through January 2; for information, call 1-719-634-5581 or go to www.csfineartscenter.org. -- Susan Froyd
Fantasy Fest 2004 spins yarns
Pull a chair up to the Round Table and dive into the golden age of chivalry with storytellers of Arthurian lore during tonight's Fantasy Fest 2004 in Castle Rock. Weaving history with myth, Susan Marie Frontzcak will spin tales of King Arthur, Guinevere and Merlin, and the Cheyenne Fencing & Pentathlon Center will channel the era with fencing demonstrations.
Authors Connie Willis, Mark Anthony and Kathleen Cunningham Guler will lead a discussion on the "once and future king" while a royal court goes head-to-head in a life-sized chess game. Those who show up in antique clothing can participate in a costume contest at the end of the evening. And in keeping with the appetites of old, there will be plenty of food and drink. "The Arthurian theme is always popular," says program coordinator Sabrina Speight. "All the elements of a good story are in there."
Fantasy Fest 2004 is free and runs from 6 to 10 p.m. at the Philip S. Miller Library, 100 South Wilcox Street in Castle Rock. For more information, call 303-688-7640 or visit www.douglascountylibraries.org. -- Kity Ironton