March 26, 2023

The painter, who passed through nine concentration camps between 1940 and 1945, had inspired the world of Rita Mitsouko.

He gave me his life force.» Catherine Ringer auctions a hundred works by his father, the painter Sam Ringer, little known, survivor of nine concentration camps, who “incensed the colorsin his paintings. “My father loved Hieronymus Bosch, Max Ernst,but he was also a great admirer of Leonardo DeVincifor the manufacture of many things apart from painting“, confides the singer met by AFP in the walls of Bonhams Cornette de Saint Cyr, in Paris, place of this auction on March 29.

The story of this jack of all trades, also a sculptor, engraver, among other talents, who died in 1986, is known to Rita Mitsouko fans. It’s all in the song He was a man. “I was looking for his memory at that time“says the artist. “He was born in 1918 in Poland, he spent his youth in Oswiecim (a town near the Auschwitz camp, editor’s note), he was of Jewish origin, not especially religious, born of an unknown father, he lived with his grandmother, his mother had gone to work“. “In a very anti-Semitic era, he was accepted at the Fine Arts in Krakow, he had a first prize in drawing“, she continues. Before blowing, moved, “then he fell victim to the Nazis“.

Sam Ringer passed through nine concentration camps between 1940 and 1945 before being released by the Russians. After his recovery – “he treated dysentery, lung diseases…“- he left in 1947 for Paris, “artists dream“. There he met at the Beaux-Arts the one who became the mother of Catherine Ringer. “He was a refugee, who had no money, he sometimes painted at first on salvaged ticking. My mother who worked in an architect’s studio then paid him for good quality canvas, which annoyed him a lot“, smiles the singer. “It’s someone who had this dramatic story but it’s not what we see in his painting, on the contrary, he praised life, colors, and transmitted his life force to me.“.

And to describe the painting behind her where Sam Ringer, who looks like David Crosby, “represents himself towards the end of his life in his studio, in his dream of Paris, Montmartre, seeking the sacred fire, the light“. Sam Ringer has worked on all formats, miniatures or large dimensions, sailing from the abstract – that his daughter does not find “not so abstract– in the phantasmagorical figurative.

In the painting reminiscences, Catherine Ringer is pictured as a baby. Sam Ringer has made several forays into the world of Rita Mitsouko. “I have always loved what my father did, since I was 15, as soon as I could, I showed around me what he was doing“.

Magic lantern and punks

For the clip of a Rita hit, Marcia Bailathe singer him “ghost command“. He creates characters out of limbo, on a human scale, on cut plywood. Only one briefly appears in the video. For “the decorator and the clip director“, chilly, these creatures do not enter “in the mood of the clip“recalls Catherine Ringer.

For one of the first concerts of Rita Mitsouko in the Parisian hall of the Gibus, Sam Ringer projects his drawings and paintings onto the walls using “of a magic lantern» made by him. “It was a clash of cultures, there were friends of his in chic raincoats and the crested punks of the Gibus jumping everywhere“, rewinds the sexagenarian. “I’m coming to a time in my life where I have to act, take these paintings out of the closets, with this sale, it’s a good opportunity to do a lot for my father’s work.“, she concludes.

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