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Connecticut artist’s work to be in Louvre

SOUTHINGTON, Conn. — Dozens of vibrant and mysterious paintings hang on walls, some stacked in piles on tables, desks and on the floor, and others leaning against walls. Almost every area of Clinton Deckert’s home is filled with his artwork.

The Southington artist’s oil painting ‘‘Beneath the Millieu’’ won’t be hanging in the second-floor studio at his home much longer. In December, it will be displayed in Internationale des Beaux Arts, an exhibition in the Louvre museum in Paris.

Deckert submitted 10 photos of his work to be reviewed by the Societe Nationale Des Beaux-Arts jury for a chance to be displayed in the Louvre. The jury chose one of his pieces, and Deckert was ecstatic.


‘‘I’m pretty excited and waiting on the fine details,’’ Deckert said.

It took Deckert about eight weeks to complete ‘‘Beneath the Millieu,’’ which almost resembles an underwater scene with bizarre creatures hidden in the yellow, brown, and blue colors. A yellow creature with a red eye in the lower center of the painting stares out ominously. The more one looks at the piece, the more details are revealed.

‘‘I usually don’t have ideas and they come to me while I’m painting,’’ Deckert said. ‘‘The painting reveals itself as I work on them.’’

Sean Michanczyk, the owner of the Paris in Plantsville gallery, has known Deckert for a few years. Michanczyk said Deckert is very ‘‘down to earth’’ and has a vast following of people that come to see his artwork when it’s displayed at his gallery.

‘‘It’s a mix of abstract, surrealism, and expressionism,’’ Michanczyk said. ‘‘It’s just one of a kind, really. You can’t really label it to just one type of artwork because some of it is more illustrative than others, too. It’s definitely a case of just whatever pops into his head he makes it seem to work on a canvas somehow, because they can be chaotic at times and really simple at times, but you can always know that it’s his.’’


Joshua Smith, an artist from Farmington and a friend of Deckert, recommended Deckert’s entry. Smith’s artwork was displayed in the exhibit last year after he had met an agent who put him in contact with an art dealer in Paris. The dealer put together groups from different countries to represent their countries at the Louvre for the Internationale des Beaux Arts show.

Smith will also have a piece in this year’s exhibit.

‘‘I did this show last year as a result of making these connections, and when I came back, I wanted to make sure that I had some opportunity to make a contact for Clinton,’’ Smith said. ‘‘I made the contact, but his work stood out to them.’’

Deckert hopes that he will be able to visit the Louvre while his artwork is displayed, as Smith did last year. Smith recalled how ‘‘prestigious’’ the museum and the exhibit looked and how thousands of people visited the gallery in the five days it was up.

‘‘It was absolutely amazing,’’ Smith said. ‘‘You go there and your work is in the Louvre and it’s amazing. Within a couple of minutes you’re able to see the ‘Mona Lisa’ then walk over and see my painting.’’

When Michanczyk heard that Deckert’s work was chosen to be displayed in Paris he said he wasn’t surprised.


‘‘It’s more exciting for me, too, because I constantly keep his work on display here,’’ Michanczyk said. ‘‘I’m just really happy for him.’’

Deckert said he’s able to collect his thoughts and let the brushstrokes flow while listening to ambient music. He said he’s going to continue to work on several paintings at a time before he has to send his piece off to Paris. In the meantime, he will be participating in a Southington Community Cultural Arts event at the governor’s residence in Hartford on Tuesday and is preparing for an exhibit at Paris in Plantsville in June called ‘‘Sophisticated Absurdities,’’ of which he is the curator.

‘‘It gives me a certain sense of credibility that they can’t take away on the old resume,’’ Deckert said. ‘‘It gives me excitement and adrenaline to keep painting further. It makes you realize that you’re doing the right thing.’’