About the artist:
Marc Antoine Squarciafichi, called Marcestel, was born in Paris on February 26, 1943. In 1945 he came to Eze on the Côte d'Azur, where his father, Robert, and his mother, Carmen, restored the hotel «La Bananeraie». In 1950, his parents founded the hotel Cap Estel. The atmosphere there was unique, combining the proximity of a majestic park with the deep blue Mediterranean Sea, and was without a doubt the secret source of his inspiration and artistic vocation. In 1960, at the Albert Premier de Monaco High School, he obtained his diploma. In 1968, he obtained a degree in Economic Sciences at the University of Paris and degrees in Russian and Chinese at the University of Oriental Languages, also in Paris. This was followed by National Service attached to the French Embassy in Laos. In 1969 he returned to Paris, becoming secretary to Maurice Schumann, the Minister of Foreign Affairs. In 1970 he voyaged to India, Cambodia, and Japan. There he visited the Universal Exposition of Osaka, where he met the famous artist Taro Okamoto. In Kyoto, in the Shrine of Kiyomizu, he encountered paintings made with Chinese ink on Japanese paper. The osmosis of colors of this technique convinced him to stop his diplomatic career and to become an artist, trying for the same effect on canvas with oil paint. Although he studied for a short time in the architecture workshop, Zavaroni, at the Ecole Nationale des Beaux-Arts in Paris and studied interior decoration at the Nissim Museum of Camondo, he is a self-taught painter. During his long stays at the Hotel Cap Estel, where his family continued to live, he had the opportunity to meet some of the most famous celebrities of the time. Greta Garbo, Anthony Quinn, Charlie Chaplin, Brian Epstein and the Beatles were among those he came to know. He shared a common interest in fabric with Rudolf Nureyev, with whom he became friends. He also met the Kennedy, Pompidou, and Grimaldi families. At the invitation of the Kobe Newspaper, he organized with his sister-in-law, Yoko Urabe-Squarciafichi, for the Princess Grace and Prince Rainier III of Monaco, their visit to Japan. He met Marc Chagall and David Rockefeller during a lunch at the Colombe d'Or, and later met Whitney Houston at the Music Awards in Monte Carlo, and Bono of the musical group U2 who shares with him an interest in humanitarian aid in Africa. Marcestel lives in Hong Kong now, but lived for many years in Japan. He was able to teach himself Japanese using a book about mythology, which was written using Kanji (Chinese characters, which he knew from his language studies in Paris) with the Japanese phonetic spelling, Hiragana, above each character.