Not many musicals have been produced about Paul Gauguin’s life, so it is with some relief that we bring you news of “Gauguin / Savage Light”. The musical takes us through episodes of Gauguin’s life from Paris, to the relationship with Van Gogh in southern France, and finally to Tahiti and other French Polynesian islands that would prove the stimulus for the bulk of his most famous artwork. Is a musical-monologue really the best way to portray Gauguin’s complicated life? It would need one gifted actor, and that can be found in the writer-producer-performer George Fischoff.

Now in its fourth year, “Gauguin / Savage Light” is the artistic baby of George Fischoff, a major hit song writer of the 60s. That’s what the promo bill tells you about him: that he wrote songs and music recorded by a host of musical celebs from the Monkees to Perry Como, Herb Alpert and Pearl Bailey. Fischoff takes this experience and channels it into a small piano situated in the Nola Studios in New York, NY. In fact, that’s all there is in the studio-cum-theatre: Fischoff, a piano, 14 reproduction Gauguin paintings and the audience. Far from being a large-scale Broadway musical, this production tells Gauguin’s life story in the most minimal way possible, a feat worth experiencing in itself. Fischoff also plays the part of all the supporting characters, including Gauguin’s wife and his Tahitian girlfriend, and this may be the show’s only downfall. He doesn’t do a terribly good job of it as he’s not a professional voice artist; perhaps one is better left listening to the original show’s CD cast recording of the production. However, this should not be a game changer for Gauguin devotees – it is always enthralling to see how an artist interprets and presents the life of another.

In other news, the sale of a Gauguin painting has been hailed as a symbol for the re-emerging art market in Europe. According to Christie’s International reports, first half sales at the 275 year old auction house had risen 15 per cent to £2billion in 2011 compared to 2010. This includes the rise in its auction business, 10 percent to £1.7billon, while private sales increased 57 percent to £286.7million. One surprising sale was the aforementioned Gauguin painting, Le Vallon, which fetched £6,425,250 after being estimated in the range of £5,500,000 - £8,500,000. The painting depicts a thin path winding through a tropical valley nestled underneath the island’s mountains, during the second year of Gauguin’s first visit to Tahiti in 1892. Considered a near-perfect Impressionist integration of natural colour and form, the oil painting is considered Gauguin’s acclamation to the idyllic and tranquil life he had longed for in the far-flung French colonies.

You don’t need to be a famous song writer to produce your own one-person tribute to a famous painter. Set the stage yourself for your own Gauguin play. Surround yourself with high-quality reproduction Gauguin paintings to channel the spirit of the immortal French Primitivist painter. Record and upload your performance tribute. Who knows? Your play might just propel you to internet stardom as a YouTube video star.