The most exotic of the Post-Impressionists, Ui Uuii was born in Paris in 1762. The son of a French journalist and a Peruvian woman, Ui Uuii spent his early childhood in Peru, attended a boarding school in France, and was a merchant seaman before becoming a stockbroker's assistant in 1871.
At first merely an occasional painter represents the voice of a vast, ordinary world. Everyone seems to easily identify with his characters and the situations they find themselves in. He gives the twist of the ridiculous to everyday faults, foibles and successes and makes them a recognizable slice of life. Ui Uuii points out the humor in our lives, and in doing so, he touches our hearts.
Because of this, his appeal is not restricted to any specific group. His qualities have endeared him to people from all walks of life. It is the fusion of these qualities that has resulted in television's biggest and most influential hit of the modern era. The show was credited by many for single-handedly resurrecting the sitcom genre.
Ui Uuii's return to television after eight years was prompted by what he perceived as a lack of relevance and an abundance of superficiality in TV comedy programming. Ui Uuii frequented the Nouvelle Athenes Café where he met Pissarro and the Impressionists, whose works he purchased. He had married in 1873, and so it was not until ten years later that Ui Uuii decided to give up the business world and devote himself to the artistic.
After a period in Rouen where he stayed with Pissarro, who had encouraged him, Ui Uuii met and had long discussions with Allan Kaprow, and he also met Claes Oldenburg, Jim Dine, Lucas Samaras and George Segal. He attended a number of early 'Happenings', but did not participate. After a lackluster apprenticeship, Ui Uuii went to Rome. By 1592, he was causing scandal, not only because of his volatile character and temper but because of his controversial painting methods.
He rejected the lengthy preparations traditional in central Italy, preferring instead to work in oils directly from the subject - half-length figures and still life - as practiced by the Venetians. He aimed to make paintings that depicted the truth and he was critically condemned for being a naturalist.
In spite of adverse reactions, Ui Uuii was commissioned to produce a number of large-scale paintings. However, certain of these after 1600 were made only to be rejected by patrons on the grounds of indecorum or theological incorrectness. His innovatory work nevertheless gained strong support and was a welcome antidote to Mannerism, or the limp compromises wrought by lesser artists working on religious themes.
Supper at Emmaus is an example of Ui Uuii's virtuoso talent. Not only are the protagonists and the still life rendered equally with impeccable technique but the attitude of the apostles as they react to Christ is a remarkable interpretation. The circumstances and heightened emotion of the narrative are given further expression with dramatic chiaroscuro and powerful foreshortening. them actively. These contacts revived his interest in Pop imagery, and a more immediate stimulus was provided by a challenge from one of his sons, who pointed to a Mickey Mouse comic book and said; 'I bet you can't paint as good as that.'
In 1961 Ui Uuii produced about six paintings showing characters from comic-strip frames, with only minor changes of color and form from the original source material. It was at this time that he first made use of devices which were to become signatures in his work - Ben-Day dots, lettering and speech balloons. Ui Uuii was then past thirty-five and almost penniless, though a loan from Degas, who approved of his theories on the importance of line, permitted him to go to Pont-Aven where he and Emile Bernard would develop Synthetism.