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Entries in Paris (17)


Paris Scene: Art Elysees

Irwin Weiner ASID - A distinct pleasure in visiting a city like Paris is soaking up the beautiful art scene. Take your pick for genre, artist, and style in this city filled with many art choices. It was a wonderful opportunity to see the annual Art Elysees exhibits set up along the Avenue des Champs-Elysees, exhibiting private gallery stashes of contemporary art.
In today's featured video, the curator of Galerie Dil talks about Bernard Buffet and other featured French artists from his exhibit. Buffet's 1950s minimal, stark style is extremely expressive, and I enjoyed the equally spare interpretation of some of his exhibited pieces, particularly the one which described a sailboat scene as being "filled with dreams."


Paris Concept Store Hones in on Contemporary Design

 Irwin Weiner ASID - About ten days ago, Jay and I explored MERCI, a Parisian shopping concept store that provided a fresh and startling mix of new and used merchandise, but the merchandise extended into categories like fashion, home accessories and furnishings, kitchen and bath, and books - and some great all-natural foods and a fresh take on the bistro scene. My Little Paris, a blog we love when it comes to one of our favorite cities, describes the store as follows.

Welcome to MERCI, a store which is lovely, lovable and loving. It’s located in a majestic, sun-lit loft where you can browse from room to room just like in a real house. Stop and look through an old-fashioned trunk spilling over with unique creations and finally find that little dress nobody else has yet to wear! Don’t forget to buy a tiny bunch of roses at the flower shop, and cuddle up on a sofa in the book corner as you check out the latest literary sensation and sip a well-earned lemonade. You’re not going to believe this, but you’ll be raising money! The profits the store makes on your purchases are donated to charities.

Charitable donations - count us in! We love to shop responsibly, and this was a great way to make our purchases count. So what about the home design scene at MERCI? Big thumbs up all around. We thought the collection of home goods was amazingly well curated. One-of-a-kind architectural and antique finds cuddle up playfully with some truly hip and beautiful furnishings. Here are a few examples; click on each photo for more information, and sign up for MERCI's newsletter so you can enjoy their upcoming online shopping experience.

Pressed Chair, Aluminum, by Harry Thaler for Moormann

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Latest Contemporary Art Displayed at FIAC, Paris

Irwin Weiner ASID - While we were in Paris the weekend of FIAC, the International Contemporary Art Fair, we weren't keen to stand in long ticketholder lines at the Grand Palais and queue up to see an infinite number of art spaces. (A lame excuse; we probably were too late to get tickets.) Instead, we saw other exhibitions nearby, took in an art and design fair just outside FIAC - more on that in a future post, and saw an inflatable Stonehenge that we thought was a kiddie amusement feature (nope; even though everyone was bouncing around inside it, we learned later that it was an outdoor FIAC art installation). In today's featured video, you'll see some of the latest contemporary artwork. I'm not astounded, I must be honest.

There are "room installations" (a treehouse built in a corner gallery space, a disheveled bathroom scene), contemporary works in acrylic, photography (close-up on a body part or industrial and architectural), playful use of objects-as-art (car wash brushes, decaying grand pianos, faceted mirrors turning), and many works in neon and mixed media showing English language words and sayings (done to death; hopefully the trend is over with).

My favorite artwork in the video was a lenticular or video framed canvas (I couldn't tell which) of a man juggling; supremely clever and mesmerizing. The winner of FIAC 2012, however, was the sculpture shown in the top photo, a reclining tombstone figure called Diving Man by Daniel Dewar and Gregory Gicquel. Does this herald the death of contemporary art? (It really is a sculpture privately commissioned for a cemetery.) You be the judge.

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Home Decor Tip: Introduce Yourself to New Artists

Philippe Lardy, Life Forms, 2012Irwin Weiner ASID - You shouldn't be afraid to make new art friends! They won't bite. They come in peace. And they can add fresh oomph and much-needed juice into your home decor. I often say that interior design is not about turning your home into a museum. Just because you've already hung things on the wall doesn't mean they have to stay there forever (even museums change it up every so often).

Philippe Lardy, Oscillations 5 and 6, 2011

We just got back on Monday night from a week in Paris and was introduced to the work of an American illustrator Philippe Lardy whose works of fine art are represented by Galerie Menus Plaisirs. We admired the graphic forms and confidence in his work, but the point is to go out to galleries, look at online resources (even inexpensive ones that offer fine art like 20x200), and find something new for your walls. And you can always switch artwork back or move one or more items to walls in other rooms. Go wild. (Click on artwork for more information.)

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