Paris Berges de Seine reclaimed

Strolling along the Seine in Paris has never been more fun!  The city in an effort to make the river banks more pedestrian friendly, started a construction initiative know as les Berges de Seine.  My friend Stephanie told me to check it out when was back in Paris this summer…les berges

Restaurants, playgrounds and more line the quai and the unique perspective that was once reserved for cars, now belongs to the public.MIkados

The reclaimed riverbanks offer routes along the water for walking, jogging and biking. The Parisians new playground also boasts restaurants, immaculate gardens, ‘zen’ spaces, and children’s play areas complete with climbing wall.

Several spaces of the new urban project can be reserved and privatized for free. The children’s area has four teepees that can be reserved to celebrate birthdays. Zen cabins (Zzz) sit in a garden inspired by Monet, Picasso, Kandinsky and Seurat. The quiet spaces can be reserved for up to 90 minutes so you can bask in solitude to read, think, or even take a nap.Zz3

TipisI can’t wait to see such a playful initiative in New York!

Advertisements

American Design in Paris

For the first time, Mona Bismarck American Center for Art & Culture in Paris opens its doors from May 19 to 25 to showcase “American Design“, an exhibition overviewing the current American creation.

Both young independent designers (Bec Brittain, Anna Karlin, Fort Standard, Matt Gagnon …) as established companies or promising young ones (Emeco, Knoll, Juniper, Neal Feay, Roll & Hill’s …) will be shown. The initiative has emerged to promote awareness of the major players in contemporary American design.

Screen Shot 2014-06-07 at 6.50.40 PMRegime light by    Bec Brittain

Screen Shot 2014-06-07 at 6.56.48 PM

Salver by David Weeks

Screen Shot 2014-06-07 at 7.00.41 PMNew Bird Cage by Felicia Ferrone

In the US,  WantedDesign, an  international exchange program, showcases dynamic contemporary creations in the United States. In France, the Parisian showroom Triode has given visibility to young American designers over the last several years.

For the very first time, young independent designers, new publishing companies as well as other established names will be reunited. One will also be able to see recent works from Fort Standard, Bec Brittain, Lindsey Adelman, Paul Loebach, Jason Miller, David Weeks, François Chambard, Matt Gagnon, Frederick McSwain, Dror Benchetrit, Michael Boyd, among others, as well as established compaines like Bernhardt design, Emeco or younger such as  Juniper, Roll&Hill, Neal Feay, BlankBlank or Council

French Fair Cutlog’s NYC Debut brings a breath of fresh air

I was so exciting to see the French Art Fair Cutlog coming to New York.  I remember my friend Bruno Hadjadj, the co- director , talking about it after four successful years in Paris. Cutlog, devoted to emerging artists, took place during the Frieze Art Fair and occupied a former public school in the lower East side.  I enjoyed the grungy building, the laidback atmosphere, the low-key dealers and the genuine variety…

Exhibitors came from Paris, Amsterdam, Tel Aviv, Berlin, Santiago.  You were greeted by a big fuzzy ball by ShoplifterImage.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A site-specific installation by Monika Zarzeczna was hosted by Lesley Heller Workspace, while across the way are Haunted Mansionesque mirror pieces by Daniel Horowitz with L’Inlassable Galerie, where faces are creepily washed out to drip down the walls. Image

Painter Alan Neider simply rented his own booth and filled it with his work. Appreciating Cutlog’s gritty character, he wrote the organizers and asked them about the possibility of showing his work there…

Image

A new comer in the Gallery circuit, was the french Galerie 55 and his very approchable dealer showing the work of Niloufar Banisadr, Sexy Windows

Image

In another room, artist Clara Feder had put up a “Wall of Temptation”: visitors were invited to take a scratch-off lotto ticket, resist the urge, and stick it on a large canvas. Nearby voting booths and markers are provided so that participants can write something on their ticket. Feder, wearing a lab coat, told me, “In a culture where giving into temptation and submitting has become the norm, the project gives you a chance to resist.”

Longchamp spring 2012 campaign shot in New York

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It was fun to revisit the city with Longchamp and the agency Air Paris for the Longchamp Spring 2012 campaign shot by Dane Shitage.  Most of the photoshoot and video took place in my neighborhood in Dumbo and downtown Manhattan.

The prop styling involved some simple elements who all contributed to the urban yet elegant and dynamic look of the campaign.  From the elegant Weimaraner dog or bugaboo stroller to the urban police barrier, mailboxe and periscope with some poetic touches like the little flower growing out of the sidewalk…

Spike jonze: mourrir auprès de toi

Walking by all those beautiful antique book stores when I was growing up in Paris, I always wondered if I could step into one of those books and partake in the story or even change its course sometimes…

On his recent tragicomic stop-animation Mourir auprès de toi, the director Spike Jonze take a different approach and decide to humanize a series of felt characters made by hand by Olympia Le-Tan.  On a shelf of an old parisian bookstore, a clumsy skeleton and a beautiful red hair sleeping beauty come to life as they  pulled out of iconic book covers and fall in love…

Enlisting french filmmaker Simon Cahn, the team worked night and day animating the 3000 pieces of felt pieces Le-Tan had cut by hand. for the director Spike Jonze, the shorts are a breath of fresh air: “you can have an idea and a feeling and just go and do it”.

Serra’s giant steel mazes

The Richard Serra show, titled “Junction/Cycle” at Gagosian untill November 26, revisits the graceful spirals and ellipses he exhibited 10 years ago.  The two giant sculptures, so exquisitely responsive to each other, manage to make the gallery feel intimate.

You are essentially walking through some gigantic steel mazes forced to make a choice: “left or right?  One path dead-ends leaving you in an elliptical enclosure; the other leading you along a narrow curving path where you will be presented with more choices.

Once you’re between those plates, you feel a tremendous surge. “Cycle” offers clearings, where you can pause and collect yourself. But the blind curves of “Junction” propel you through and, before you know it, spit you out. The movement feels akin to surfing, or being whooshed through a channel.

Echo: the Poetry of Dreams

As I was walking through the busy Flatiron district the other day, a giant otherworldly sculpture of a girl’s head caught my eyes. Jaume Plensa is the artist behind this this great art work.  Its elongated Modigliani-esque features oddly recalls a hologram.  Mr Pensa has for years dreamed of an “art totale”, he said, that would meld the contradictory disciplines of photography and sculpture.