Sunday, December 20, 2009

Good Theater

"A Bright Room Called Day," was written by American playwright Tony Kushner in 1984. It presents a group of young German artists and activists in the dawn of the Nazi regime as well as flash forwarding to a side character in current 1980s who is an activist against the Regan administration. It is a powerful and engaging play and for the first time ever will be presented to a Parisian audience thanks to the collaborative efforts of Hillary Keegin, an American actress living in Paris for several years and French actress Pauline Le Diset, who co-translated the work. Keegin, who stars and directs the play, was inspired to reactivate this work in part through her own frustrations and anger to post 9/11 government policy in the United States. For the last couple of years she has since been working with a cast and crew to put the play together. There will be a screening on the 31st and 1st as well as the week of January 12-16 at La boutonniere theater in the 11. Check out the website for full details. It's a must see.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Galerie d'objets sensibles

Clémentine Dupré is a young, talented ceramicist with an atelier in the 20th arrondisement. Through the 23rd December she has opened her atelier to the public and has invited three other artists/friends to show their work to create an intimate and interesting salon where you can do some last minute gift shopping. What better then a handmade, limited edition object to give as a present? Clémentine Dupré's light as air ceramic bowls, vases, sake cups are both functional and beautiful. Working mostly (or what was on view now), in white porcelain, with finishes that seem transparent, matte, natural in colors ranging simply between white, black and navy blue. To compare to another ceramic aesthetic I would say Japanese, in its restrained elegance, and not surprisingly, she told me that she exhibits and sells quite well in Japan. In one series, which really grabbed me, she applies a trail of tiny, ceramic beads to the surface, creating a bulbous shape that might sit a the rim of a large bowl or grace the surface of a vase.

Of the oher work in the galerie, were a series of more industrial type plates with images printed on the surface, metal wire mobiles, hand sewn bags with vintage type textiles, and some cool notebooks, pins and magnets. Through December 23. Atelier Clémentine Dupré, 20, rue Etienne Dolet, 75020.

Friday, December 11, 2009

By Mutation

By Mutation (a great name, by the way), is an atelier-boutique of several, young French creatrices, or independent fashion and accessory designers who are working with fabrics that are either "abandoned" or already been used in another format and "mutating" them into a new design. I found the tiny storefront during my amble in the 20th last weekend and was greeted by a very friendly woman, one of the designers, who said that it was the first week open. There was a selection of great looking capes-a look that seems to hang in there as an ok fashion choice, which is a good thing, and headbands-a look that seems to be making a comeback, perhaps not such a good thing? There were also a selection of handbags and other clothing pieces, tunics and shirts, all made in small editions, with good prices. As their website states, it is a "project that was primarily based on an aesthetic of transformation, now has the principles of ecological and social awareness at its forefront," and how can you beat that? By Mutation, 30, rue Etienne Dolet.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Fabulous holiday rental apartment in Paris!

Pass it on: A good friend is renting her apartment for the holidays. It is a great apartment and a great deal for your paris trip!
"A very cosy and bright 45m2 apartment close to Gare de l'Est in the 10th arrondissement. Renovated recently. 1 bedroom and living room furnished with Scandinavian designer furniture, bathroom with a bathtob. Well equipped kitchen. The apartment is available for weekly rentals . Perfect for 2 or maximum 3 people. 600€/week"

Monday, December 7, 2009

Quel Plaisir

I love that feeling of discovering something new and unexpected. Saturday afternoon found me wandering in a small part of the 20th-between Menilmontant and Jourdain. It's an area I rarely get to despite knowing there are plenty of things happening. Following a reading at a friend's studio I took rue cascade over to rue de la mare where I ventured into Beau Travail,, a studio/storefront of several, young French designers featuring printed t-shirts, handmade purses, lamps, jewelry and a few other small items. I had set out to find this atelier, only open on Saturday afternoons from 14-19:30h, and as I was working Saturdays for the last couple of months I finally had a chance to visit. I read their blog from time to time and was curious to see the work in vrai. I didn't end up buying anything, yet, but loved the spirit of the place and will be back: great gift ideas. Afterwards I decided to continue down the street, just wandering with no set objective but eventually to make it back to a metro as the sun was setting and it was cold, when I saw a light on, in an otherwise pretty quiet street and made my way across. In the window were several handmade hats (a minor obsession of mine), and I got a little rush of excitement as I could tell it would be something interesting.
I walked inside and into what felt like and which was, an atelier/boutique and living room. I asked to try on one and then another and then the owner came up to help me and play around-we started trying on various hats, many of which had a 1930s feel with a contemporary edge. They were amazing. A friend stopped in and as I eavesdropped on their conversation I heard her say that they were finishing up the hats for the costumes of the national opera. I noticed then, in the back space some incredible, sculptural hats made with felted fruit and feathers, perfect for a stage. Feeling like I was lingering and afraid I would make a purchase of passion when I needed to be buying Christmas gifts, I took a card, said thank you and made my way back out into the night, pleased to have found such an incredible designer and space--and sorry not to have had my camera! Estelle Ramouse, Chapeau sur mesure, 64 rue de la Mare.

Thursday, December 3, 2009


Librarie OFR is one of my favorite bookshops in Paris. Every time I walk by I am drawn in and spend a minimum of 15 minutes (usually way longer even if I am late somewhere) browsing their selection of books and magazines covering all ranges of design-graphic, textile, furniture, object, fashion, as well as art books and monographs. They also have artists books, including "Paris" by Ami Sioux in which the artist asked friends to draw a map of their favorite place in Paris and then she used the map and went and photographed the site. Maps range from minimal sketches to elaborately drawn treasure-like maps with personal instructions and added splashes. It's a clever and creative idea and has become a regular gift item to friends. In the back of the shop is a big space dedicated to art installations as well as fashion designers for a salon or fair. OFR, 20 rue depetit thouars, 3rd arr.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Camarena Photo

Chris "Cam" Camarena is a photographer with not only a great name, but great talent. He has an amazing gift with portraiture-which stems in part, I think, from his open and friendly attitude with all sorts of people from Brooklyn cops to sassy NYC chicks to Ecuadorian Indians. People are drawn to his good energy and therefore are not afraid to let the guard down and allow him to let his skills with the camera fly. He seamlessly fuses the worlds of fashion and contemporary photography- moving comfortably between the two without any compromises. Cam works in the genre of "street photography," capturing the essence and soul of his Brooklyn neighborhood, or his travels around the world, but he has also done studio shoots, where he styles his models in goofy get ups including his latest series of staged "athletes" perfectly posed but with unsightly cuts/blood/bruises. You can see his portfolio on his website,

Friday, November 27, 2009

Paper goods

I realized I never blogged about Intaglio, an amazing printer (imprimerie) in Batignolles and now just opened on rue de Fleurus in the 6th. Intaglio does custom cards, stationary, business cards and invitations for all occassions (we had our wedding invites done there), as well as selling individual cards for the holidays, new year, thank you's, etc. They also have a selection of cards which have recipes for madeline's, chocolate cake and other French specials, and little boxes which look good just as objects if not used to offer a small something to someone.

They do engraved press as well as regular printing and though they can do the traditional cursive style, their overall look is bold, graphic, contemporary design. Their website is very helpful, showing the range of colors and typefaces possible if you are creating invitations. I highly recommend checking out their holiday cards this year which I saw decorating their vitrines the other day. If you have any attraction to paper goods you will be drawn in like its candy.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Discovered: Shirley Craven

Browsing around the Librarie 7L the other day I saw this book about British textile designer, Shirley Craven and Hull Traders, the post-war textile company she served as leading art director and designer for about 20 years. She started working there in 1961 and stayed until the end of the business. Her designs are big, bold, colorful abstract designs, very much grounded in the spirit of abstraction in the post WWII years. The designs are very rhythmic, at times painterly, using inventive motifs and aesthetics that would become more mainstream by the late 1960s-70s.

Hull Traders was in itself and interesting company-fusing collaborations with painters, sculptors among designers. It was known for innovative concepts and designs. It's heyday was in the 1960s and you can feel the vibes of "Swinging London," in many of the patterns they produced. For more information see: Hull Traders

Friday, November 20, 2009

Tereza Vlckova

An exhibition of photographs by Tereza Vlckova, a young artist from Czechoslovakia is on view at Galerie Lefebvre. This is the first contemporary exhibition for this gallery, which specializes in French Art Deco. The furniture and paintings from the early 20th century have been cleared away for these colorful and engaging photographs. On view are a selection of images from four different series she has been developing over the past several years; the title of the exhibition, "A Perfect Day, Elise..." takes its inspiration from the Lewis Carroll classic, Alice in Wonderland. The images portray young women jumping, flying or running in a landscape in the countryside, the same landscape photographed by the famous Czech photographer, Josef Sudek. The figures seem ethereal, like apparations in their own fantasy. In another series she photographed young twins, standing side by side, again placed in a nature, although it feels an artificial nature. Something seems off, almost creepy the way the young children, identical including their dress, stare out at you. For a more recent body of work, Vlckova photographed her young cousin, wearing a bathing suit in a landscape, with llamas. The colors are super artifical and saturated, a la David Lachapelle and Pierre and Gilles, but the provactive yet innocent impression of the work calls to mind Sally Mann. You can the references to other, older photographers including Anna Galskell, Justine Kurland, and that mid 1990S Yale Photography school aesthetic, as well as Rineke Dikstra and Loretta Lux with the twin photos, but the work is not derivative. Vlckova clearly has her own voice and will no doubt continue to engage and entice us as she moves forward. 15, rue Pre aux Clercs, 75007. Tues-Sat. 11-6pm

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Astier de Villatte

I stopped by Astier de Villatte yesterday thanks to the recommendation of my friend, Emilie. What a beautiful shop- a visual escape from the city. The interior is all wood and country home like, but the home of a super creative spirit. The store is filled with variation of their trademark ceramics, white glaze over a gray earthenware which slightly shows through. Plates, glasses, vases, bowls, etc. Also on hand were gorgeous notebooks and calendars, candles, and a selection of beautiful decoupage plates and paperweights from NY based designer John Derian. The impression leaves one feeling dreamy and creative. 173, rue st.honore.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009


First ever deux frontieres sale! Well, basically I was doing a clean out of the shoe closet and I have had these great pairs of high heels which my life no longer provides for, perhaps sadly, because I do love these shoes--I hate ebay and instead of going around to the depot-ventes in Paris I have decided to try and capture an interested party via the blog. They are both in good condition--Not ever heavily used. The Gucci's have a little fraying at the toe and the Lulu's a little on the heel/talon do to (i think) stepping into a grate...not important.
Check them out!

GUCCI's: Size 7.5 Price: 50 Euros or $75

LULU GUINESS: Size 38: Price: 50 Euros or $75

Prices may be negotiable--especially if you want both of them!

The lowdown: If you are in Paris-free hand delivery-- If you are in the USA and can wait until the holidays I will ship them from California for free...otherwise I will need to charge shipping. Please email me at or leave me a comment if interested. More pics can be sent as well.


How much am I loving my new Adonde ceramics? A lot. I first came across their designs at a great boutique in williamsburg, ny called MC&Co, and then came across them at the Bon Marche during our wedding registry outing. This was exciting and I wanted to put all of their ceramic dish collection down on the list but it was clearly not the most practical idea--although I may end up slowly adding on as the time goes by. Their products are all about modular configurations-lids, bowls, vases, plates, cups, pots that can be interchanged, stacked on set alone and just look great. When I finally googled them I was sort of pleased to learn that they work on my street in Paris! I walked by of course, but no storefront, so it must be tucked away in the building. very random however. We are happy to now have this ceramic teapot and two mugs as well as a salad bowl all in the creamy sandy tones. Adonde is the brainchild of a Spanish-French design duo: Javier Gutierrez Carcache and Laurent Serin. They also make wooden utensils, funky wooden vases, a great fruit bowl, and clearly the spanish influence, a hammock. They sell worldwide. Check it out.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Anna Rivka-Jewelry

I came across Anna Rifka's new boutique at 67, rue Vieille du Temple, at the end of summer. I loved what she had in store, but had perhaps unfortunately, already bought what I was going to wear for my wedding and could not justify another purchase at the time, so I saved her catalog for future reflection. She had just moved into this space, from rue Condorcet in the 9th. The look is very 1920/1930s-- a bit art deco mixed with pre-raphaelite, but not overly romantic. She mixes the right combination between a more hard edge/urban look with antique aesthetics. Using metals and semi-precious stones, her designs are quite lovely, and handmade in Paris. Her prices, very reasonable for the quality. Frankly, I have not come across many jewlery designers in this city who have made a big impression--At the big stores you see a lot of the same and prices that are way off the charts, or specifically meant to be cheap and fun. Where is the middle ground? Perhaps here, with Anne Rivka. Go have a look.

Friday, November 6, 2009

Denise Colomb

Part of the Hotel de Sully, a beautiful hotel particulier in the 4th, just off of rue St. Antoine, is an off-site for the Jeu de Paume. Tucked off to the side from the beautiful garden is a two-level space devoted to modern/contemporary exhibitions. It was my first visit actually, when I went to check out the photography exhibition of vintage photographs by Denise Colomb taken in the West Indies between the late 1940s-1960s. Colomb, a French photographer(1902-2004) was invited by poet and politician, Aime Cesaire to come to the West Indies for an "ethnographic mission" organized for the centenary of the abolition of slavery. The works are all in black and white except for a slide show at end of the show that shows some work transfered into color in the early 1960s. Colomb does not exoticize nor pity her subjects, but presents a fairly straight forward portrait of life for the citizens of Martinique and Guadeloupe, and the dispartity between the vestiges of colonialism and reality of living on a remote island. It was interesting to see the difference between an image in black and white and then in color. One of her later images captures a woman nude, sitting in the ocean. In b+w, the image is powerful for the isolation, the simplicity of her form and a sense of innocence in nature. In color, you see the skin tones of the bather set in the crystal clear blue waters and you cannot help but think of all the tourist posters splashed around town for cheap flights to the island. She is not a sexy, posing model at all, but she has been replaced by one in today's advertising world. This exhibition coincidentally falls almost a year after the strikes and violence that shook these very islands for a few months, which makes one wonder how developments have been made between the countries in the post-colonial world.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Liz Deschenes-Sutton Lane

On view at Sutton Lane Gallery is an exhibition of work by New York artist Liz Deschenes. The series, titled Right/Left, presents four large photograms, the results of leaving photo sensitive paper outdoors during the night. After the exposure she applies a layer of silver toner to create a slightly reflective surface that resembles an antique mirror or the results of some chemistry experiment, which in a way, these works suggest. At first glance, you have a hard time gathering what it is you are seeing. You almost get an urge to wipe the surface to see if it changes. The usual skepticism with abstraction kicks in and then quickly dissipates when you learn the techniques and practice of the artist.

Set in the tiny, gray and white space of Sutton Lane, the show looks very elegant, timeless in way. It is simple/minimal work, while also engaging. Deschenes has a way of manipulating the photographic process of development, or post-picture taking (here no camera was even used), and pushing the boundaries of what this medium can represent. Man Ray brought the use of the photogram to a sort of acceptable medium/mainstream but Deschenes is taking it to another level. This seems certainly to be a fitting abstract art of the 21st century. On view through November 28.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Salon du Livre et Papiers Anciens

Following the contemporary vibe of FIAC, we decided to head to the twice annual Salon du Livre et Papiers Ancien (Books and old papers), in the rather dreary site of Porte de Champeret. This salon is quintessentially french in a very old school way: picture little, slightly hunched, and red nosed men and women, lots of wool and plaid, lots of dry sarcasm and loud joking to one another fueled by lots of wine. All of the vendors maintain a week-long buzz, as evidenced by the 1/2 full bottle on each table.

M and I have been a couple of times now and each year we walk away with some good finds. It is mostly older French material: letters/cards/photos/books but there is also a fair amount of modern things to be found. I was not psychologically as psyched up to go this year because usually we go in the winter, when it is cold, so being indoors and scavanging through dusty paper sounds more appealing. The motivation on my part also stems from the number of incredibly delicious pop-up restaurants. Typically we go for the charcuterie and cheese with red wine, but this year we took in 12 amazing oysters and some petit chablis. Helps smooth the sales. Unfortunately we both foolishly forgot our cameras because there were some good photos to be taken.

Also a shout out to Sartoni Prints, run by Jader Sartoni, my friend Zoe's husband, and who really has the classiest booth of them all!
Through November 1.

Thursday, October 22, 2009


Starting yesterday and on through Sunday is the FIAC art fair. The Grand Palais plays host to the more blue chip galleries such as Gagosian, Galerie Lelong and Paula Cooper while the cour carre shows galleries that are more "edgy" with perhaps a younger age group of artists. I went to the opening at the Louvre last night and really do not have much exciting to report--it is an art fair after all and tends to make one without a large pocket of money to spend, feel dizzy and overwhelmed. Good booths at Galerie Hussenot and Lombard Freid, as well several funky galleries from Amsterdam and Brussels.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

gift ideas

It is my 200th post. Cool. Clearly today has been a day of internet surfing, seeking inspiration and ideas from the good old (new really), WWW. With the holidays coming up soon (insane but true, although it does feel like winter in Paris already), this website, greenergrass, might be a good source of gift ideas. The site is clean, simple to use and has a great 'curated' selection of items. Keep it in mind.

Great Ideas

Great website for things design, but really liked this project from a San Francisco based artist:

Saturday, October 17, 2009

lovely things

The most amazing furniture designers, Bokja, from Beirut, fuse modernist furniture with old textiles from the Middle East, Turkey, China, etc. Vintage textiles in all the color, pattern detail covering the simple lines of a scandinavian designed chair or sofa is combing two of my favorite things. What a genius idea and since I can't afford to but one, I hope to sample the idea for a personal project someday. The company was founded by two women, Hoda Baroudi and Maria Hibri in the late 1990s and has reached an incredible and deserved level of success internationally.

Friday, October 16, 2009

All Saints

I was late to work today because I got caught up in (what I thought was a new) boutqiue called All Saints, at 49, rue Etienne Marcel. I was wandering down towards the Louvre after having paid a visit to a newish concept store called Hotel Particular. I had read a couple of reviews of this swank fashion outlet but was not wholly impressed by the selection, more impressed by seemingly friendly staff. Hotel Particular stocks high end threads such as Gaspard Yurkiervich, Vivienne Westwood and Jean Charles Catelbajac. It is men's and women's and very unisex at times as two items I was looking at were apparently for men. The store itself is lovely, boudoir meets hotel costes, sort of. It was easy to walk out empty handed. It's not my scene but I do appreciate the attempt to do something different in Paris.

So back to All Saint's, which I stumbled into, as it is sort of tucked back on a corner right near Place de Victoires. The store in fact has been around for a year, and talk is for a new store in the Marais soon. You enter into a huge, darkened space full of distressed metal and wood furnishings, everything in muted tones of beige, gray, black, navy and cream. The lighting is low, not clublike low which can be anoying, but dull, requiring concentrated focus to get what is happening. I was skeptical at first and not even in a shopping mood when all of a sudden, I wanted ten things. The cuts are, generally speaking, deconstructed but with form/shape. A few jackets that reminded me of Vivienne Westwood, with the gathered necklines and diagonal cuts, but prices are quite reasonable. New approaches to cardigan sweaters that reminded me of the Danish designers Best Behavior, draped around the body to be worn open or wrapped closed, layered tunic like dresses, great options for winter wool coats. Prices seemed to range between 80€-€400 depending on the item.
Everyone is probably in the know about this place, but if you are not, go check it out.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009


Puerto Cacao is a fair-trade chocolate store and cafe in the 17th arrondissement, 53, rue de Tocqueville. Many chocolate stores in Paris feel like jewelry boutiques, pristine and full of glass vitrines and modern displays, with the chocolate costing almost as much. They are delightful to behold but Puerto Cacao feels more grounded-particularly with their fair-trade chocolate and coffee products from Africa and Latin America that fill the store with delicious dark, milk and white chocolate bars, individual chunks that are paid by the kilo, bags of cacao powder, and other yummy chocolate-based offerings. In some cases I think the chocolate is directly imported and in others, the cacao is imported and transformed into chocolates of various sorts by an in-house chef. There is a cafe attached which offers a selection of spiced hot chocolate, teas, home made ice cream, and on the weekends a brunch is offered, with salty crepes and galettes.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Love Tree

We received this "Love Tree," as a wedding gift from family friends, and I am loving it. It was made by Craig Kane, the son of my parents friends. He is an artist based in New York and his work is all miniature and beautifully crafted. This tree with the floating felt "LOVE" catches shadows at various times of the day. We went for a vertical hanging for a better shadow. This was a morning love.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Cities x Design

I found this website the other day on a wander through the web, Cities x Design. Conceived by a couple of young journalists/designers/sociologists, the website documents their travels across America, conducting interviews and taking video footage about how the financial crisis has affected certain areas. But the site really focuses on what the future holds and how innovative design thinking can help build up towns and cities that may be on hard times. A recent entry about Detroit features an interview with an AIGA educater who discusses how this city could be a laboratory for innovative and sustainable design. They also feature burgeoning social and art movements by local activists, artists and designers in Detroit, such as the powerhouse project and plot 63, encouraging and inspiring happenings.

Eventually the findings will be compiled into a film and book but it is fun to follow their adventures, and keep informed about local movements in the States.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Textiles and Tunisia

Check out these beautiful fabrics handmade in Tunisia, found at Le Comptoir de Tunise, 30 rue de Richelieu. The colors are fantastic-bright pinks and oranges mixed with soft greens and blues. There was just something different. Also-gorgeous hand blown glass jars and bowls. This lovely boutique just opened a small cafe upstairs which looked worth a future visit.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Three gallery shows:

Many galleries have rented out their space this week as fashion showrooms, but a few have kept their doors open and merit a visit.

Galerie Xippas: Vera Lutter, This German born, NYC based artist shows eleven large, black + white photographs taken during the last 10 years using a pin hole camera. The works focuses on urban landscapes, industrial sites, and architecture-including old factories and skyscrappers. The images are kind of ethereal and ghostlike despite the subject matter not being super interesting.

Galerie Chantal Crousel: Fabrice Gygi- The Swiss artist presents, as the press release states, "works that can be related to three catagories: jewels, machines and signs." The exhibition consists of several sculptures, a few large, mainly steel or metal works that have a sort of violent,industrial (with slick production value), and fetishistic vibe.

Galerie Almine Rech: Another Swiss artist though now based in NYC, Ugo Rondonine presnts several large scale paintings that resemble the milkyway, dark, starry, luminecent, as well as two large, wood doors which have been covered in black wax or resin and upstairs is a cast wax, large hanging lightbulb. His work is frequently a melange of media and meanings, often referring to fantasy and desire. This show gives a feeling of Grimm fairytales or perhaps German romanticism in the 21st century.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Vintage Fashion hits the 17th

Towards end of spring a new boutique opened up in the 17th, Bastien de Almeida. It is a gorgeous shop, it's slick, dark interior is more typical of the Marais then Batignolles, so all the more lucky for us up here that it arrived. It stocks impeccable vintage threads that would make any Mad Men fashion victim swoon with envy. Yves, Sonia, Balenciaga are some of the big names, but many items here are not of the designer label, but classic dresses and suit/jacket ensembles that were popular and elegant in the 50s, 60s and 70s. Bastien de Almeida, 46, rue La Condamine.

There is also a great selection of photography based books and the cherry on the cake is they offer sewing courses once a week. I can't wait to get started! I have been wanting to take a proper class in "couture" and here it falls two steps from home.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Fall in Paris: Let's Begin Again

Fall in Paris- Although the leaves started changing in our neighborhood at the end of August and I was nervous we wouldn't get any fall weather this year, September has turned out to be a lovely month-minus a few hyper-gray days here and there. I side with the Jewish calendar with having the new year begin in the fall rather then the Roman calendar of January. Since childhood, unless you went to one of those year around schools, we go around with the notion that September is the new "school year," and then as we get older, the feeling of September, following a nice summer, feels like a time to start fresh. In the arts and culture world, September starts the "new season" of exhibitions, shows, books, etc.

If we are lucky enough for an Indian summer like we had here in Paris last week, then you still feel the energy of summer and feel motivated to start new projects and be productive--at least until winter fully takes hold. Whereas in January, unless you are in the southern hemisphere, it's much harder to feel rejuvenated and inspired to begin anew, make resolutions, etc. In reality, most of us feel bloated from holiday drinking and eating and depressed at the cold weather in store for at least 2-3 more months.

Bref, It's fall and Paris has regained its momentum after a sleepy August. I have to say I loved being in Paris in for a couple of weeks in August. People were friendlier, riding a bike was a joy and there were never lines at the market--even if only 2 vendors were working. But it is hard not to be affected by the energy of the new art season. Posts coming tomorrow for some worthwhile shows.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Momentary Hiatus

Clearly I have not been properly updating recently therefore I am declaring my momentary hiatus this summer in order to get ready to be married in September and ponder new and updated ideas for blogging. Happy Summer! Back mid-september.

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Rooftops in Tangier: The 8

I think I prefer Tangier from above, observing the scenes and sounds around me. Of course being inside of it all is exciting and sensory in a different way. Four filmmakers and four poets/writers pairing off to film the sights, scenes and sounds of Tangier in Super 8...what will develop?

Monday, May 25, 2009

Back in paris

Tuesday, May 12, 2009


I am in New York City for the week and the ease and convenience of things is amazing. Not that I can't get most things most of the time in paris, especially as we have Avenue de Clichy nearby, but the ease of New York is perhaps best summed up in the bodega, also referred to as a korean deli or just deli and I forgot how much I love these places. On just about every block in Manhattan is a bodega, some better than others, but every staple can be found in these magnificent little mom and pop shops. From fresh cut flowers to tampons to laundry soap to ice cream to a variety of canned soups, cereals, sodas, beer, occasionally fresh fruit, muffins, bagels......................its all there and more... Truly a wonderful thing and classic NYC.

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Pauline Bordeaux

I first encountered Pauline Bordeaux about a year or so ago at the flea markets in Vanves. She was tucked in between two larger vendors and I heard her telling off another vendor about something or another. I have no idea what she was saying but I was struck by this tiny, maybe 4'7", 70 (at least) year old woman in her soon to be familiar fur hat, holding her own against the younger, arrogant men. I went in for a closer inspection and saw that she was selling her own paintings. She turned on the charm as I walked up, becoming experienced saleswomen she clearly was. Using small 4 x 6" pieces of cardboard, she paints small landscapes of countryside scenes, perhaps with a disproportionately sized cow or horse floating in the background, or scenes of children playing on a beach (but wearing the sailor type uniforms and bow ties reminiscent of the early 20th century), or sometimes just close-ups of animals or flowers. The colors are usually muted due to the cardboard support which sucks all the shine, but they are sweet and folky and I was smitten. For 10 Euros I took home the first of my now four Pauline Bordeaux paintings, for after that, any brocante or antiques fair, whether it was 5 degrees or 20 degrees (Celsius), there she was, working away, on her feet for probably 6-9 hours. I couldn't help but build up fantasitc ideas about her: maybe she lived in some grand hotel particulieur in the 8th, maybe she had numerous lovers including de Gaulle, but in reality I imagine she lives a pretty hard life as an artist, considering her dedication to her craft. Recently I worked up the courage to talk with her and at the last brocante around the Parc de Batignolles I had M take some great photos. So keep an eye out for her on your next flea market or antiques fair and spend that extra 10 euros--you never know she could be the next great thing.

Thursday, April 30, 2009

Two cool projects worth knowing:

Contemporary art is viewed as an international field, but usually the reference is to the billions of biennials or art fairs around the globe, or the amount of travel an artist may do in one year getting to all these events. But reading in yesterday's about Ross Bleckner being nominated as the UN Goodwill ambassodor, following in the heals of Angelina Jolie and Mia Farrow among others, I was pleased about seeing a painter who could be said to define the 1980s art market gold rush tackling serious global crises. Bleckner traveled to Uganda and worked with children who have been victims of rape, war, disease, etc., giving them materials to paint and draw. The drawings will be auctioned at a benefit dinner in NYC to raise money to continue the project. I know Angelina did a lot to raise awareness to war crimes and poverty and one or two lucky kids now have Brad Pitt as a dad (pretty sweet for them), but this project seems really hands-on, perhaps providing a small source of therapy for these young kids.

Later in the day yesterday I read about an exhibition titled "Human/Nature: Artists Respond to a Changing World," developed by The Contemporary Art Museum in San Diego and the UC Berkeley Art Musuem which invited contemporary artists to make a project in response to a World Heritage Site. Similar to the Bleckner project, Xu Bing, an important Chinese artist, visited the Mount Keyna National Park in Kenya, and decided to do a project about the fragile eco-system and asked the children from the area to create drawings about the trees and de-forestation that also incoporated the use of chinese lettering and symbols. He then created a website,, proceeds of which go back to the national park.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Charles Riva Collection

If you are in Brussels this weekend...