Berlin based Pictoplasma project of contemporary character design and figurative art is coming to Paris. From December 7 to 31 la Gaîté lyrique presents a comprehensive program with installations, exhibition, artist conferences, performances, screenings and loads of Character! VISIT THE LA GAÎTÉ FOR MORE INFO AND TICKETS
The cover art for Björk’s hotly anticipated new album Biophilia, released 27 Sep, has been shot by Inez Van Lamsweerde and Vinoodh Matadin and with art direction by Paris design studio M/M. Quoting Björk herself, her ambitious new multimedia project is “an album, an app, a live show and a new website…” and explores the intersection of music, nature and technology. The first single and app is called Crystalline and has a music video by another French talent Michel Gondry, see below. The live show premiered at the Manchester International Festival in June, and will tour the world for the next 2 years, click for tour dates near you http://bjork.com/
Few cities in the world are more identified with their subway systems than Paris. One of the busiest metro systems in the world, it carries more than 4 million riders a day on some 16 lines to 300 stations. The Chatelet stop in Place St. Opportune, in the heart of Paris was one of the very first stops built for the very first line in 1900. It’s also the world’s largest metro station, with five metro lines and three commuter lines running through it. One of the original archways keeps the art nouveau metropolitan style that’s the hallmark of the Paris Metro.
Standing inside the station, author Mark Ovenden says the style was the creation of “an amazingly young architect” named Hector Guimard. “He had the idea of building things out of this wonderfully laced wrought iron that looks like it’s kind of grown there, almost organically — the way that trees grow or that plants grow. It’s a very organic-looking form and quite advanced for its time.”
Ovenden is co-author of the book Paris Underground: The Maps, Stations and Design of the Metro. He believes the contrast between the Metro’s ornate entrances and the formality of the surrounding boulevard gave the city some sense of nature. That might be one reason that Parisians grew fond of their Metro so quickly, he says. “They were also so totally unique.”
In the late 1800s, Paris was well behind London and New York in building a metro system. Visitors to the 1889 Grand Exhibition that featured the Eiffel Tower had to ride a horse and buggy to get there — an embarrassment that spurred the completion of the Line 1 in time for the World’s Fair in 1900. Built in 20 months, this first line of the Metro connected all the major Paris attractions.
A work of art entitled Leviathan, partially seen behind, by Indian born British artist Anish Kapoor, is unveiled at the Grand Palais in Paris, Tuesday May 10, 2011. The 35-meter high air inflated monochrome Leviathan enables people to circumnavigate, and walk inside, the work which fills the cavernous Grand Palais, and is presented here until June 23.
A blood-colored, globulous balloon ensconced in Paris’ Grand Palais seems to suck you into its vortex as you lose your sense of balance. And that’s not such a bad thing. The city’s latest monumental exhibit, by Anish Kapoor, is at once enveloping and vertigo-inducing, and as often with the outspoken British artist, political. Kapoor dedicated it to jailed Chinese artist and government critic Ai Weiwei.
“Leviathan,” which opened Wednesday and runs through June 23, really is just one 75,000-cubic-meter balloon filling up much of the art nouveau, glass-roofed Grand Palais. Its “skin” is PVC vinyl, barely thicker than the skin of a toy balloon. Its four orbs are sustained by fans pumping whooshes of air that become the exhibit’s soundtrack.
It’s a show you experience from inside and out. A stiff, narrow revolving door releases visitors into what curator Jean de Loisy calls “this strange monster.”
The initial sense of darkness and the deep red tones do make you feel you’re in the belly of some beast. It mesmerizes gradually, as the sunlight coming in through the Palais’ windowed roof shifts its shadows. The seams in the balloon form lines that lead to a black hole in the center of one orb.
“It offers the possibility of going inside ourselves,” de Loisy told The Associated Press at the opening. “You are at the origin of the world.”
That black hole creates such a pull, and the lines are so dizzying, that one visitor swayed and stumbled as she tried to find the exit. She sought to steady herself on a wall, but instead found herself reaching inside a deeply concave balloon.
From outside, the balloon resembles a mutant blimp, bulging in four directions. Visitors walk under and around the bulges, touching the smooth skin of the burgundy vinyl.
The exhibit is the latest in a series staged by the Grand Palais called Monumenta, in which artists create massive artworks taking into account the scale and structure of the domed venue. Past Monumenta exhibitors included U.S. artist Richard Serra and German artist Anselm Kiefer.
“It’s both monumental and intimate,” said visitor Sabyne Soulard, who teaches art in Toulouse. Waving her hand to watch the shadows it created, she said, “It feels like it’s breathing.”
Kapoor, one of Britain’s best-known artists, is known for embracing enormity. He is designing a 114-meter (375-foot) twisting steel tower to overlook the Olympic Stadium in east London, intended to draw tourists to the London Olympic Park after the 2012 Games. His 110-ton stainless steel “Cloud Gate” sculpture on Chicago’s lakefront has become one of the city’s most photographed landmarks.
Indian-born Kapoor dedicated the exhibit to Ai Weiwei, who was detained trying to board a flight to Hong Kong last month amid a Chinese crackdown on dissidents.
“His arrest, disappearance and alleged torture are unacceptable. When governments silence artists it bears witness to their barbarity,” Kapoor said in a statement.
Wine Bottle Garden Borders: Pounding wine bottles into the ground as a garden boarder, pathway liner or edger is a great way to use old bottles. They’re durable, and look unique. See some inspiration here: Creative Reuse: Wine Bottle Borders.
Wine Cork Trivet: The Spanish design company Ciclus recycles waste products into things of beauty. Their Wine Cork Trivet begins as an aluminum tray that you fill with your old wine corks to create a hot plate or trivet.
Homemade Wine Rack: This just requires spray paint, some very large empty cans, test before constructing, and some superglue.
No one knows exactly who swings from building to building perilously landscaping Paris’ walls. Not unlike a masked superhero, the artist goes by an alias ‘Bonom’, wears a mask and never reveals his true identity. Working at night, on these large but dangerous open spaces, Paris’ most respected ‘clandestine’ artists, is also one of the most prolific.
If on the lookout while walking through Paris, you are likely to recognize his monumental works of intricate animal skeletons and other creatures floating close to the sky on grey façades. Bonom’s graffiti is dashed with an eerie quality making it instantly recognizable. To boost your chances of encountering a Bonom, look in the 11th district or look up at 123, rue Vielle du Temple in the Marais and you will see his enormous, somewhat gory, boar on a spit. For his minotaur you’ll have to go to rue de la Traversière towards Ledru Rollin. The artist is also very present in Brussels and Luxembourg but little else is know about him. Footage filmed by a Belgian television channel, shows him at work on a ten storey building – the scale of the piece alone makes it one of the most impressive of his works.
Art institutions the Palais de Tokyo (one of my favorite museums in Paris with a must go cafe and deadly library) has joined forces with the recently burgled Musée d’Art Moderne to present a massive exhibit of the up-and-coming artists (must be under 35) who are currently working in France. The 40 chosen artists each display a piece (of every technique and style, including painting, video and sculpture). Opens June 11th, stay tuned for photos!
This exhibit, which focuses on the development of urban planning as futuristic-fantasy aptly opens with New York’s Coney Island and the famous World Fair held in Paris 100 years after the storming of the Bastille. A wall mural of the many multicultural pavilions depicts the hope in globalization held by those attending the Exposition Universelle of 1889. The main sentiment of the initial three dreamlands (Coney Island and the Paris and New York World Fairs) is that of openness and curiosity. Leaving the first stage of the exhibit, one tinted with hope and whimsy and featuring the likes of Dali and Eiffel, visitors enter a portrayal of Las Vegas in the 60s and 70s. Although still a portrayal of fantasy, with unlikely large signs, photos of the Vegas Eiffel Tower, and Vegas Vienne this later phase of the exhibit is notably marked with tinges of greed, capitalism and a uneasy surrealism. Wandering further visitors see a bizarre exhibit of dancing (exercising?) skyscrapers moving to a workout soundtrack remixed into a commentary on the problem of terrorism. This exhibit, representing perhaps a simplified view of New York of today, plays loudly next to a drowned out screening of the final dancing and singing number from the film 42nd Street (1933) a much more idyllic view of the city.
Wandering further into the exhibit visitors see blueprint’s of Disney’s Epcot the environmentally sound is not somewhat creepily homogenous city that never was in Florida. Here stop to see the video explaining the system of people movers and monorails with carefully divided places for commerce, parks, and schools which intended to make problems or traffic and pollution a thing of the past. Wander further still to see photos of today’s dreamlands, Dubai and Shanghai, which in contrast to the whimsy and art of part one of the exhibit reek of capitalist greed injected with steroids. A few months before his death in 2008 J. G. Ballard, an observer of contemporary urban change famously said ‘I am of a generation for whom the big city meant a centre of cultural influence (London, Paris, New York) or economic power (London, New York); now it has become a theme park (Las Vegas, Dubai), a vast camp (the cities of China) or an architectural aberration and utter social hotchpotch (Tokyo)’. The exhibition Dreamlands at Pompidou seems to go a step further and through stark contrast between stages seems to suggest the dreamlands of today are no longer about curiosity in one another’s culture and in what is possible architecturally but more about creating a fake reality (Epcot and Dubai’s World and Palm Islands) based more on greed and profitability then curiosity. Exhibit open unti August 9th, tell me what you think and if your not in Paris you can at least judge the trailer